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Voices of the Women’s March: Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Janet Mock & More

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To mark the historic Women’s March on Washington, we air highlights from march organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, professor Angela Davis, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Madonna, singer Alicia Keys, transgender activist and author Janet Mock, singer and actress Janelle Monáe, actress Ashley Judd, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards and six-year-old immigrant rights activist Sophie Cruz.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We return now to highlights from Saturday’s massive Women’s March on Washington. This is feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

GLORIA STEINEM: I’m not trying to deny the danger that this day initiates. Trump and his handlers have found a fox for every chicken coop in Washington, and a Twitter finger must not become a trigger finger. Some very experienced doctors of the American Psychiatric Association have publicly written to warn us that—and I quote—”his widely reported symptoms of mental instability—including grandiosity, impulsivity, hypersensitivity to slights or criticism, and an apparent inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality—lead us to question his fitness for the immense responsibilities of the office,” unquote. This was on full display in his inaugural address yesterday. Everything that happened before him was a “disaster.” And everything that he would do would be “fantastic,” “the best ever,” “miracles” and all the superlatives. He also said he was with the people—indeed, he was the people. To paraphrase a famous quote, I just want to say, I have met the people, and you are not them.

ASHLEY JUDD: My name is Ashley Judd.

MICHAEL MOORE: Ashley Judd is here!

ASHLEY JUDD: And I am a feminist. And I want to say hello to Independence Avenue in the back, all the way down to 17th Street.


ASHLEY JUDD: And I bring you words from Nina Donovan, a 19-year-old in Middle Tennessee, and she has given me the privilege of telling you what she has to say: I am a nasty woman. I’m not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust, a man whose words are a dis-tract to America, Electoral College-sanctioned hate speech contaminating this national anthem. I’m not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the South actually is going to rise again; maybe, for some, it never really fell. Blacks are still in shackles and graves just for being black. Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system, in front of people who see melanin as animal skin. I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag. And I didn’t know devils could be resurrected, but I feel Hitler in these streets, a mustache traded for a toupée, Nazis renamed the Cabinet, electroconversion therapy the new gas chamber, shaming the gay out of America, turning rainbows into suicide notes. I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege!

BREA BAKER: It is our honor and privilege to bring the next speaker to the stage, the one and only author and activist…


JANET MOCK: I stand here today as the daughter of a native Hawaiian woman and a black veteran from Texas. I stand here as the first person in my family to go to college. I stand here as someone who has written herself onto this stage, to unapologetically proclaim that I am a trans woman writer, activist, revolutionary of color. And I stand here today because of the work of my forebears, from Sojourner to Sylvia, from Ella to Audre, from Harriet to Marsha. I stand here today, most of all, because I am my sisters’ keeper. My sisters and siblings are being beaten and brutalized, neglected and invisibilized, extinguished and exiled. My sisters and siblings have been pushed out of hostile homes and intolerant schools. My sisters and siblings have been forced into detention facilities and prisons and deeper into poverty. And I hold these harsh truths close. They enrage me and fuel me. But I cannot survive on righteous anger alone. Today, by being here, it is my commitment to getting us free that keeps me marching. Our approach to freedom may not be identical, but it must be intersectional and inclusive.

ALYSSA KLEIN: And it is an absolute honor to introduce…

RESHMA SAUJANI: Our friend, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood!

CECILE RICHARDS: We’re here today to thank generations of organizers and troublemakers and hell raisers who formed secret sisterhoods, who opened Planned Parenthood health centers in their communities and demanded the right to control their own bodies. And today we’re here to deliver a message: We’re not going to take this lying down, and we will not go back. For the majority of people in this country, Planned Parenthood is not the problem, we’re the solution. We’ve been part of the American—the fabric of America for a hundred years. And my pledge today is: Our doors stay open! Now is the time for us to link arms together for the right of working women to earn a living wage, for the right of immigrant families to live without fear, for the right of mothers everywhere to raise families with—to raise families in safe communities with clean air and clean drinking water, including in Flint, Michigan. And we’re here for the right to live openly no matter who you are or who you love, no matter what. And you better believe, we are here to fight for reproductive rights, including access to safe and legal abortion!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington.

TAMIKA MALLORY: Today is not a concert. It is not a parade, and it is not a party. Today is an act of resistance. Now, some of you came here to protest one man. I didn’t come here for that. I came here to address those of you who say you are of good conscience. To those of you who experience a feeling of being powerless, disparaged, victimized, antagonized, threatened and abused, to those of you who for the first time felt the pain that my people have felt since they were brought here with chains shackled on our legs, today I say to you, welcome to my world. Welcome to our world. I stand here as a black woman, the descendent of slaves. My ancestors literally nursed our slave masters. Through the blood and tears of my people, we built this country. America cannot be great without me, you and all of us who are here today. Today you may be feeling aggrieved, but know that this country has been hostile to its people for a long time. For some of you, it is new. For some of us, it is not so new at all. Today I am marching for black and brown lives, for Sandra Bland, for Philando Castile, for Tamir Rice, for Aiyana Stanley-Jones, for Eric Garner, for Michael Brown, for Trayvon Martin and for those nine people who were shot at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. We have a chance, brothers and sisters, to get this thing right. We can do it, if women rise up and take this nation back!

PAOLA MENDOZA: It is my honor and my great pleasure to introduce one of my personal heroes, the immigrant rights activist, incredible, inspiring Sophie Cruz and her family.

SOPHIE CRUZ: Hi, everybody.


SOPHIE CRUZ: My name is Sophie Cruz. We are here together making a chain of love to protect our families. Let us fight with love, faith and courage, so that our families will not be destroyed. I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love and tenderness to snuggle in this path of life. Let’s keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us!

JANAYE INGRAM: I have the distinct honor and pleasure of welcoming to the stage the incomparable Angela Davis!

ANGELA DAVIS: Over the next months and years, we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice, to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white, male heteropatriarchy had better watch out. The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance—resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music. This is just the beginning. And in the words of the inimitable Ella Baker, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes. Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: We have another very, very special guest. It is our honor to introduce Janelle Monáe!

JANELLE MONÁE: Hello, future. I am so proud to stand here as a woman, an African-American woman. My grandmother was a sharecropper. She picked cotton in Aberdeen, Mississippi. My mother was a janitor. And I am a descendant of them, and I am here in their honor to help us move forward and fem the future. I just want to say—I want to remind you that it was woman that gave you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was woman that gave you Malcolm X. And according to the Bible, it was a woman that gave you Jesus. Don’t you ever forget it. And we must remind them, those who are abusing their power. That is what I am here today to march against: the abuse of power. I want to say to the LGBTQ community, my fellow brothers and sisters; to immigrants, my fellow brothers and sisters; to women: Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough. And whenever you feel in doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and ladies, introducing Madonna.

MADONNA: Welcome to the revolution of love, to the rebellion, to our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny, where not just women are in danger, but all marginalized people, where being uniquely different right now might truly be considered a crime. It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the [bleep] up. It seems—it seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort, that justice would prevail and that good would win in the end. Well, good did not win this election. But good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here, the fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and, with each step, know that we are not afraid, that we are not alone, that we will not back down, that there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.

TAMIKA MALLORY: We have a Grammy Award-winning sister in the house, my dear sister and friend, Alicia Keys!

ALICIA KEYS: Tamika! Ladies and gentlemen, are we here? Are you ready to march? Say yeah!

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that is rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that is wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise!

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Alicia Keys, speaking at the Women’s March on Washington Saturday. While the protest was one of the largest in Washington’s history, much of the conservative media focused on a single line said by Madonna during her speech: quote, “I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything,” she said. More than 500,000 people took part in the Women’s March on Washington. According to crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, the crowd was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration on Friday. This is Democracy Now!, Back in a minute.


AMY GOODMAN: Alicia Keys, singing “Girl on Fire” at the Women’s March on Washington.

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