More than 2,000 demonstrators flocked to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Saturday for the National People’s March on Washington, a rally to protest President Donald Trump and his policies.
The rally was themed “The Impeachment March” by People Demand Action, a progressive organization that hosted the event, according to its Facebook page. Activists said the theme reflected the grassroots movement against Trump’s actions and comments about issues like healthcare and immigration that have sparked controversy throughout his first year in office.
About 10 speakers addressed the crowd, advocating for issues like gender equality and perserving legal protections for young undocumented immigrants. The speakers called for activists to stand in solidarity with one another to demand change amid the current toxic political climate.
Gregory Gregory, a community development advocate and son of civil rights activist and comedian Dick Gregory, spoke to the crowd about leadership in the U.S. government. He said leaders like Trump and members of his administration are exhibiting racist and sexist beliefs and behavior that “you tell your child never to do, never to think.”
“Look at this country – sexism, anti-immigration, sexual assault, racism – and I’m just talking about the president,” he said.
He told marchers that the rally was only beginning of their involvement in progressive causes.
“This is the fun part, this is where you come to get energized. We’re not doing the work today, we’re preparing to do the work today – this is the pep rally for work that we will do.”
Marchers raised signs that read, “You can’t fix stupid but you can vote it out” and “History has its eyes on you” as they wrapped around the National Mall’s reflecting pool and later marched onto the streets of D.C. en route to the White House.
The rally occurred in the same spot where thousands gathered for the Women’s March exactly a week earlier.
Protesters walked down 17th street toward the White House around 1 p.m., chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.”
Erin Meller, an Atlanta, Ga. native who traveled to D.C. for her first march Saturday, said she protested because voices from the LGBTQ community, black lives matter movement and immigrants are not heard in the Trump administration.
“It’s important to make it visible because the more people come, the more you can see visually how many people are interested in this shift,” she said.
Freshman Dahvi Cohen said she attended the march because she does not believe the president is representative or inclusive of all people, especially transgender individuals.
“He’s initiating policy that is non-inclusive and hateful,” Cohen said, referring to Trump. “It’s great to be around people for the same cause, who will see we need more inclusivity.”