On January 21, HBHS students made their voices heard at the Women’s Marches that occurred in Boston and D.C. A total of 673 marches occurred worldwide, with the number of participants clocking in at about 5 million total marchers. HB students were in good company when they took to the streets.
Most students attended the march in Boston, which started on the Boston Common and commenced down past the Public Gardens and through Commonwealth Avenue. Others had the opportunity to go to Washington, DC, the epicenter of the protest, and make history at our nation’s capitol.
Zoe Bertone ‘17 described her spontaneous trip down the East Coast with her friend Maggie O’Hara ‘17: “Maggie and I took an airplane down on Thursday after our mid-terms and we flew direct right into D.C. We met my friend Nicola Chomiak, a 2016 graduate, who attends American University. We stayed with her for a few days.” Maggie O’Hara ‘17, student body president added, “It was pretty sudden. I didn’t ever think it was a possibility for me to go…We got plane tickets last minute and flew down.”
Adelaide MacDonald ‘17 also made it down to D.C. to join in the demonstration. “It was amazing to think about the positive impact the march could have on our nation right now and in the future. I loved the positive, powerful energy that I felt throughout the crowd. Being a part of history this way meant a lot to me,” she said.
Though the subways were packed to capacity in most major cities, MacDonald avoided the rush, saying, “I went with my mom, her friend, and our exchange student Agathe as a part of a group from the Nashua area. We all met at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 9 p.m. on Friday, and took a couple of busses down overnight, arriving in D.C. around 7 or 8 a.m.”
Crowd scientists estimate that more than 470,000 marched on the D.C. mall the day after Trump’s inauguration. “There were 4 or 5 times when I was stuck in the crowd for almost an hour each time. We moved along Independence Avenue slowly and eventually reached 4th Street. One of the speakers during the rally mentioned that there were people all the way up to 17th Street,” MacDonald said about the crowd. The D.C. marchers traveled west on Independence Avenue from 3rd Street to 14th Street. Then, they turned north on 14th Street to Constitution Avenue, later marching west on Constitution Avenue to 17th Street, and finished near the Washington Monument.
The emotionally charged feeling of the marches in Boston and D.C. was similar, with rallying chants like “Love trumps hate” and “Show me what democracy looks like/this is what democracy looks like” in both cities. Sarah Crocker ‘17, who attended the Boston march, said, “I had never been in a crowd setting that large where complete strangers were so kind to me! My favorite part of the day was getting to listen to all the speakers, from Mayor Marty Walsh to union workers.”
Though there have been many questions and some controversy surrounding the Women’s March, each attendee had a clear idea of why she was there, citing the solidarity of women, immigrant rights, and family members as compelling reasons for the civic involvement.