Updated: Jan. 21, 2018 at 12:55 p.m.
Thousands of activists descended on the National Mall Saturday for the second annual Women’s March, nearly a year after a half a million demonstrators rallied for women’s rights the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Adorned in pink beanies nicknamed “pussy hats,” Women’s March t-shirts and Planned Parenthood scarves, protesters celebrated the progress women have made in running for and winning political offices in the last year and encouraged more women to get involved in politics to fight Trump and his policies.
“Still here. Still nasty and still voting,” “My liver can’t handle Trump much longer” and “Pizza rolls > gender roles” were some of the colorful signs that protesters held at the Lincoln Memorial Saturday afternoon.
The event, held on the one year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, was sponsored by March Forward Virginia, according to its Facebook page. Major political figures including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA., and DNC Chairman Tom Perez addressed the crowd.
Kaine began his speech by referencing what he called the “Trump shutdown.” The federal government shut down midnight Saturday after Congress failed to pass a stopgap spending bill. The shutdown was a major talking point throughout the event.
“The Trump shutdown is due to the inability of the Republican party to do basic governing like making a budget, something that everybody does at their own house,” Kaine said. “With all of the levers, White House, House and Senate, they can’t even get a budget done.”
Republicans have blamed Senate Democrats for the budget stalemate.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., spoke about the importance of voter mobilization and participation in civil society.
“One year later, the grassroots energy is growing and not fading and it is women who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times,” she said. “It is women who are taking their outrage and running for office, volunteering for campaigns and joining advocacy groups for the very first time.”
Speakers from progressive advocacy groups like Emily’s List, the Feminist Majority Foundation and United We Dream also spoke about other major issues affecting the country including immigration policy, a key part of the debate surrounding the government shutdown.
Greisa Martínez Rosas, an undocumented immigrant and advocacy and policy director at United We Dream, spoke about the struggles of undocumented immigrants just weeks away from the end of a program that temporarily gave legal protection to undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.
“We will not stand one more time while our children, DREAMers, immigrant youth are being pushed back to the shadows. Sisters and brothers we are in a crisis,” Martinez said.
Demonstrators also rallied in favor of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements.
Around 2:30 p.m., thousands began the trek to the White House, walking along the frozen reflecting pool, reciting the popular chant: “Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!”
Charles Hulka, a march attendee, said he was participating in the protest because of his opposition to Trump. He traveled by plane yesterday to D.C. from Phoenix, Ariz. to attend the event.
Hulka, who was carrying a sign that read “impeach Trump, free Melania,” said he wanted to protest because of Trump’s words and actions directed toward minorities, which harken back to a period in American history where discrimination was more widespread.
“I can remember when I saw colored bathrooms and colored water fountains, and I thought we’d gotten past that, but this guy wants to bring that all back, and I say ‘no fucking way.’”
Katherine Reynolds, a native Texan who now works in the District, held a sign that read “Liberal Southerners, We do Exist” in floral print.
“Since I moved here, I’m slowly realizing that I’m waking up to what justice and consent really looks like,” she said.
Reynolds added that she feels strongly about the allegations of sexual assault from the #MeToo movement.
“Going to school down there and living down there for so long made it obvious what was wrong. Coming up here gave me the most incredible momentum to dive in and find out what is right,” Reynolds said.
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
In a photo caption, The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Ray Roger’s last name. It is now correct. We regret this error.