On Saturday, January 21, Democracy Now! provided special live coverage of the Women’s March on Washington. In this historic event, huge crowds converged on the capital to deliver messages of resistance to the newly inaugurated Trump administration. The rally featured the voices of America Ferrera, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Janet Mock, Michael Moore, Van Jones, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Angela Davis, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, Maxwell and Madonna, as well as national co-chairs Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour.
Watch Democracy Now!’s special coverage of the Inauguration from Friday, January 20
AMY GOODMAN: This is a Democracy Now! special. A day after President Donald Trump is sworn in, millions of women are filling the streets of Washington and cities across the globe for an historic day of action. We’ll broadcast live from the march on Washington for the next five hours. Yes, this is Democracy Now!, democracy now.org. It’s "War, Peace and the Presidency. Welcome to Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman. We’re broadcasting live from Washington, D.C., right here at the Women’s March on Washington.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to participate in today’s march. Millions more are expected to participate in solidarity marches across the world. Organizers say at least 600 marches are planned in total, including 18 protests in Mexico, another 15 marches in Britain, including one in London where tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out. Protests have also been organized in Riyadh, in New Delhi, in Hanoi, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen, Madrid, Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Nairobi, as well as cities in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Jordan, Malawi, Nigeria and on the island nation of the Seychelles. Some of the marches have already begun. In Australia, 3,000 people marched in Sydney, while another 6,000 marched in Melbourne—many wearing pink hats dubbed "pussyhats." Thousands also marched in New Zealand.
Today’s mass mobilization comes after, on Friday, thousands of people protested in Washington, D.C., as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Early Friday morning, coordinated actions by Black Lives Matter and other groups shut down multiple checkpoints across Washington to block people from attending Trump’s inauguration. Later in the day, thousands clashed with police in riot gear. Police deployed pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades, as they chased crowds of demonstrators through Washington, D.C., streets. More than 200 people were arrested. Protesters threw bricks and rocks at police in riot gear and set fire to a limousine and then graffitied it with the words "We the people." Activists also—some activists smashed windows at a Starbucks and a Bank of America branch. Police say six officers sustained minor injuries. Overwhelmingly, though, the protests were peaceful. About 7,500 national guardsmen were also deployed to Washington, D.C., along with armored vehicles. The Huffington Post reports President Trump also wanted to deploy tanks and missile launchers to D.C. for his inaugural parade, but the idea was scrapped by the U.S. military over concerns the tanks would destroy Washington, D.C.’s streets.
More protests against President Trump’s inauguration were held across the United States and the world on Friday. In San Francisco, thousands marched on the Golden Gate Bridge, while other activists chained themselves to each other to shut down the headquarters of Uber. The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, is on Trump’s economic advisory team. In Nashville, Tennessee, protesters used chains to lock themselves to the doors of the Tennessee Capitol. Students walked out of class at colleges across the country, including at Indiana University in Bloomington, Portland State University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Southern California, the University of Minnesota and Temple University in Philadelphia. High schools also walked out of class in the Los Angeles area. Crowds of hundreds also gathered in Seattle; Atlanta; Olympia, Washington; Minneapolis; Boston and in another U.S. cities.
Protests were also held worldwide, including in Mexico, where activists burned effigies of Trump during a march and protest at the Zócalo in Mexico City. Demonstrators gathered in Berlin, Germany, holding signs reading "Mr. President, Walls Divide. Build Bridges." Hundreds more gathered in Tokyo, Japan; London; Brussels and outside the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines capital of Manila. One hundred fifty anti-Trump banners were unfurled in cities across the world Friday, reading "Migrants Welcome Here," "Queer Solidarity Smashes Borders" and other slogans.
The worldwide protests Friday [inaudible] president of the United States. Justice [Clarence Thomas issued the oath of] office to Vice President Mike Pence. Chief Justice John Roberts issued the oath of office to President Trump. But even Trump’s swearing-in was not without protest. Activists from the group CodePink disrupted Trump’s swearing-in holding signs reading "Build Bridges, Not Walls" and chanting "Not my president!" as Donald Trump was being inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.
After the swearing-in, Donald Trump gave an inaugural address in which he offered an extreme vision of the future of the United States. The Washington Post reports the address included 24 words never before uttered in any U.S. inaugural address, including the words "bleed," "stolen," "trapped," "disrepair," "sad" and "carnage."
The New York Times reports hundreds of thousands of people [inaudible] 2009, when President Obama was sworn in [inaudible] people packed the National Mall for his inauguration. Trump took the office of the presidency with a 32 percent approval rating, the lowest approval rating of any incoming president in recent U.S. history.
Within minutes after Trump’s inauguration, the official White House website was completely replaced, with nearly every reference to climate change erased from the site. The only remaining reference to climate change on the new WhiteHouse.gov website appears in the first of his six issues pages, which reads, quote, "President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan, "unquote. The Trump administration also took down the White House website’s pages on civil rights and a fact sheet on the Violence Against Women Act. The civil rights page was replaced by a page entitled "Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community, " which calls for more law enforcement, building a border wall and ending sanctuary cities. It also reads, quote, "The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it," unquote.
Less than an hour after his inauguration, President Trump signed his first presidential documents. The documents included a waiver allowing retired General James "Mad Dog" Mattis to serve as defense secretary even though he’s not been out of military for the seven years, formal nominations for Trump’s Cabinet picks and a proclamation for a new National Day of Patriotism. Hours later, President Trump signed an executive order making the prompt repeal of the Affordable Care Act his administration’s top official priority. He also signed legislation to freeze the implementation of new regulations passed by President Obama in recent weeks.
And on Friday, the Senate confirmed the first two Trump Cabinet members: retired General James Mattis as defense secretary and retired General John Kelly as secretary of homeland security. The confirmation of the rest of Trump’s Cabinet has been delayed because of—many of the nominees failed to submit the required ethics and financial disclosure forms to Congress in time for them to be reviewed by the Office of Government Ethics ahead of the scheduled hearings. The confirmation process has also been slow because Trump’s Cabinet is the richest in U.S. history, consisting largely of white, male millionaires and billionaires whose array of national ties pose unprecedented potential conflicts of interest.
And those are some of the headlines on this day, this special day of the Women’s March on Washington. This is a Democracy Now! special. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. We can’t tell how many people are here. And the special program is just beginning from the stage. Nermeen, this is quite astounding.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: It’s really amazing. For as long, as far as we can see, people are still flooding in to the march, and the stage has just started broadcasting what will be a day of music performances and speeches. And we’ll be here, Amy, to broadcast the entire event.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s right, Nermeen. You know, we’ve been looking at the signs. The signs are astounding. You have "Women are the Wall, and Trump Will Pay." And then there was another woman holding a sign, "Love is Love, Black Lives Matter, Climate Change is Real, Immigrants Make America Great, and Women’s Rights are Human Rights"—all of those issues on one sign, which might have disturbed some of the CNN commentators we were watching yesterday, one of them saying that, you know, these people who come to protest, they don’t even have a clear agenda. This reminded me of the criticisms of Occupy, you know, talking about war and peace, the environment, gay rights, women’s rights, reproductive rights, issues of the death penalty and others. Some see that as a criticism of these movements, but so many others see this as their strength, that they are feeling all of their rights being threatened, and so they’re speaking out as a mass movement on all of these issues.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Yeah, there’s another that I saw, which was precisely this, talking about many of the issues that people are concerned about in a Trump administration. It says, "Don’t Normalize Hate," and then, using the term "alt-right," which is, of course, associated with Trump’s chief adviser, Steve Bannon, the extreme white supremacist movement, "alt-right"—A for anti-women, L for loathsome, T for treacherousness, R for racist, I for ignorant, G for greedy, H for hateful and T for threatening. So, I think we’re seeing, Amy, a very, very large number of people here precisely because there are so many rights that now appear under threat because of Trump’s inauguration and his presidency.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, I just got word that we can go to the stage. We’re going to do that right now. We’re going to give it a try. Again, we are a little ways down from the stage. You can’t move an inch here. You’ve got hundreds of thousands, at latest report, here, and so many buses coming. Let’s hear what they’re—
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Yes.
AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
AMY GOODMAN: People are chanting "Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!"
CHARLIE BROTMAN: They deserve all the applause you can give them.
AMY GOODMAN: OK, I’ll introduce.
CHARLIE BROTMAN: Lots of good things are on the way. Stick around.
AMERICA FERRERA: Good morning! My name is America Ferrera. And I am deeply honored to march with you today as the chair of the artists’ table, as a woman and as a proud first-generation American born to Honduran immigrants.
It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant this country. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. His Cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay!
We march today for our families and our neighbors, for our future, for the causes we claim and for the causes that claim us. We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war. He would like us to forget the words "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free," and instead take up a credo of hate, fear and suspicion of one another. But we are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say, Mr. Trump, we refuse. We reject the dehumanization of our Muslim mothers and sisters. We demand an end to the systemic murder and incarceration of our black brothers and sisters. We will not give up our right to safe and legal abortions. We will not ask our LGBTQ families to go backwards.
We will not go from being a nation of immigrants to a nation of ignorance. We won’t build walls, and we won’t see the worst in each other. And we will not turn our backs on the more than 750,000 young immigrants in this country currently protected by DACA. They are hard-working, upstanding, courageous individuals who refuse to live in the shadow of fear and isolation. They bravely took to the streets to declare themselves and to provide a voice and hope for their community. Today, we march with and for them.
Together, we, all of us, will fight, resist and oppose every single action that threatens the lives and dignity of any and all of our communities. Marchers, make no mistake: We are, every single one of us, under attack. Our safety and freedoms are on the chopping block. And we are the only ones who can protect one another. If we do not stand together, march together, fight together for the next four years, then we will lose together. Our opposition knows how to stick together. They are united in their agenda to hold this country back and to thwart progress. It is in their slogan. So we, too, must stand united. If we, the millions of Americans who believe in common decency, in a greater good, in justice for all, if we fall into the trap of separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight, and we will lose. But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance at saving the soul of our country.
So let’s march together. And at this point, we want everyone to take out your cellphone and text "women" to 40649. Sign up with us so that we can continue to work together. This is only day one in our united movement. So take out your phone and text "women" to 40649. Let’s march.
[Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely perform "Freedom"]
ANNOUNCER: Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely!
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER: Hello, marchers! I’m Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, and I’m the executive director of MomsRising. My 101-year-old grandma fought for women’s rights with the same tough determination that led her to take driving lessons for her 95th birthday—18-wheeler truck driving lessons—in kitten heels. My great-grandma and my mom fought for women’s rights, too, and my son and daughter fight today. Our nation is generations into this fight for equality, and we are absolutely, positively not giving up today.
Now, who out there is a mom? Raise your hand. Now, who out there has ever had a mom at any point in your life? Raise your hand. This is our movement. Feel the power. We’re black mothers, Latino, white, Asian, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and we’re mothers of all immigration statuses. We are moms who are differently abled, trans and gender-nonconforming. And sometimes we’re all these moms in one. Together, we are an inspiring, spectacular, fierce force for change. Together, we are powerful.
Together, too, we face obstacles. For instance, facts, real facts—real facts still exist—show that women make 80 cents to a man’s dollar. Moms earn only 71 cents to a man’s dollar. And moms of color earn as low as 46 cents to a man’s dollar. Our country often claims to worship mothers. We’ve all heard it. But in truth, moms face a lifetime of economic risk, and 82 percent of women become moms.
But together, together, we have the power to change all of this. By raising our voices, by sharing our truths, by amplifying each other, we can change our nation for the better. So, together, we rise. We rise, too, against bullies, and we teach our children not to bully and that bullying is not leadership. We are the leaders our nation needs right now. We are leading the way to move forward policy that lifts our nation, policy like healthcare, fair pay, child care, paid family leave, criminal justice reform, gun safety and police reform, food justice, fair treatment for all families, including immigrant families.
We will not stop fighting until we win. We stand. We rise. We march for each other. The unfair treatment of any single one of us hurts all of us. Silence—silence is not an option. Our freedoms are intertwined. We rise knowing that democracy and justice aren’t about one day, one person, one Oval Office or one election. We stay engaged in the easy times, and we double down in the hard. Who here is ready to double down?
When I say a word, you say "rising." Women!
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER: Moms!
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER: Community!
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER: America!
KRISTIN ROWE-FINKBEINER: We are all rising together. The over million members of MomsRising rise with you. We invite you take action with us at www.MomsRising now, because we know, together, we are the fierce, determined and inclusive leaders our nation needs. Generations of work brought us here today, but that challenges we face are unprecedented. We will not be bullied! We will not be silenced! We will rise together! I believe in us. Thank you.
EVIE HARMON: Hey, y’all! How you doing?
BREANNE BUTLER: Hi! What’s up?
EVIE HARMON: My name is Evie Harmon, and I’m a co-founder and global coordinator for the Women’s March on Washington.
BREANNE BUTLER: And my name’s Breanne Butler, and I’m also a co-founder and one of the global coordinators for the Women’s March on Washington. It is our utmost honor to introduce to you the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rhea Suh.
EVIE HARMON: Whoo!
RHEA SUH: Whoo! Look at this! Look at us! This is America. We are America. My sisters, my friends, it is such an incredible sight, such an inspiration, to see so many of us standing here today in solidarity. Each one of you is an individual that made a powerful decision, a choice, to be here today. You took time out of your busy schedules, piled on buses and trains, slept on floors and paid your own way, because you believe in the fundamental principle that we matter. Women matter. And we will not be shy about standing up to what matters to us.
And here’s what matters to me, that my daughter inherits a world where a healthy environment is a basic right for all of us—for all of us—no matter where we live, what we look like, how much money we make or how we vote; a world where the rights of communities and tribal nations are held first, not last, and polluters come second; a world where we don’t have to worry about a mosquito bite when we’re pregnant or that our children will come down with asthma because of dirty air; world where young people rise up to tackle the greatest single threat to your generation—climate change. That is the world that we are marching for today, because right now we are facing a government that is putting polluters first and the rest of us at risk.
Just look at Flint, an entire town poisoned by a governor who took a page out of the Trump playbook, poisoned by a government looking to cut corners, poisoned by leaders who value their bottom line more than the health of their citizens, poisoned by officials who still haven’t owned up to the damage they have done. Can you even imagine—can you even imagine bathing your children in brown water, or the knowledge that the glass of water you gave your daughter has now made her sick? What is happening in Flint is a national tragedy. And make no mistake: If this new Congress and this new administration get their way, we could see thousands of more communities suffer the same fate, because, look, that’s what anti-government, anti-environmental, anti-science, anti-regulation, pro-polluter rhetoric boils down to. It’s real families, real children suffering real consequences.
Now, look, it may not seem like we, as individuals can do much in the face of these threats to our health, our country, our planet. But we are not helpless. We are still a democracy. And we should never forget that our country was created by individuals who stood up for what they believed in. That’s what happened nearly 50 years ago, when our rivers were catching on fire and our cities were drenched in smog. Americans poured out onto the street to demand that our government ensure that we had clean air, clean water and healthy communities. Those Earth Day marches led to a generation’s worth of environmental progress that has improved and literally saved the lives of millions. It is proof that people engaging in our democracy can lead to real change.
Just look at today. It was one woman in Hawaii who suggested that women should march during the inauguration. And look. Look at us now, 500,000 people strong! One woman turns into one march turns into an entire movement. That, that is a powerful thing. And it means as strong and as tough as this administration thinks it is, we will always be stronger. And even if it doesn’t feel that way, this president works for us. So let’s prove—let’s prove that our natural world belongs to no single individual, that clean water has no political party, that no corporation owns clean air. And let’s never forget that one person, one rally, one march, one movement can make all the difference in the world. Thank you all so much.
VANESSA WRUBLE: Hi, everyone! My name is Vanessa Wruble. I’m one of the co-founders of the Women’s March on Washington and head of campaign operations. Whoo! It’s a lot up here. There’s a sea of women in front of me and a sea of women in back of me and a sea of women on all sides. It just goes to show we are our own best hope. We can only move forward together. This is my partner.
GINNY SUSS: I’m Ginny Suss, producer for the Women’s March on Washington. And I’d like to introduce my hero, feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
GLORIA STEINEM: You look great! I wish you could see yourselves. It’s like an ocean. OK. I need to be short, OK? Dear friends, sisters and brothers, all of you who are before me today and in 370 marches in every state in this country and on six continents, and those who will be communing with us at 1:00 p.m., in 1@1, in a silent minute for equality in offices, in kitchens, in factories, in prisons, all over the world. I thank each of you, and I especially want to thank the hard-working visionary organizers of this women-led, inclusive march, one of whom managed to give birth while she was organizing this march. Who else can say that? Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are. Sometimes pressing send is not enough. And this also unifies us with the many in this world who do not have computers or electricity or literacy, but do have the same hopes and the same dreams.
I think—I think that because I and my beloved co-chairs—the golden oldies, right?—Harry Belafonte, Dolores Huerta, LaDonna Harris—all these great people—we may be the oldest marchers here today. So, I’ve been thinking about the uses of a long life, and one of them is that you remember when things were worse. We remember the death of the future with Martin Luther King, with Jack Kennedy, with Bobby Kennedy, with Malcolm X. Without those deaths, for instance, Nixon would not have been elected, and there would not have been many of the wars we have had.
Now, our great leaders, like Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, are still with us. And remember how much we feared they might not be and how much threat there was, in fact, on their lives. And they are with us. And now our honored Bernie Sanders is still with us, and not only with us, but he’s focusing on economic justice and achieving free universal college education in my state of New York. Right?
And now Hillary Clinton is alive—and definitely not in jail—she, who told the whole world that women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights, so crucial when, collectively, violence against females in the world has produced a world in which for the first time there are fewer females than males.
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 criticisms, 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.
We are the people. Just this march in Washington today required a thousand more buses than the entire inauguration, a thousand more buses. And I was just talking with people from our many sister marches, including the one in Berlin, and they asked me to send a special message: "We in Berlin know that walls don’t work."
And remember Poland, where last month the government passed an anti-abortion law, and 6 million women turned out in the streets, and they had to change it. We are the people. We have people power, and we will use it. You tried—all the power that you tried to eliminate. For instance, you tried to eliminate the congressional ethics committee. You had to reinstate it, right? Because of people power. Because this, this is the upside of the downside. This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life.
It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity, and, remember, the Constitution does not begin with "I the president," it begins with "We the people."
AUDIENCE: We the people!
GLORIA STEINEM: So don’t try to divide us. Do not try to divide us. If you force Muslims to register, we will all register as Muslims.
I know that there are women here from corporations and media and all kinds of places that make it kind of risky for you to say what you care about, what you feel and what you support. And there are women here, I know, who have survived a national and global sex industry that profiteers from body invasion. We are united here for bodily integrity. If you cannot control your body from the skin in, you cannot control it from the skin out. You cannot control your lives, our lives. And that means the right to decide whether and when to give birth without government interference.
We are here and around the world for a deep democracy that says we will not be quiet, we will not be controlled. We will work for a world in which all countries are connected. God may be in the details, but the goddess is in connections. We are at one with each other. We are looking at each other, not up. No more asking daddy. We are linked, we are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever, because we are together. Each of us, individually and collectively, will never be the same again.
We—when we elect a possible president, we too often go home. We’ve elected an impossible president. We’re never going home. We’re staying together. And we’re taking over. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Make sure you introduce yourselves to each other and decide what we’re going to do tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and we’re never turning back. Thank you.
TERESA SHOOK: Hi. I’m Teresa Shook. I’m the one whose Facebook event went viral. Thank you all for making it happen. Thank you all for being here. And we can’t give up. And we have to keep fighting. And I want to give a shout out to my state of Hawaii, the state of aloha and diversity, and to my family, to my granddaughters, who inspired me to do this so that they can grow up and have opportunities available to them, equal to everyone else. For all women! And equal rights for all people. Thank you to everybody who’s here who made this possible.
BOB BLAND: Hi, everyone. My name is Bob Bland, and I’m the co-founder and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington. I’m up here on the podium with my daughter today, Chloe, who’s only—and the reason why is because the birth of this march also coincided with the birth of my daughter. And I want my daughter and my other daughter Penny, who’s six years old, to know that women, when we come together collectively, we can transform the world.
We are breaking down the walls between each other today and standing united in solidarity for our rights and for the rights of the most marginalized among us. Out of this grassroots movement, we have over 600 sister marches worldwide and 3 million people around the globe marching with us today. In a phone call early on with our state and national organizers, elder Bernice King told us that the Women’s March is a pivotal opportunity for us to be at the forefront of healing, birthing and elevating the consciousness of this nation.
Together, we will show a new face of America, a spectrum of color, consciousness and inclusion like never before. Yeah. When we march to the White House in a few hours, it won’t be the end. This is just the beginning of a movement we are co-creating together, with women at the center of it.
And I want you to know, standing up here today, that any of you can be an activist. Any of you can be an organizer, because before this march began, I had never done anything like this. So, you can do it, too! I beg you to go back to your local communities, to partner up with people that you’ve never talked to before, to have conversations here today that you would have never experienced otherwise, and for that to galvanize you over the next 18 months and the next four years.
The first hundred days of this administration are a critical time for our voices to be heard. So, I want you to start with one simple first step. We want you to write a postcard to your elected officials and community leaders at the federal, state and local level about what matters to you most and how you’re going to continue to fight in the days, weeks and months to come. There will be volunteers handing out postcards at the finish line of this march, and we’ll have them available for anyone to print online. Our lives, bodies and freedoms are at stake. And so are the safety and vitality of our communities. Our elected officials need to hear about it from you. This is just the first of 10 actions we’re going to take collectively in the first hundred days of this administration.
Tomorrow isn’t about hanging up your marching boots. It’s time to get your friends, family and community together and make history. Join us in sending a powerful message to this new administration at WomensMarch.com/100 and never stop fighting for justice.
[Climbing PoeTree performing "Love Will Triumph"]
MEMBER OF CLIMBING POETREE: Love is the strongest force in the universe. Keep shining, y’all!
ANNOUNCER: Climbing PoeTree, people! Climbing PoeTree!
[End of Hour 1]
MELANIE CAMPBELL: I’m Melanie Campbell, Black Women’s Roundtable. How you doing? Why we march. We march to declare we are ready for the fight. We, the Black Women’s Roundtable, Black Youth Vote, National Action Network and all of our sisters in the movement stand in solidarity with all of you, 300,000 strong! And we are here to declare: We are America! We will stay woke! And we will not be moved!
We march in memory of our sister ancestors, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, Dr. C. Delores Tucker, Shirley Chisholm, Willie Barrow, Evelyn Lowery, Amelia Boynton, Fannie Lou Hamer and Sojourner Truth. We march in memory of my mother, Janet Campbell, who was a retired public school teacher in Mims, Florida, and all our mothers and fathers to protect our neighborhood, quality public schools across our nation.
We march for black women who voted 94 percent for Hillary Clinton, who, by the way, won 3 million votes over her opponent. And they say she lost the Electoral College. We march—and I need your help on this one, my sisters and my brother—we march even for the 53 percent of white women who voted for that other guy, to reflect and join us, all of us, moving forward to break that glass ceiling to elect the first woman president of the United States of America and appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court in our lifetime.
Why we march, we march to protect Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security for our seniors, Medicaid for people living in poverty. And we march for the human right to control our own bodies. We march for the human right to just live. We march for living wages, paid sick days and paid family leave. We march to protect black colleges and black businesses, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant and disability rights. And we march for freedom of religion! And freedom of the press!
We march to send a message to the White House, Congress, state and local politicians, that we are united, and we will not be moved. So, before they cut the mic off on me, I want you to do this with—repeat after me: We march for women’s rights!
AUDIENCE: We march for women’s rights!
MELANIE CAMPBELL: We march for human rights!
AUDIENCE: We march for human rights!
MELANIE CAMPBELL: We are ready for the fight!
AUDIENCE: We are ready for the fight!
MELANIE CAMPBELL: We march for the least of these God’s children!
AUDIENCE: We march for the least of God’s children!
MELANIE CAMPBELL: And we march ’cause love trumps...
MELANIE CAMPBELL: Thank you, march organizers, my sisters and my brothers. Peace and power.
ROSLYN BROCK: Good morning!
AUDIENCE: Good morning!
ROSLYN BROCK: I’m Roslyn Brock, and I chair the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, an organization whose principal founder was a white woman named Mary White Ovington. The NAACP stands with you today in solidarity, as a nonpartisan organization of over half a million members across the length and breadth of this nation, in 50 states, Germany and Japan, to declare that women’s rights are human rights. We send a message to our new government that we will not stop until women enjoy equal status. Throughout the history of this nation, women have worked to achieve full civil rights and have served as a conscience of this nation.
In 2008, 2012 and 2016, black women exercised the right to vote larger than any other group in this nation. However, despite our best efforts, we learned a hard lesson in this last presidential election. Elections have deep and lasting consequences, especially for those who do not vote. The silence in America has been deafening for black women and our families, who also feel forgotten and locked out of a prosperous society. For centuries, we have been overlooked and most oftentimes left behind, even in the movement to advance women’s rights. And so, I call upon you, my sisters, in the words of my ancestral shero, Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a woman?
As authentic change agents for transformation, we must stand united to oppose the president’s nominees for U.S. attorney general, secretaries of education, health and human services, and labor. We must also fight to ensure that the rights gained by women, minorities, the LGBTQ community and immigrants are not destroyed by an administration that seems bound and determined to take this nation back to a place where we are a house divided against ourselves.
And so, my sisters, I ask you today, as we face the rising sun of a new day begun, let us boldly declare to this administration and to this nation that we will organize, we will fight, and we will march on ’til victory is won, because courage will not skip this generation. Courage will not skip this generation! Courage will not skip this generation! Peace and power!
J. BOB ALOTTA: I just got handed a public service announcement. If everyone will take out their phone and text "women" to 40649. That’s "women" to 40649. I did this before I got on stage, it took 10 seconds. If you take a moment and text "women" to 40649, give us your name, email, and we can be in touch about the important next steps and how you can help. Once you’re done sending your email, raise your phone, so your neighbors know that you’ve pledged to be a part of this cause.
And now let me tell you who I am. I’m not just your commercial break. My name is J. Bob Alotta. I am the executive director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. And for 40 years, Astraea has been on the front lines supporting LGBTQI activism in the United States and around the world. But I am not here to talk to you about 40 years. I’m here to talk to you about today, right now. We may be here because of someone or something we did not choose, but today we did choose to show up, to stand up, to march, to gather together. That is what this time is about: what we are going to choose.
Because in a week from now, a month from now, four years from now, we will have been inundated by messaging, not just tweets, but a barrage of policy and public sentiment, images and articles, subtle and overt shifts. And our values and our choices will be tested. We will have to make choices every single day. In the days, weeks, months and years to come, we will need to become our own collective moral compasses. We will need to become our own North Star.
So, when you look around here all day long and you are moved by the beauty and diversity and passion of all the folks around you, remember this: We chose to come together today in all of our power. We do not and we will not choose one neighbor over another. We do not and we will not choose to deny our queerness, our lesbian, gay or trans selves in order to be in a march for women or a country for everyone. We do not and we will not deny the beauty and power and joy in our blackness and brownness, as if it will make us safer or any more sane in a country that has proven otherwise over and over again.
We will not hide behind our whiteness because of the vestiges of privilege that to this day services a system meant to succeed the will and line the pockets of a few men who would have us all believe there is superiority in our shade, just to keep us from knowing the power of truly being in righteous community and shared humanity.
We will not choose any one person’s notion of God to define every single one of our divine possibilities, and surely not our secular and public rules of law. We will not choose some of our rights over all of our rights, because we choose to know better, to do better, to be better and to love better.
Now, let me talk to you about love. I might be wonderful, but I know I got chosen to be up here as the resident homosexual, or one of them, anyway. So, what do you need with a big old queer like me? I think it is to talk about radical love, to stand here on this stage right now and proclaim my commitment to love in the most radically honest way possible, for us all right now to commit to doing so.
So, let me queer our collective notion of love right now, so that every one of us will step past the easy, the scripted, the societally sanctioned, the familiar, the safe notions of love, and let us choose the pathway to not only the greatest possibility, but the greatest reward. We are not a fluke. This is not a singular phenomenon. We are fantastic and fabulous. And this is only the beginning. No, this is not an one-off. This is an uprising. This is an uprising of love. Say it: We are an uprising of love!
AUDIENCE: We are an uprising of love!
J. BOB ALOTTA: We are an uprising of love! We are an uprising of love! Choose it every day.
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: Hello, Women’s March on Washington! My name is Muriel Bowser, and I am the mayor of Washington, D.C.! I want to welcome you all to your nation’s capital and the best city in the world! And soon to be the 51st state!
I wanted to be here to let you know that Washington, D.C., has a chick mayor. And I’m here to speak for all the women elected officials. The women will tell you that we are more harshly criticized. We are more frequently criticized. And we are more wrongly criticized at every single level, be it the school board, the statehouse or a candidate for the president of the United States. And when women are more harshly, more frequently and more wrongly criticized when we speak up for women and neighborhoods and families and public education, we need every woman and every man to speak up for us, too.
In Washington, D.C., we’re a little unique. We’re a city, a county and a state. We are 680,000 people strong. Yet we don’t have a single vote in that Capitol building. And that injustice must end. Already an emboldened Congress continues to threaten the rights of women. Year to year, they tell us we can’t use our own money to support low-income women and their healthcare. And now they want to make it permanent. You tell them to leave us alone. Leave us alone! Leave us alone!
AUDIENCE: Leave us alone! Leave us alone!
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: So we know this Women’s March on Washington, when the president needed help with that Congress, he counted on mayors. And mayors have to stand up for immigration rights, for reproductive rights, for LGBTQ rights. We have to stand up to fight climate change from the mayor’s office. And we have to stand up for public education, because that’s what our kids need. So, let me just say this, ’cause this is what we tell the Congress, and this is what you should tell them from your states: The best thing the federal government can do for us is leave us alone!
AUDIENCE: Leave us alone! Leave us alone! Leave us alone!
AMANDA NGUYEN: We today, of every color, creed and belief, are gathered here in a demonstration of the American story. Today, you might feel scared. And I know what it feels like to be scared. My name is Amanda Nguyen, and I am a rape survivor. And I remember, after my rape, I felt despair. But I also felt fire. So when I met a broken criminal justice system, like so many survivors who find out that their untested rape kits can be destroyed, I rewrote the law.
Together with a team called Rise, we organized, and we did the impossible. We passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights unanimously through Congress! I wrote it as a matter of survival. And if that bill could speak, it would scream. It would sing from the pages. It would light itself on fire. And it represents the endless pursuit of a more perfect union. That is what I did with my fire. What will you do with yours?
You may not feel powerful right now. But here’s what I learned. In America, no one is powerless when we come together. No one can make us feel invisible when we demand to be seen. To any survivor and ally listening, you are not alone. Wherever you are from and whatever brings you here today, do not lose hope. Don’t just march. Go home and join the movement at RiseNow.us. That’s RiseNow.us. State by state, we need you. Our presence here is the promise of America. And we are planting seeds to trees we may never sit under. But today, a million heartbeats are marching together. Our souls are on fire. Keep that fire ablaze! Remember your power. We, who have fire in our bones, we unbreakable, unconquerable souls, rise. Let me hear you say it. Rise!
AMANDA NGUYEN: Rise!
AMANDA NGUYEN: Rise!
AMANDA NGUYEN: Rise up!
AUDIENCE: Rise up!
AMANDA NGUYEN: Thank you.
ANNOUNCER: I have to make an announcement. Please pay attention just for one second. Kate Stroud from Charlotte, North Carolina, who is blind, has been separated from the people that she came with. She’s in all black. She has a pink hat, a pink backpack, a pink cane. If you came with Kate Stroud, she is on stage right. Come to the back of the stage. Again, Kate Stroud, to the back of the stage. We have her. She’s safe. We just want to reunite her. Thank you.
MICHAEL MOORE: Hello! Unbelievable! Look at this. I can’t even see the end of the crowd We’re going to have a million people here today. I can’t—look at this. My name is Michael Moore. OK! We got through day one! We’re in day two now of the Trump tragedy. Who wants to be in my next movie here? So, I woke up this morning, picked up The Washington Post, and the headline read "Trump takes power." I don’t think so! Here’s the power! Here’s the majority of America, right here! We are the majority!
"New president vows to end American carnage." Mr. Trump, we are here to vow to end the Trump carnage. I’ll pick that up later. Recycle. A reporter asked me on the way up the stairs here, "What do you hope to accomplish with this demonstration?" I said, "Well, I would say, if you just look that way, we’ve already accomplished it." The majority of Americans did not want Donald J. Trump in the White House. And we are here today as their representatives.
OK. I don’t want to—I don’t want to give the standard demonstration speech. You’ve got a lot of great speakers here today. Oh, my god, I got to listen to Gloria Steinem. How cool was that? I would like to give you a to-do list of what we all can do, starting immediately. Real things that we can do. Are you with me on this?
MICHAEL MOORE: I’m going to go through them very quickly. Take notes if you want, but I’ll post them on my Facebook and Twitter, and you can follow it there. But we have to get busy, folks. We’ve got our work cut out for us.
Number one, this is what I want you to do. I want to make this part of your new daily routine. I want you to call Congress every single day, every day. Each of you have one representative in the House and two senators. They have a phone number. I’m going to give you that number right now. Are you ready? It’s easy to remember. (202) 225-3121. Can you repeat that with me? Ready? 202!
MICHAEL MOORE: 225!
MICHAEL MOORE: 3121!
MICHAEL MOORE: Now you do it. Go!
AUDIENCE: (202) 225-3121.
MICHAEL MOORE: What are we going to do with that number?
AUDIENCE: Call them!
MICHAEL MOORE: When are we going to call them?
AUDIENCE: Every day!
MICHAEL MOORE: Every day, that’s right. Every day. It’s so easy, my friends. If you’re watching this at home, there’s a human being that answers the phone. They pick it up. Even if you don’t know who your member of Congress is, just give them your ZIP code. They’ll connect you to the office. It’s that easy. It’ll take two minutes. Each day, I and others are going to be posting things for you to call Congress to do.
On Monday, call them and tell your senators—and you can get them at the same number—"We do not accept Betsy DeVos as our secretary of education."
Get some water? (202) 225-3121. I will post—this is my commitment to you. Every day, I will post something on Facebook or Twitter. Other groups are doing the same thing. ActionGroups.net, go to them. 100DaysOfResistance.org, go to them. Indivisible, go to them. Lots of groups are doing this. Follow them and call. Call your member of Congress, call the two senators. And you know what? That’s only three. There’s five days. On the two other days, call your state representative, and your state senator on the other day.
I’m telling you, these calls work. When they tried to get rid of the government—the congressional office of ethics two weeks ago, we got online, and the switchboard was jammed and overloaded. We shut it down with phone calls. Two hours later, they pulled back from closing the office of government and congressional ethics. That’s how powerful you are. Make it part of your daily routine. What are you going to do? Wake up, number one. Number two, brush your teeth. Number three, make the coffee. Number four, walk the dog. If you have a cat, just stare at it. Number five, what are you going to do?
MICHAEL MOORE: Call Congress! Make it part of your day. Don’t even think about it. Part of your—every one of us are doing it every day. They won’t know what hit them.
Number two, the second thing I’m going to ask you to do: Join. Join, join, join. Join groups. Join Planned Parenthood. Join the ACLU. Join NARAL. Join a group. I was thinking this morning while I was writing this up, I’ve supported Planned Parenthood forever. I contribute to them. I’ve done fundraisers for them. But I realized, I’ve never joined. So this morning, I joined Planned Parenthood! Who amongst you will join Planned Parenthood? ACLU! NARAL! The environmental groups! Join every group! Let’s make these groups huge! Huuuuuuuge! Bernie! Huuuuuuuuuge!
Number three, number three, you need to form your own personal rapid response team. All it takes is five to 10 family members and friends—the people that you’re going to call or text or send an email to on any given day where we have to move fast. Everybody here, who will form a rapid response team? Five to 10 people? Earlier—there’s a group here. There’s a rapid response team here, from Asheville, North Carolina, nine of them. Where are you? The Asheville Nine. They’ve got their own name. The Asheville Nine. And I said to them, "How many of you have been to a demonstration before in D.C.?" Eight! Eight of the nine had never been to a protest before in Washington, D.C.! Eight of the nine are new, for the first time! How many here are here for the first time in D.C.? Look at this! At a protest! Look at this! Wow!
Number five, we have to take over the Democratic Party. God bless the Democrats who have fought with us, who have done so many good things. It’s no knock on them. But if you’re coaching the women’s basketball team—twice in 16 years, my friends, we’ve won and then lost. We’ve let this happen twice now in 16 years, where we win the White House, but they walk through the door. Are you going to let this happen again in your lifetime?
MICHAEL MOORE: I’m not. I’m sorry, but the old guard of the Democratic Party has to go. It has to go. We need new leadership. We need young leadership. We need women leadership. We need people of color. We need gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender. I support Keith Ellison as the new DNC chair. He is a great organizer and our only Muslim member of Congress.
Number six, to you from the blue states and the blue cities, don’t feel alone. You have a job to do. We’re going to look to you over these next, let’s just say, months. I was—I heard on the radio this morning that Las Vegas has already placed odds on how long Trump is going to last in office. They only give him 4-to-1 odds to last only six months. That’s pretty good.
You have to form regions of resistance. What that means is this. Let me—for the young people, let me give you a little history lesson. Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in this country in 1973, did not happen in a vacuum. It did not happen by itself. It happened because our two largest states, in 1970, three years earlier, made abortion legal: New York and California. Because abortion was legal in those two large states for three years, they helped to create the new normal, the new normal being a woman has the right to control her internal organs and what goes on in there. It’s not the job of the government.
So, New York, you have a job to do right now. California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, actually all of New England, the entire West Coast, you’re a region of resistance. Virginia, you’re a region of resistance. In Virginia—this is how we take back the South: We start in Virginia. Form your region of resistance.
And what you have to do in these states, you have to create laws that show the rest of the country what it looks like to have healthcare for all, what it looks like to not have mass incarceration, what it looks like to pass laws that prohibit discrimination in employment for gays and lesbians and others. Show the rest of America how it works.
If you’re a city in a red state, if you live in Detroit—God, that’s painful to say, that Michigan is a red state. But you live in a blue city in Michigan, you live in Traverse City, Michigan, a little town—Bernie got 70 percent of the vote in that little town. Form your region of resistance there. Say to the people in power, "You are not going to come to my city and take my Mexican brothers and sisters away. I will stand in front of you, nonviolently and peacefully."
The other night, I asked 30,000 people in New York City who will join me to block the George Washington Bridge, the Holland Tunnel and the Lincoln Tunnel, if the federal government comes to take our Mexican brothers and sisters away. Thirty thousand people said, "I will do it!" You have to be willing to put yourself on the line. It’s that important.
The next thing on the to-do list: You have to run for office! You! Yes, you! Now, I can—I can see your faces. "No. No, Mike. Not me! I’m shy." This is not the time for shy people. Shy people, you have two hours to get over it. If you knew me—seriously, if you knew me personally, you have no idea how shy and what an introvert I am. I know it doesn’t make any sense to be saying that, but if you knew me—anybody know me back there? How true is this?
When I was 18 years old, I was a senior in high school. And I couldn’t stand the principal or the assistant principal and their backward ways. I decided to run for school board. I was only 18. I called up the city clerk. I said, "What do I got to do to run for school board?" He said, "Well, you need to get names on a petition." "Oh. Um, uh, hum, how many names do I need on the petition to run?" "Twenty." "Twenty? To run for school board?" "Twenty." I’m like, "I know 20 stoners who will sign anything!" I got the 20 signatures. I ran. I won. I became the first 18-year-old in the state of Michigan to win public office. I did this. I’m shy. I only went on two dates in high school. I did this. You can do this.
Who’s going to run for office? Run for city council. Run for school board. Hey, OK, OK, OK. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Shy people, there is an office for you: precinct delegate. Run for precinct delegate. You only have to go to the county convention once a year. Who’s going to run for precinct delegate? All right.
Next on the to-do list, when we take over the DNC—oh, oh, my gosh.
ASHLEY JUDD: Michael!
*MICHAEL MOORE:" Ashley!
*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.
MICHAEL MOORE: Wow!
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! I’m not as nasty as using little girls like Pokémon before their bodies have even developed. I am not as nasty as your own daughter being your favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes. But yeah, I’m a nasty woman, a loud, vulgar, proud woman.
I’m not nasty like the combo of Trump and Pence being served up to me in my voting booth. I’m nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought to get me into that voting booth. I’m nasty like the fight for wage equality. Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned last year? See, even when we do go into higher-paying jobs, our wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone. Why is the work of a black woman and a Hispanic woman worth only 63 and 54 cents of a white man’s privileged daughter? This is not a feminist myth. This is inequality.
So we are not here to be debunked. We are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty! I’m nasty, like my bloodstains on my bed sheets. We don’t actually choose if and when to have our periods. Believe me, if we could, some of us would. We don’t like throwing away our favorite pairs of underpants. Tell me, why are pads and Tampax still taxed? Ooh, that was a brand name. Why are tampons and pads still taxed, when Viagra and Rogaine are not? Is your erection really more than protecting the sacred messy part of my womanhood? Is the bloodstain on my jeans more embarrassing than the thinning of your hair?
I know it is hard to look at your own entitlement and privilege. You may be afraid of the truth. I am unafraid to be honest. It may sound petty bringing up a few extra cents. It adds up to the pile of change I have yet to see in my country. I can’t see. My eyes are too busy praying to my feet, hoping you don’t mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact. Half my life, I have been zipping up my smile, hoping you don’t think I want to unzip your jeans.
I am unafraid to be nasty, because I am nasty like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria, Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle, Hillary. And our pussies ain’t for grabbin’. They’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be. Our pussies are for our pleasure. They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women.
So if you a nasty woman or you love one who is, let me hear you say "Hell, yeah!"
AUDIENCE: Hell, yeah!
ASHLEY JUDD: Hell, yeah!
AUDIENCE: Hell, yeah!
ASHLEY JUDD: Hell, yeah!
AUDIENCE: Hell yeah!
ASHLEY JUDD: I love you! Thank you!
ZAHRA BILLOO: I am an American Muslim woman, a daughter of immigrants, a person of color, a community organizer and a civil rights lawyer. I, like you, am proud to work to be among Donald Trump’s worst nightmares. My name is Zahra Billoo, and I speak to you on behalf of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, the nation’s largest American Muslim civil rights organization.
Today, I march for every person who has made sacrifices and supported me in a country where many like us are targeted. We stand tall because we stand on the shoulders of giants: our mothers and grandmothers, who started this fight long before today. We march so that women younger than us can grow up into a better world. We are unafraid and will not be silenced.
I, and American Muslims like me, are committed to putting our faith into action. We live and breathe the understanding that justice cannot be for just us, that our liberation is interconnected, that we cannot be free at each other’s expense or if any of us remains targeted. When Muslims are harassed by the FBI, when our LGBTQ friends are attacked in hate crimes, when our black brothers and sisters are gunned down by police officers, when what is left of Native land continues to be stolen and when undocumented individuals among us are targeted, my heart hurts. We all hurt. But we are also fired up.
Our America—our America—includes all of us in our beautiful diversity. Our America requires that we march to protect each other. Our America needs us to build a better future. We have our work cut out for us, but we are ready. This is the time to roll up our sleeves, to be courageous and to be radical. Leave here prepared to put in work. Meet your Muslim neighbors. Videotape police officers. Interrupt racism. Hold the media accountable. And make your public officials hear you.
Commit to taking action every single day. Make resistance your lifestyle. This march isn’t about me or any of the other speakers or organizers. It is about all of you and the communities that you represent. So, thank you for being here and for being such an inspiration and for joining us together in strength, unity and action.
TAÍNA ASILI: And I’m here to bring you my war cry. This song is written in five languages: isiZulu, OshiWambo, Kiswahili, Spanish and English, and it’s a song calling out that we may come together in justice, in healing, in freedom, in love!
[Taína Asili y La Banda Rebelde performing "War Cry"]
TAÍNA ASILI: Peace and love, y’all, in the spirit of justice.
ANNOUNCER: Taína Asili!
JULIE CROSBY: This is Democracy Now! We’ve been coming to you live from the Women’s March on Washington, where organizers say the crowd runs from Third Street to 17th Street, along Independence Avenue. We’re going to bring you back to the stage and to the speakers. Van Jones is joining us.
[End of Hour 2]
VAN JONES: My name is Van Jones. I’m with the Love Army. I just want you to know, yesterday was a hard day. And when I saw the president flying away in that helicopter, I felt like something beautiful was dying. And I felt that something we had all worked for and that we had all given our hopes and our dreams to was dying. And yet, with every breakdown, a breakthrough is possible. And today, because of you, something beautiful is being reborn in America. Something beautiful is being reborn right here and right now.
You know, when we started the Love Army—I’m here as a private in a Love Army. When we started the Love Army, people actually started hating on the Love Army! They said, "Love? That’s some weak stuff!" They said, "Love? I don’t want to be a part of some weak love thing." I said, "Look, if love is weak in your life, that sounds like a personal problem. You need to get off Tinder and get off Grindr and get some real love, ’cause real love is the strongest stuff in the universe." Am I right? Real love is the strongest stuff in the universe.
The Love Army and this movement is built on that mama bear love. That mama bear loves those cubs, and that mama bear not going to let you mess with those cubs. And this movement is not going to let you mess with the Muslims. This movement is not going to let you mess with the DREAMers, President Trump. We’re not going to let you mess with women. We’re not going to let you mess with the Earth. We’re not going to let you mess with Black Lives Matter. This movement, this movement is based on that kind of love.
And let me say something. When you have a movement based on that kind of love, you can talk to people on both sides of the aisle. We love the conservatives enough to tell them that they have to be better conservatives than this. You have to be better conservatives than this. Real conservatives love the Constitution. We have a president who seems to be an authoritarian. Real conservatives stand up for and believe in clean government. We have a president who seems to be committed to a kleptocracy. Real conservatives are patriotic. We have a president that doesn’t seem strong for America. He seems weak for Russia. Conservatives, you’ve got to do better than this. Stand up to Trump as conservatives and be better conservatives than this. We love you enough to tell you that.
And we also love you enough to say to liberals and progressives, we’ve got to be better liberals and better progressives. We do. I’m tired of hearing us say, "Love trumps hate," but sometimes sound more hateful than Trump. I’m tired of us—and I’ve been guilty of it—putting down all the red state voters and saying that they’re all stupid and that they’re all uneducated. We have to stop that. Just because somebody made a bad vote doesn’t make them a bad person, and it’s not going to make us into bad people either. I’m not going to let a bad vote have us become bad people. We’re going to fight for them anyhow. We’re going to fight for their dignity anyhow. We’ll fight against them on the bigotry, but we’re going to fight for their justice and their dignity, as well.
This movement has the opportunity to stand up for the underdogs in the red states and the blue states, to stand up for the Muslims and the DREAMers and the black folk, but also to stand up for coal miners who are going to be thrown under the bus by Donald Trump. We’re going to stand up for them! We’re going to stand up for them! All those Rust Belt workers, who he’s not messing with, but he’s about to mess over, we’re going to stand up for them.
And we have to have a position that’s clear. When it gets harder to love, let’s love harder. When it gets harder to love, let’s love harder. I saw that movement. They came into this town yesterday. They had orange—they had red hats on. They were proud of their accomplishment. And they thought that they had taken America back. What they never counted on was a million women in pink hats that are going to take America forward. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Love Army!
BREA BAKER: Good afternoon. My name is Brea Baker.
NANTASHA WILLIAMS: And I’m Nantasha Williams, and we are national organizers. Yay!
BREA BAKER: Whoo! And it is our honor and privilege to bring the next speaker to the stage, the one and only author and activist...
BREA BAKER AND NANTASHA WILLIAMS: Janet Mock!
NANTASHA WILLIAMS: Whoo!
JANET MOCK: I love you. So we are here. We are here not merely to gather, but to move, right? And our movements, our movements require us to do more than just show up and say the right words. It requires us to break out of our comfort zones and be confrontational. It requires us to defend one another when it is difficult and dangerous. It requires us to truly see ourselves and one another.
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. It must extend beyond ourselves. I know with surpassing certainty that my liberation, my liberation is directly linked to the liberation of the undocumented trans Latina yearning for refuge, the disabled student seeking unequivocal access, the sex worker fighting to make her living safely.
Collective liberation and solidarity is difficult work. It is work that will find us struggling together and struggling with one another. Just because we are oppressed—just because we are oppressed does not mean that we do not ourselves fall victim to enacting the same unconscious policing, shaming and erasing. We must return to one another with greater accountability and commitment to the work.
Today, by being here, you are making a commitment to this work. Together, we are creating a resounding statement, a statement that stakes a claim on our lives and our loves, our bodies and our babies, our identities and our ideals. But a movement, a movement is so much more than a march. A movement is that difficult space between our reality and our vision. Our liberation depends on all of us, all of us returning to our homes and using this experience and all the experiences that have shaped us, to act, to organize, to resist. Thank you.
SISTER SIMONE CAMPBELL: Hello. I’m Sister Simone Campbell, I’m one of the Nuns on the Bus and honored to be here today. We have traveled this nation, met many of you, but I must say I’ve never seen a sight like this—all of us together in one place.
That is very scriptural, if you will remember, those who know the Christian scriptures. They say that we were gathered in one place, frightened, afraid, afraid to go out, and then a mighty wind came, a mighty wind that stirred the hearts and lifted the courage and let people know we’re not alone. We’re together. We’re together regardless of our faith, regardless of our color of our skin, regardless of who we define as neighbor.
We are all neighbors to each other. And that is the deep truth that our nation was founded upon. We are our sisters’ keepers. We are our brothers’ keepers. It is that truth that will help us to mend the gaps in our society. It’s that truth that will get us to heal the economic divide, where those at the top keep taking more than those who are working hard to generate their wealth.
We, the people, can bridge this gap. We can bridge the gap of race and division, where African Americans and whites and Hispanics and Sikhs and Muslims and Arabs and all of us share the one story that underneath whatever skin we have, it’s all red sinew and blood and passion and engagement and bridging the divide that is sucking the life out of us.
So, my friends, can we commit in this moment to exercise joy, to claim our passion, to have curiosity about our neighbors and then share it around? Because if we each do our part, we, the people, we, the people, will triumph. We, the people, are what our nation needs, and we, the people, will make the difference. Let’s do it together. We, the people!
RESHMA SAUJANI: Hi!
ALYSSA KLEIN: How’s everyone doing today?
RESHMA SAUJANI: Because we’re feeling really good!
ALYSSA KLEIN: My name is Alyssa Klein, and I’m the social media manager for the Women’s March on Washington.
RESHMA SAUJANI: And I’m Reshma Saujani, and I’m one of the youth coordinators for the Women’s March on Washington. And this is Shaan. Say hi!
ALYSSA KLEIN: And it is an absolute honor to introduce...
RESHMA SAUJANI: Our friend, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood!
CECILE RICHARDS: Thank you! Hello, Washington! You are a beautiful sight. It is an honor to be here on behalf of the one in five women in America who’ve been to Planned Parenthood for healthcare. I wish every single one of them could see you. You are a beautiful sight—or, for some folks in Congress, a terrifying one.
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! Because, to expand on a historic quote by my heroine and friend, Hillary Clinton—a woman who knows a little something about never giving up—reproductive rights are human rights.
You need to know that starting this week, Congress is going to be moving quickly to try to pass restrictions on reproductive access, and we cannot let them. You need to call your member of Congress, call your senator, and say, "We will not go back." One of us can be dismissed. Two of us can be ignored. But together, we are a movement, and we are unstoppable.
It is an honor to do this work alongside inspiring leaders like the woman standing next to me. Please welcome my friend, Kierra Johnson, executive director of URGE, Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity.
KIERRA JOHNSON: I see some nasty women out there. So nasty. I see some nasty boys out there, too. Janet would be so proud. My name is Kierra, and I’m the ED of Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity. And I work with young people, and I am unapologetically abortion-positive.
That’s not the only reason I’m here with you today. I want to talk to the young people in the crowd, those live-streaming right now on Twitter and on Facebook. I want to say to you, thank you, for the young people who continue to be on the front lines and in the streets and who showed up at the polls and voted for equity, justice and a better country. Thank you for forcing us to see the humanity at Standing Rock. Thank you. Thank you for reminding the world that black lives matter. Thank you for letting us be in on the DREAMers’ dream. Thank you for boldly supporting the right to safe, legal and accessible abortion in your states and nationally. Thank you for demanding to be seen, demanding to be heard and demanding control of your destiny.
But we know if someone else controls your body, it is them and not you that controls your destiny. State-sanctioned violence fueled by racism, sexism and xenophobia, building walls at our borders, constructing jails in our communities, racial profiling, Muslim registries, funding cuts for poor families, restricting healthcare based on gender and denying people the right to control how, when and with who to build their families, these are all attempts to control us—not some of us, but all of us.
Donald Trump is the president. Y’all, there’s a million of y’all out here. Y’all should say "boo" louder.
KIERRA JOHNSON: But the good news is, he’s working for us now. That means he needs to hear from us, not just today, but tomorrow and every day of his presidency. We will not consent to your violence, Mr. Trump. We refuse to let politicians chart our destinies and steal our dignity. We will stand together in solidarity and work collectively for economic security, racial justice, reproductive freedom and gender equity for all. Thank you.
[Amber Coffman performing "Get Free"]
ANNOUNCER: Amber Coffman!
JULIE CROSBY: This is Democracy Now!
UNKNOWN: I have another announcement. Vanessa Tijerina [phon.] has been separated from Amos Gonzalez [phon.].
JULIE CROSBY: We’re coming to you live from the Women’s March in Washington.
ANNOUNCER: And you can reunite over on this side of the stage, stage left. Vanessa Tijerina and Amos Gonzalez, please reunite on stage left.
DONNA HYLTON: Women’s March! D.C.! That’s right. That’s right. This march is about us, the people, the women in this country who refuse to be marginalized, sexualized and abused and silenced. March! My name is Donna Hylton. I’m formerly known as inmate 86G0206. But in this moment, in this movement, I’m here to talk about those women and those girls that society refuses to talk about, they continue to criminalize, they continue to abuse, sexualize, denigrate and dehumanize. And I stand here today to tell you that we are human! That we are women, and we are you, and you are we, and we count.
And who said we couldn’t break the ceiling? This is the glass ceiling right now and from today on. This is our ceiling. And how amazing and wonderful it is to be in this powerful movement of sisterhood! And as we march today, we march in solidarity with millions of women and girls who have been told all their lives that they have no rights, they have no value and they have no voice. But today, we, in solidarity, are marching to change that narrative. We are marching to rewrite, reclaim and reimagine the humanity that has been taken and stripped from these women and girls. And they cannot march with us today, but they’re here.
Five years ago, I was released from prison after serving 27 years. I thought that would get you. And when I walked out those gates of prison, I made a promise to those women, who are our friends, our neighbors, our sisters, that I would do all that I could do to tell their story, tell their narratives and to tell their truths. So, today, in solidarity, as inmate 86G0206, I call into this moment, into this movement, Judy Clark, Teresa Holland, Pamela Smart, Roslyn Smith. I call into this moment Alice Johnson, Santra Rucker, Michelle West. I call into this moment, this movement, all those women who have been overlooked, marginalized, sexualized, dehumanized and silenced.
Today, we march in solidarity to be their voice. We are their voice. We are changing that narrative today. We are changing what has been said and used to denigrate and to vilify and to silence them. Today, we march to humanize women and every woman and girl in our country and across the world. Today, you march alongside those of us from the Women and Justice Project, Eve Ensler, One Billion Rising and V-Day, the Center for Justice, and the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Join us. Join us. As we continue to march and walk, let’s walk in our greatness, because we’re beautiful. We are amazing. And we are not silent anymore! Today, today, we, all of us, my voice, your voice, our voice, is one voice. One voice! And together, that voice is powerful! My name is Donna Hylton, and this is what democracy looks like!
STEPHANIE SCHRIOCK: I am Stephanie Schriock, the president of Emily’s List, committed to elect pro-choice Democratic women all over this country. These are the brave women who fight for us every day in Washington D.C., in the Capitol! Every day! And I know—I know we are all here to ignite change. And we know that Donald Trump and his male appointees—and yes, they are mostly men, my friends—are going to tear apart our rights, our opportunities.
But here’s the thing. You should be the ones writing the laws. You should be the ones writing the policies. And at Emily’s List, we will stand with you. So here’s the thing. We’ve got two choices, my friends. We either run for office, or we support a sister who is running for office. That’s what we’re going to do. And together, we are going to win. Let me introduce our brand-new fabulous senator from California, Senator Kamala Harris!
*SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: All right! All right, all right, all right! What a beautiful sight I see! What do my eyes behold? This is an extraordinary day. And we all should be extremely, extremely proud. So here’s the deal. I believe we are at an inflection point in the history of our country. I believe this is a moment in time that is a pivotal moment in the history of our country. I think of this as being a moment in time similar to that moment in time when my parents met when they were active in the civil rights movement as students at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s.
It’s a moment in time that is similar to a moment in time many of us have experienced in our personal lives, you know, when that circumstance and situation required us to look in a mirror, and, with furrowed brow, we asked the question: Who are we? This is that moment in time for our country, where we are collectively looking in a mirror and, with furrowed brow, asking this question: Who are we?
And, ladies and gentlemen, I believe the answer is a good one. Imperfect though we may be, I believe we are a great country. And part of what makes us great is we are a nation that was founded on certain ideals, founded on the ideals that were spoken in 1776 that we are all and should be treated as equals, founded on the ideals that guarantee every person’s right to worship freely without intrusion, founded on ideals where our immigrant communities represent the heart and soul of what it means to be an American.
And when I look out at this incredible crowd today, I know one thing. Even if you’re not sitting in the White House, even if you are not a member of the United States Congress, even if you don’t run a big corporate super PAC, you have the power! And we, the people, have the power! And there is nothing more powerful than a group of determined sisters marching alongside with their partners and their determined sons and brothers and fathers, standing up for what we know is right.
And here’s the thing. We know that it is right for this nation to prioritize women’s issues. Now, here’s what I’m talking about in terms of women’s issues. So when I was first elected district attorney in San Francisco or attorney general of California or a United States senator from the state of California, in each of those positions, I was elected as the first woman or the first woman of color. And folks would come up to me, and they’d say, "Kamala, talk to us about women’s issues." And I’d look at them, and I’d say, "I’m so glad you want to talk about ... the economy." I’d say, "Great, let’s talk about the economy, because that’s a women’s issue." I’d say, "You want to talk about women’s issues? Let’s talk about national security." "You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about healthcare. Let’s talk about education. Let’s talk about criminal justice reform. Let’s talk about climate change."
Because we all know the truth. If you are a woman trying to raise a family, you know that a good-paying job is a women’s issue. If you’re a woman who is an immigrant who does not want her family torn apart, you know that immigration reform is a women’s issue. If you are a woman working off student loans, you know the crushing burden of student debt is a women’s issue. If you are a black mother trying to raise a son, you know black lives is a women’s issue. And if you are a woman period, you know we deserve a country with equal pay and access to healthcare, including a safe and legal abortion protected as a fundamental and constitutional right.
So all of this is to say, my sisters and brothers, that we are tired, as women, of being relegated to simply being thought of as a particular constituency or demographic. We, together, are powerful, and we are a force that cannot be dismissed or written off onto the sidelines. But I’ve got to tell you what we all know is this: We’ve got our work cut out for us, and it’s going to get harder before it gets easier. I know we will rise to the challenge. And I know we will keep fighting no matter what, because we’ve got the power.
And I promise that I, along with my sisters and brothers on this stage, will be fighting for you every single day. And I know, fight we will do, and fight we will win, especially when they say it’s unwinnable, especially when they say that you might be the only one like you in that room. We know we will always be in that room together.
So, in closing, here’s how I think we should be thinking about today. This was day—a day for all of us to come together in our nation’s capital to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. Today is also a day we must recommit our power and our purpose. And let’s make today a beginning. Let’s buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And then let’s go back to Ohio and New York and Florida and California, and let’s get to work!
REP. MAXINE WATERS: Wow! You look so damn good out there! I am here because I have a message. I want to ask Donald John Trump: Are you disturbed that over 250,000 people, mostly women, led by women, are here in Washington today? And you know that we’re here rallying and protesting against your presidency. Let me tell you further why we are here. Your words, your actions have shown us that you don’t respect us, that both you and all of your nominees for your Cabinet posts are dangerous for us and all of our families.
I want to talk to you about those nominees, and why they are dangerous. First of all, you have Jeff Sessions. Sessions has a history. Boo! He has a history of racism. He voted against [Violence Against Women] Act. He threatened civil rights workers who were just trying to register people to vote. And what about that Betsy DeVos? A billionaire who he is picking to head education, who’s never seen the inside of a classroom. She has no experience. She has no background. That’s dangerous for our children. And what about that ex-CEO of Exxon, Tillerson? Oh, he’s a big friend of Putin and the Kremlin. And we know that he hid the reports on climate change so that we would not know what Exxon was doing to us and our families. Oh, we know about your nominees, Mr. Trump. And then there is Steve Mnuchin, the foreclosure king, the predatory lender. He foreclosed on over 36,000 families, and he put them out on the street. Well, Donald, we are here to tell you that we want you and Bannon to stop sending those dog whistles to white supremacists.
We have a lot that we need to tell you today. We’re here because we want equal pay for equal women. And, Donald, in the final analysis, you’d better keep your hands off of Planned Parenthood. And so, Donald, while we are concerned, we are rallying and we are protesting, you don’t intimidate us. You don’t scare us. We’re going to fight against you and your policies. We are going to struggle. We are going to do everything necessary to show you you cannot take this country down the path that you think you’re going to take it down. We’re not going to allow you to do it.
And so, I want to thank all of you for being here today. Are you ready for the fight?
REP. MAXINE WATERS: Are you up to the fight?
REP. MAXINE WATERS: Are you going to continue the fight?
REP. MAXINE WATERS: Thank you all so very much. Now—now, you have all of these members of Congress here, and all of us work together so very well. But I’d like to introduce you to the black women of Congress who belong to the Black Caucus, who are struggling every day, along with our sisters in the Congress, for justice and equality. First, our organizer, Yvette Clarke; that powerful woman from Oakland, Barbara Lee; Gwen Moore; you just heard from Kamala Harris; Lisa Blunt Rochester; Sheila Jackson Lee; Terri Sewell; Val Demings; and Brenda Lawrence. Give them all a big round of applause. Thank you.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: Just more than a hundred years ago, women and men—but mostly women—of courage just like you marched on Washington to tell the then-president, before his inauguration, that they demanded the right to vote. Now, today—those women, they were tripped, insulted, hospitalized. But they knew that that fight for the vote was important for them, their families and this country. Today, after Hillary Clinton put 65 million cracks in the hardest and highest glass ceiling, we are marching on Washington for similar reasons.
We want to be counted. We want to be heard. And we are going to fight for what we believe in. Just as the women stared down their own future at the impossible, we are not turning back. We have so many issues to fight for. We don’t have equal pay for equal work in this country. We don’t have a national paid leave plan. We have to fight for what we believe in. We know that not until every woman and girl in this country has the chance to reach their God-given potential, that America will not reach hers. We only have 20 percent of women in Congress, and many of them and our male colleagues stand here firmly for you. But I promise you, if we had 51 percent of women in Congress, do you think we’d be debating access to contraception? Do you think we would be debating whether to have paid leave? Do you think it would be so hard to end sexual assault on college campuses and in our military? It would not!
This is the moment of the beginning of the revival of the women’s movement. This is the moment you will remember, when women stood strong and stood firm and said, "Never again!" This is the moment that you are going to be heard!
SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH: Hey, everyone. I’m Senator Tammy Duckworth. You guys look great! By the way, I wore my "Don’t F with me" jacket to this rally, because it’s full of a bunch of people who are saying the same thing. You know, yesterday, I’ve got to tell you, I was pretty depressed. And I looked at my baby girl—I brought my daughter here today, because this is her first protest. She’s two years old. Exactly! To all the girls and boys out there, thanks for coming out.
This is about our country. I didn’t shed blood to defend this nation. I didn’t give up literally parts of my body to have the Constitution trampled on. I did not serve along with the men and women in our armed forces—we did not serve to protect the Constitution to have them roll back our rights. And this is what it’s about. It’s about you going home after today and standing up and fighting in your communities.
Don’t take what you do today and don’t let it end. Take it home. Run for office yourself. Get out there and be those voices, be that change that you want to see in the world. They’re not going to roll back the Americans with Disabilities Act, because without the ADA, I would not be here today. All my folks in the disability community.
They are not going to pollute our air and our water. And, you know, I just sat through two weeks of confirmation hearings for what starts to look like a swamp Cabinet of Cabinet secretaries, people who forget that they have millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands—"Oh, sorry, we forgot to disclose that"—people with ethical problems, people who don’t know whether or not there’s a safe amount of lead that can be in your drinking supply.
These are all things we have to fight for. This is what every single one of the people standing on this stage is going to be fighting for. So join us. Come together. Go home and fight in your communities, on your school boards. Run for Congress. Run for the legislature. Be that voice. Because without you, we don’t—I saw a sign out there that says, "Women are the wall." Where’s that sign? "Women are the wall, and Trump will pay." That is absolutely right: We are the wall. You will not roll back our rights, not as long as we’re here, not as long as we’re breathing. Thank you. God bless each and every one of you.
ILYSE HOGUE: I’m Ilyse Hogue. I’m the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and we’re proud sponsors of this march. We have one message for Donald Trump: We will not be punished for owning our lives!. Y’all are beautiful! Have a great day!
ASHLEY LOVE: My name is Ashley Love, and I just quickly wanted to say that all black lives matter, including women.
JASIRI X: When I say people, you say power. People!
JASIRI X: People!
JASIRI X: Fist up for Angela! Hands off Assata! Rest in power, Maya. Audre took us higher. Fannie Lou, Ella, NOI and the Panthers—I thank God for Michelle Alexander. My mama raised me all by herself. Her left hand and her right hand was her help. As a man, I could never understand how she felt. [bleep] white supremacy, white privilege and white wealth!
MYSONNE: As men, we must protect our women. We cannot allow cowards to disrespect our women. We must uplift our women and stand with our women. You will not discriminate against our women. Today you will hear the voice of our women. You will not take away freedom of choice from our women. Every day, you should be trying to repay our women, because it’s because of our women that I am a man.
AJA MONET: My name is Aja Monet, and I’m a poet. And I’m honored to be here. When people say language has no power, let us not forget it was language, it was words, that got Trump into office. It was the power of words. This poem I’m about to read is for the daughters of a new day. Be not discouraged. Be not dismayed. Be defiant always. This poem is called "My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter."
[Aja Monet reading "My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter"]
Love y’all. Keep fighting. Thank you.
PAOLA MENDOZA: Thank you. My name is Paola Mendoza, and I am the artistic director of the Women’s March on Washington. 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!
Hola. Me llamo Sophie Cruz. Estamos aquí juntos haciendo una cadena de amor para proteger a nuestras familias, por favor les pido a todos que luchemos con amor, con fe y con valentía, para que no se destruyan nuestras familias. También les quiero decir a los niños que por favor no tengan miedo, porque no estamos solos. Son muchas las personas que tienen el corazón lleno de amor y ternura, para abrazarnos en este camino de la vida. Luchemos por lo justo derechos. Dios esta con nosotros. ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede! ¡Sí se puede!
Thank you! ¡Gracias!
AUDIENCE: Sophie! Sophie! Sophie! Sophie! Sophie! Sophie!
[End of Hour 3]
ALIA SHARRIEF: As-salamu alaykum. Peace be upon you! Where all my ladies at? Ladies, make some noise. Real quick, I want to bring my sisters to the stage. My name is Alia Sharrief. And I’m here. Why I march is to stand in solidarity with women all around the world, because we fight for human rights. We fight for justice. And we will get justice. One thing I want to say is, who afraid of Donald Trump?
ALIA SHARRIEF: I didn’t hear you. Who is afraid of Donald Trump?
ALIA SHARRIEF: Say "I am not afraid of Donald Trump."
AUDIENCE: I am not afraid of Donald Trump!
ALIA SHARRIEF: I am not afraid of Donald Trump!
AUDIENCE: I am not afraid of Donald Trump!
ALIA SHARRIEF: We are not afraid of Donald Trump!
AUDIENCE: We are not afraid of Donald Trump!
ALIA SHARRIEF: I represent the black Muslim community. I got some of my sisters up here. Yes, give it up. Give it up. My sisters in the building. One thing, Donald Trump came for the Muslims directly, talking about he gonna ban us, talking about we got to register. We’ve been Muslims our whole entire life. And guess what? That ain’t happening. OK? We know our rights. We know our rights. Modest in our fashion, no tights. But thank you. I’ll be performing my song, "Who Ready." Thank you, sisters. Much love. Give it up for the sisters up here and all the sisters. Who ready for a revolution? Listen, listen.
[Alia Sharrief performing "Who Ready"]
ALIA SHARRIEF: Put your fist up. Say "I am!"
AUDIENCE: I am!
ALIA SHARRIEF: A revolutionary!
AUDIENCE: A revolutionary!
ALIA SHARRIEF: I am!
AUDIENCE: I am!
ALIA SHARRIEF: A revolutionary!
AUDIENCE: A revolutionary!
ALIA SHARRIEF: Let the whole world hear you guys. I am!
AUDIENCE: I am!
ALIA SHARRIEF: A revolutionary!
AUDIENCE: A revolutionary!
ALIA SHARRIEF: Power is with the people. All power is with the people. Y’all remember that. All power is with the people. Donald Trump can’t do nothing, because we the power. All power to the people. Love you guys. Peace and blessings. Say her name.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON: "Have you been to the gynecologist yet?" That was the question my mom asked me at 15 when I informed her about a change that I had noticed in my body. Now, I’d like to start off by saying I am not by nature a particularly private person. But by profession, I am extremely private. I’m not the type to divulge facts about my personal life. I am fiercely protective of my family, and I have no social media presence. But I feel that in the face of this current political climate, it is vital that we all make it our mission to get really, really personal.
So, yes, at 15, I had been to a gynecologist. I was living in New York City and had visited a Planned Parenthood there. My mother moved to California a few years before. My brother Hunter and I were living with my father. And at 15, I had been working in the entertainment industry for eight or so years and had been fortunate enough to be eligible for private health insurance through my union.
Our family struggled financially. We had been on public assistance for several years. And I was primarily responsible for making my own doctors’ appointments. But still, I was nervous about taking this next stride towards womanhood. And it was actually my clinician at Planned Parenthood who suggested I speak with my pediatrician if I was seeking a referral. She was compassionate and professional and told me that she was happy to treat me for regular checkups and, when the time came, for STD and cancer screenings. No judgment, no questions asked. Planned Parenthood provided a safe place where I could be treated with gentle guidance.
Now, I may have been 15 and surprisingly self-sufficient, but I am sure there isn’t one person here who has not been helped by Planned Parenthood directly or otherwise. When I knew I was coming to speak on behalf of women’s reproductive and health issues, every single one of my girlfriends had a story about Planned Parenthood. They saved me so many times. One of my best girlfriends confided in me, saying, "They saved my ass and some other parts, too, when I found out I had precancerous signs I never would have known about without my annual checkups." And her speech grew more emphatic and emotional as she described how the organization had helped her decide between treatment options. She was able to make some difficult decisions, deciding what was right for her, for her body, and her then-partner, without anyone else’s interference.
My sister also used Planned Parenthood services for years after moving states. She had been living her whole life in New York City, pursuing her dream to move to California. She had no contacts and no health insurance, but was able to regularly see a doctor at a Planned Parenthood clinic for screenings, advice, birth control and check-ups.
For the more than 2.5 million patients a year that rely on Planned Parenthood’s services for cancer and STD screenings, birth control, safe abortion and pregnancy planning, these are uncertain and anxious times. Lawmakers in 24 states have tried to block patients from receiving care at Planned Parenthood. Congress has voted to limit access to reproductive services nine times. Boo. Yes, boo! There are very real and devastating consequences to limiting access to what should be considered basic healthcare. For millions of Americans, Planned Parenthood is often the only trustworthy and affordable clinic providing safe education—sex education, safe abortion and life-saving services.
President Trump, I did not vote for you. That said, I respect that you are our president-elect, and I want to be able to support you. But first, I ask that you support me. Support my sister. Support my mother. Support my best friend and all of our girlfriends. Support the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives. Support my daughter, who may actually, as a result of the appointments you have made, grow up in a country that is moving backwards, not forwards, and who may potentially not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have. I ask you to support all women and our fight for equality in all things, including the fight to be recognized as individuals who know better for ourselves what is right for our bodies better than any elected official, popular or otherwise.
It is a great honor for me to be speaking here in front of all of you today. After the result of this November’s election, I felt, as a woman, an American citizen, a great weight bearing down on my shoulders, the feeling that the near future would present many obstacles, confrontation and division. My immediate thought after hearing the election results was, "Oh, man, we have so much work to do." But once the heaviness began to subside, I realized that an opportunity has presented itself to make real, long-term change, not just for future Americans, but in the way that we view our responsibilities to get involved with and stay active in our communities.
Let this weight not drag you down, but help to get your heels stuck in. I pledge my relentless devotion to support women’s healthcare initiatives. I will not stop fighting to make basic women’s healthcare available to all. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that the conversations that we have with our partners and our doctors about what we do with our bodies and our future should not be made fodder for any politician, political agenda, lawmaker and for-profit corporation. We must stand up for what are our basic human rights and always move forward, never backwards.
The current political administration benefits from taking the power away from us. Don’t give up your power. Don’t. Don’t let the feelings of helplessness make you complacent. I urge you all to make a difference on the ground. Volunteer. Volunteer with organizations that help women seeking a safe place to make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives. Donate to causes.
CARMEN PEREZ: Good afternoon, family. My name is Carmen Perez, and I am the executive director of The Gathering for Justice. I am truly humbled to join and serve you as one of the national co-chairs of the Women’s March, alongside my sistren, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Bob Bland, as well as the many, many people who have worked so hard to make today happen. Thank you.
I stand here as a Chicana Mexican-American woman, as a daughter and granddaughter of farmworkers, as a family member of incarcerated and undocumented people, as a survivor of domestic violence, as a woman who knows pain and who has transformed her pain into gifts, gifts that have allowed me to see light in the darkest places.
For 20 years, I have worked in America’s prisons. I have seen families being torn apart, locked up in cages, many stripped of their rights, their freedoms and, ultimately, their lives. And the majority are black and brown, including women, women who I call sisters. This has to end. This will end because of you, because of us.
Today, I join you all and raise my voice loud and clear to say we have had enough. We know what the problems are. We know who our enemy is. We know what the injustices have done to us and those we love. But to overcome them, we have to stand in solidarity. We have to listen to each other and know that we always have more to learn. To protect each other, we don’t always have to agree. But we have to organize and stand together. We must remember that unity of action does not mean that we have to be unanimous in thought, but that injury to one is injury to all.
I am reminded of the words of my mentor and boss, Harry Belafonte: "Those who are working towards the liberation of our people are only subject to friendship and support. Those who are being divisive are playing the enemy’s game." And so, our responsibility is to find our way. There is an entry point for all of us to be involved in this movement. So get involved. Stay involved. And keep your eyes on the prize. Know that those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution. Trust them. Stand with them in your actions. Because I believe what Fannie Lou Hamer said: "When I liberate myself, I liberate others. And if you don’t speak, ain’t nobody going to speak on behalf of you."
And to those threatening us and our livelihood, I say, Si no nos dejan soñar, no los vamos a dejar dormir. If they don’t let us dream, we will not let you sleep. We stand here on day one of the new administration, refusing to let them sleep. Not for one second. We will hold all our officials, whether elected or appointed, accountable. There are some in this country who say we should adjust to work with and adjust to hatred. But Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of the power of being maladjusted to an unjust society. We will not adjust to hatred and bigotry. We will resist Islamophobia, xenophobia, white supremacy, sexism, racism, misogyny and ableism.
We will be brave, intentional and unapologetic in addressing the intersections of our identities. And collectively, we will stand up for the most marginalized among us, because they are us. We will not wait for some magical being to rise up and save us. We are not helpless. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are who we need. When I see my liberation bound in your liberation, and you in mine, together, we will get free. So remember, when you go back home, think about why you marched. And organize, organize, organize! ¡Sí se puede! Thank you!
TAMIKA MALLORY: Thank you so much. I am so proud to stand here with all of you today. To be in service to you, because this was truly a service opportunity for all of us who worked for you. It has been such an honor to work alongside the co-chairs, Bob Bland, Linda Sarsour and the birthday girl, who you just heard from, Carmen Perez!
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!
When you go back home, remember how you felt, what made you, that instinct, that gut, that said, "I’ve got to get on a bus, a plane, a train, no matter what, to protect my children." That feeling? Take it back with you to wherever it is that you came from today. You have awoken a new and renewed spirit. And I am so excited to be a part of this with all of you.
But to be quiet in our whisper, to speak low about it, is not going to get it done. We must be bold, the way you were bold to come here in these large numbers today. When you feel that we are not taking care of one another properly, put your feelings aside, put your pride aside, and stand up for the most marginalized people in this society, because if you stand for them, you stand for all. Dr. King said, "I will not remember the harsh words of my enemies. I will remember the silence of my friends." God bless you!
LINDA SARSOUR: As-salamu alaykum. May peace be upon you, brothers and sisters. My name is Linda Sarsour, and I am one of the national co-chairs for the Women’s March on Washington. I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim American, unapologetically Palestinian-American, unapologetically from Brooklyn, New York. Sisters and brothers, you are what democracy looks like. Sisters and brothers, you are my hope for my community. I will respect the presidency, but I will not respect this president of the United States of America! I will not respect an administration that won an election on the backs of Muslims and black people and undocumented people and Mexicans and people with disabilities and on the backs of women!
Many of our communities, including my community, the Muslim community, have been suffering in silence for the past 15 years under the Bush administration and under the Obama administration. The very things that you were outraged by during this election season—the Muslim registry programs, the banning of the Muslims, the dehumanization of the communities that I come from—that has been our reality for the past 15 years.
Sisters and brothers, if you have come here today as your first time at a march, I welcome you. I ask you to stand and continue to keep your voices loud for black women, for Native women, for undocumented women, for our LGBTQIA communities, for people with disabilities. You can count on me, your Palestinian Muslim sister, to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the streets, keep my head held high, because I am not afraid!
Sisters and brothers, fear is a choice. We are the majority. We are the conscience of these United States of America. We are this nation’s moral compass. If you want to know if you are going the right way, follow women of color, sisters and brothers. We know where we need to go, and we know where justice is, because when we fight for justice, we fight for it for all people, for all our communities!
I want to remind you that the reason why you are here today is because mothers and yoga teachers and organizers and bakers came out to organize. Ordinary people made this happen. No corporate dollars, no money from corporations. This is your dollars. This is your work. This is—you made this happen! I am honored to stand here today on the stage as a national co-chair with Tamika and Carmen, who are my sisters, but also with my family, because I organize for my mother, I march for my daughters and all of my children. But most of all, I am my Palestinian grandmother, who lives in an occupied territory’s wildest dream, sisters and brothers, and I’m so proud to be here with all of you. Justice for all!
[Angélique Kidjo performing "A Change Is Gonna Come"]
JUDITH LEBLANC: Hello! My name is Judith LeBlanc, and I’m a proud member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma and the director of the Native Organizers Alliance. And I march for my daughter Jenna, my nieces Nora, Marie and Victoria. We march today for Mother Earth, because water is life. Standing Rock has shown the world our faith, our prayers. People power is stronger than rubber bullets.
Across Indian country, generations have suffered from contaminated air, land and water, after fossil fuel corporations ran with their profits. That is real carnage, President Trump. President Trump, we heard you’re considering privatizing land, Indian land, for oil. You will not steal our land. We’ve been there before. Today, Native women are here, representing many nations, and we are marching in prayer. We are marching with our ancestors in our hearts. It’s a Standing Rock moment!
And, President Trump, let me break it down for you. A Standing Rock moment means our power is rooted in love for humanity. Our strength is drawn from our ancestors. Our medicine is stronger than rubber bullets or water cannons. Standing together, people united, we are—who are here today, who are standing with Standing Rock, standing with Flint, Michigan, standing with Oak Flat, standing with immigrants, united. Today, indigenous people, water protectors all across the world, are saying no to pipelines, no to corporate plunder of sacred sites, no to wars for oil. President Trump, the movement that we’re building is driven by faith, by hope, by love and prayers. We will stop the carnage of Mother Earth. Water is sacred. Water is life. Women are life. Thank you.
JESSICA GONZÁLEZ-ROJAS: ¡Buenos días! Where are the Latinos in the house? I’m Jessica González-Rojas from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and I’m here with my women of color sisters representing reproductive justice at the march for women! I stand here today to boldly and proudly proclaim in the face of fascism that we stand for health, dignity and justice for all people. And we will fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, racism, transphobia, homophobia. We’re going to be fighting this with all our hearts.
This is a hard moment, folks. But we are a resilient community. We are a community who have been fighting. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. And we’re here, and we will resist. Our community, our Latino community. ¡Aquí estamos y no nos vamos! So we will continue to fight in the face of this administration and stand up for reproductive health, dignity, and justice. ¡Gracias!
SANGYEUN: Hello. My name is Sangyeun [phon.], and I’m here representing our Asian American Pacific Islander community marching here with us today. I stand here before you as an immigrant from South Korea, a mother of a Korean-African-American daughter, and I am marching today because we cannot normalize the presidency of someone who does not demonstrate that he values women, immigrants and people of color, not only in his speech, but in his action. I will not sit silent while Trump revokes DACA and separates our immigrant families. And I will not sit silent while Trump cuts funding from programs that prevent violence against women. And I will not sit silent while accessible healthcare is taken away from us. And I will not sit silent while the administration attacks our right to choose if we want to parent, when we want to parent and how we parent.
MONICA SIMPSON: What’s up, everybody? How you doing today? My name is Monica Simpson, and I am the executive director of SisterSong. We are the national Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. And I stand before you representing Trust Black Women and the Black Mamas Matter alliance.
Reproductive justice, a movement named by black women 22 years ago, and organized and led by women of color, exemplifies the charge given to us from Audre Lorde. She said we cannot have single-issue movements, because we do not live single-issue lives. Reproductive justice fights for access to safe and healthy and legal abortions, because having an abortion is not a sin. It is not genocide. It is our human right. Reproductive justice addresses police brutality, because when black men, women and children are being taken down and have to live a life with fear, that is reproductive injustice. We fight for healthcare reform, because black women are dying at a rate four times higher than white women in childbirth, and we must address how racial and gender discrimination still resides in our healthcare system.
This reproductive justice movement understands that our movements are inextricably linked. All of us must work together to do this work to get to freedom and to see justice. We are not afraid to fight for our human right to have children or not. We are not afraid to fight for our human right to live free from violence against our bodies, our families and our community. We are not afraid to call out the system of white supremacy that continues to overly criminalize and police and coerce and violate and kill us. We will always resist!
SisterSong celebrates 20 years this year of amplifying the voice and the work of indigenous women and women of color. And this movement wants you. We need you, because it will take all of us to get to the other side. So join us in October for our national conference, and let’s build a movement for justice! Thank you!
TAMIKA MALLORY: Do you want to march? Do you want to march? Are you ready to march? There are so many people here today that folks are already marching. We’ve had such an incredible group of people show up that we’ve got a few things that we have to do. Number one, Janelle Monáe, Maxwell and a few other incredible artists are going to be coming before you in just a moment. Also, we have a few speakers left. Just a few. After 30 seconds—after 30 seconds, I’m going to stand with them and cut the microphone off. Are y’all with me? Are y’all with me? Thirty seconds. All right. Who we got next, y’all?
UNIDENTIFIED: In the name of Allah, most gracious and most merciful, all praise is due to the god most high. First, I want to tell you I stand here as an African-American Muslim woman. I stand here on the heels of the Native Americans, the Africans who came before Columbus. I stand here on the heels of Harriet Tubman, Imam Boukman, Noble Drew Ali, Marcus Garvey, Elijah and Clara Muhammad, Martin and Coretta, Malik and Betty, and Warith Deen Mohammed. There’s a teaching in Islam that says the womb of the woman is connected to the throne of God. So when you say truth, God will rain down truth. When you say justice, God will rain down justice. When you say no more, it will be no more. Women, we, as Muslim Americans, we stand with you. Never let Islamophobia, fear—let me tell you—let it never stand between us. There is nothing radical about Islam, unless peace is radical. Nothing radical unless justice is radical. Nothing radical unless solidarity is radical. And there is nothing Islamic about terrorists. We stand with you today for action!
GEORGE GRESHAM: Hello. My name is George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU. And to President Donald Trump, I don’t know what kind of president you will be, but you are a hell of an organizer. We are here today because this is what America looks like. This is our country. And we are going to be respected. We are here to tell you that you can’t divide us, that you can’t bring us back to the bad old days. If America is going to be great again, it will be because we, united together, will fight for our rights! We are not giving in, sisters and brothers. We’ve worked too hard to make the progress that we have. And the fact that you came here today is true that we in this country will stick together. We will fight together. We will support each other. We will stand up for women’s rights. We will stand up for immigrants’ rights. We will stand up for workers’ rights. We will stand up for human rights, environmental rights.
RANDI WEINGARTEN: My name is Randi Weingarten. I am the president of the teachers’ union, the AFT. We represent children in America and educators in America and nurses in America and college professors in America. We represent America, as do you in this crowd! So let me ask you: Do we want good schools in America?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Do we want good jobs in America?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Do we want reproductive health in America?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Do we want to control our bodies in America?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Do we want to fight against Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and sexism?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: If so, we must stand up like you are right now! Will we act against Donald Trump?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Will we use our voices?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Let’s march!
WENDY CARRILLO: Sisters and brothers, my name is Wendy Carrillo. I was an undocumented child that fled war from El Salvador. I am an unrecognized refugee of this country. During the Salvadoran Civil War, my mother sought refuge in the U.S., and she was denied, under incredible violence. She was refused, but she came anyway. As my mother, she worked hard babysitting other people’s children so that one day she could save enough money for her mother, my grandmother, and her sister to bring us to this country.
I am here because of her courage and the sacrifices of my biological father, who paid with his life so that other people could have a right to vote. My father who raised me, whose family toiled in the fields of California, petitioned for my mother and I, so that we could one day have residency. And before the age of 21, I became a citizen of this country. I am not here just by myself, but with the spirits of my ancestors and millions of women just like you who dared to dream, sacrifice and fight for all of us. This is our moment, our movement, and we will not go down without a fight. Today I say to you, I am fearless, and we are fearless women! We are fearless women! The fight for freedom will continue. The fight for justice will continue. ¡Sí se puede! ¡Y adelante, la mujeres! ¡Gracias!
MARYUM ALI: Hello. My name is Maryum Ali. I am here in honor of my father, Muhammad Ali, all the great Muslims in this country and all of you, the marginalized few. You know, I just want to say something to the non-voter. We have to start voting. I understand there’s a lot of apathy and distrust of the government. But we have to learn from civil rights movements from the past, which is how we got the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You know, Barack Obama said something—they told me to keep it short, so I’m going to keep it short. He said, "Don’t boo. Vote." So this is what we’ve got to do. Don’t get frustrated. Get involved. Don’t complain. Organize. You know, so many people binge watch television for hours and hours. They’re in their telephones. They’re on the computer, on Facebook, for hours. But they won’t—and they’ll stand up for their sports teams. They know every rule of the NBA and the NFL. But they don’t know how local overnment works. We have to start spending time and being responsible for all humanity and stand up for equal rights. Thank you. In the greetings of peace of all Muslims, As-salamu alaykum.
MC LYTE: Hello! Good afternoon! I am standing next to DJ Beverly Bond. She is not just a DJ, though. She is the founder of Black Girls Rock!
BEVERLY BOND: And I’m standing with the legendary MC Lyte.
MC LYTE: I am woman, hear me roaaaar!
BEVERLY BOND: The women that we are about to introduce to you have suffered unfathomable loss from racist violence.
MC LYTE: But they are here, out of love for their children and ours.
BEVERLY BOND: Please welcome to the stage the Mothers of the Movement.
MC LYTE: Lucia McBath.
BEVERLY BOND: Maria Hamilton.
MC LYTE: Gwen Carr.
BEVERLY BOND: Hawa Bah.
MC LYTE: And Sybrina Fulton.
MARIA HAMILTON: What’s up, Washington? We love y’all. Thank you!
SYBRINA FULTON: Hello. Hello. First of all, I need you guys to do something for us to give us energy, because we’re still amateurs at this. When I say "Mothers," you say "of the Movement." Mothers!
AUDIENCE: Of the movement!
SYBRINA FULTON: Louder! I want our kids in heaven to hear it. Mothers!
AUDIENCE: Of the Movement!
SYBRINA FULTON: One more time! Mothers!
AUDIENCE: Of the Movement!
SYBRINA FULTON: Hello. And welcome. My name is Sybrina Fulton. My son, who’s in heaven, with these mothers’ sons, was Trayvon Martin. I have with me Eric Garner’s mother. Wave your hand. Mohamed Bah mom. Dontre Hamilton’s mom. And Jordan Davis’ mom. All our sons are in heaven, and we continue to fight for our children. We will not stop. We understand the movement. We understand what we have to do as women is to stand tall. And we will continue to stand tall. We are stronger together! So let me also say that it does not matter who the president is. We are going to continue to fight. We’ve come too far to turn back now. There’s no turning back. And lastly, I just want to say to all of you, continue to support. Continue to show up. Continue to participate. Continue to pray. And women’s rights are human rights! Thank you!
TAMIKA MALLORY: All right. Y’all ready to march, I know. But I have a very, very special surprise for you right now. Real special. I need y’all to give me a round of applause just to get me pumped up so I can bring this person out. 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
Up from a past that is rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that is wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Now, I know you’ve been hearing a lot of talking, and we all have so much to say inside of us. We just—I just want to thank you so much for your courage. Thank you so much for your womanliness. Thank you so much for your strength. Thank you so much. Let us continue to honor all that is beautiful about being feminine. We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise! We rise!
We will not allow our bodies to be owned and controlled by men in government—or men anywhere, for that matter. We will not allow our compassionate souls to get stepped on. We want the best for all Americans. No hate. No bigotry. No Muslim registry. We value education, healthcare and equality. Mm! We will continue to rise until our voices are heard, until our planet’s safety is not deferred, until our bombs stop dropping in other lands, until our dollar is the same dollar as a man’s. And we continue to recognize that, yes, we can! Until everyone respects Mother Energy and everyone with a belly button must agree. So I need you to repeat after me: We are here!
AUDIENCE: We are here!
ALICIA KEYS: We’re on fire!
AUDIENCE: We’re on fire!
ALICIA KEYS: Livin’ in a world!
AUDIENCE: Living in a world!
ALICIA KEYS: That’s on fire!
AUDIENCE: That’s on fire!
ALICIA KEYS: Feet on the ground!
AUDIENCE: Feet on the ground!
ALICIA KEYS: Not backin’ down!
AUDIENCE: Not backin’ down!
ALICIA KEYS: Feet on the ground!
AUDIENCE: Feet on the ground!
ALICIA KEYS: Not backin’ down!
AUDIENCE: Not backin’ down!
[Alicia Keys performing "Girl on Fire"]
JULIE CROSBY: This is Democracy Now!, and we are broadcasting live from the Women’s March on Washington.
LINDA SARSOUR: You guys still fired up?
LINDA SARSOUR: You guys ready to march?
LINDA SARSOUR: All right. We almost there. Be patient, sisters and brothers. We’re about to shut Washington, D.C., down!
ANNOUNCER: We have another very, very special guest. It is our honor to introduce Janelle Monáe!
[End of Hour Four]
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.
I come here, again, as an American and as a woman, not as an artist. When I go home, I have the same concerns. When I see bullies trying to bully you, just know that I am upset about it, and it does not go unnoticed. The things that are happening from Washington to even other Americans abusing their power and abusing others will be hidden no more. Women will be hidden no more. We will not remain hidden figures. We have names. We are complete human beings. And they cannot police us, so get off our areolas. Get off our vaginas. Again, we birthed this nation, and we can unbirth a nation, if we choose. We can stop completely, if we choose.
This is about unity, and I want to bring on stage some more American women and men, St. Beauty, Jidenna and the Mothers of the Movement. As I talk about the abuse of power, it’s not just happening here in Washington. It has also happened on the ground in the police force. We have amazing cops. We have amazing Americans. But again, we are here to fight against the abuse of power and to unite and to remind us all that at the end of the day, we all pee the same color. And we must protect each other. We must protect one another. So this is a song—this is a song, music that we wrote, not for ourselves but for you. Make some noise if you’re going to continue to be out there on the front lines.
This is a song that is a vessel, and this is a tool for you to take out as you march. This song is called "Hell You Talmbout." And we’re talking about this right now, because we must continue to exercise our voices. Some of us protest in silence, and some of us believe that silence is not an option. And music, our sound, is a weapon. No wrong way to do it. But this song is going to honor those who are victims, victims due to the abuse of power. This is a chant. And for us to be one living, breathing organism, I need your help. Can I get you to sing with us?
So it goes like this. It’s a call and response. I’m going to use Sandra Bland. Sandra Bland, our sister, Sandra Bland. So when I say "Sandra Bland!" "Say her name!"
AUDIENCE: Sandra Bland! Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: I’m going to say "Sandra Bland," and you say "Say her name!" So one more time. Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Say her name! Say her name! Say her name! Say her name! Say her name! Say her name! Say her name! Won’t you say her name?
Hell you talmbout, hell you talmbout, hell you talmbout. Hell you talmbout, hell you talmbout, hell you talmbout. Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: Sandra Bland!
AUDIENCE: Say her name!
JANELLE MONÁE: All right. That was a test. Band, drop it in.
[Janelle Monáe performing "Hell You Talmbout" featuring the Mothers of the Movement]
JANELLE MONÁE: That’s what we’re talkin’ about. Remember, we must protect each other, and we must continue to choose freedom over fear. We can’t give up. We can’t be scared. And we’re going to keep talking about this. We are watching, as Alicia Keys says. We are here. We are watching. God bless you. God bless you.
JANAYE INGRAM: Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, I am Janaye Ingram, head of logistics for the Women’s March on Washington! Thank you for coming. I have the distinct honor and pleasure of welcoming to the stage the incomparable Angela Davis!
ANGELA DAVIS: So, at this very challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we, the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans people, men and youth who are here at the Women’s March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, heteropatriarchy from rising again.
We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land. And we follow the lead of the first peoples, who, despite massive genocidal violence, have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux.
The freedom struggles troubles of black people, that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history, cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and settler colonialism, which means, for better or for worse, the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history. No human being is illegal.
The struggle to save the planet, to stop climate change, to guarantee the accessibility of water, from the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux to Flint, Michigan, to the West Bank and Gaza, the struggle to save our flora and fauna, to save the air, this is ground zero of the struggle for social justice.
This is a women’s march, and this women’s march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence, an inclusive—an inclusive and intersectional feminism—an inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation.
Yes, we salute the Fight for 15. We dedicate ourselves to collective resistance—resistance to the billionaire mortgage profiteers and gentrfiers; resistance to the healthcare privateers; resistance to the attacks on Muslims, on immigrants; resistance to the attacks on disabled people; resistance to state violence perpetrated by the police and through the prison-industrial complex; resistance to institutional and intimate gender violence, especially against trans women of color.
Women’s rights are human rights all over the planet. And that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning and Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Free Assata Shakur.
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.
JANAYE INGRAM: Ladies and gentlemen, you may have read a story that said that we are not marching. I am here to tell you we are marching. We are marching, and we are going to use Constitution Avenue. Please use the number streets to march to your north, which is this way. March to the north. Get to Constitution Avenue and turn left. Go to the Washington Monument—I got it. Go to the Washington Monument and turn to the right. You will show the Ellipse, and then we can go home. We have people from here to the Ellipse. We have already achieved our goals, but we are marching.
LINDA SARSOUR: Tell them to take care of the elders and the kids.
JANAYE INGRAM: Make sure you take care of the elders, the kids, and help your neighbors. We want this to be a safe march. But we still have speakers. And we still have program. It’s going to take everyone in the back a little bit of time to prepare. So please take your time as we are preparing to march. Let us hear from our—the rest of our speakers.
LINDA SARSOUR: Give it up for Raquel Willis.
RAQUEL WILLIS: All right. Hi, everyone. I know you are amped and ready to go. I promise I won’t take too much of your time. And before I start, I want us to take a second and look around. Look at all of these people who are gathered here to take a stand. These are your partners in resistance and liberation. And today, y’all are making a commitment to each other and to a new vision of liberation.
Now, when I was younger, my father used to always tell me, "Walk like you know where you’re going." I thought he was just trying to be deep. I didn’t know what he was talking about. But when I was 19, he died, and I quickly learned what he meant. He was no longer my guidance and my safety net, and that loss pushed me to figure out exactly who I am and the life I wanted to live. I found my voice. And today, I stand here, with my mom, as a proud, unapologetic, queer, black, transgender woman from Augusta, Georgia. I’m more than those labels. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister, an auntie, a friend, a lover, a human and a feminist.
And so, I want to stress the importance of us being intentional about inclusion. I think about historically trans women of color, like to Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, who lit the fire on the LGBTQIA rights movement, and they were quickly kicked out and erased. They share a common thread with Sojourner Truth, another revolutionary woman. And just like her, black women, women of color, queer women, trans women, disabled women, Muslim women and so many others are still asking many of y’all, "Ain’t I a woman?" So, as we commit to build this movement of resistance and liberation, no one can be an afterthought anymore. We must hold each other in love and accountability.
[Indigo Girls performing "Go"]
MELISSA MAYS: All right. My name is Melissa Mays, and I am from Flint, Michigan. And please don’t forget about us, because we’ve not forgotten about you. So, as you amazing women get out there and march, just know that Flint has been without clean water for 1,002 days today. We are poisoned. We are sick. We are pissed off. But we have not let that stop us. We have gone on the streets, in the courts, and we stand together. We stand with all of you. And as you’re out there fighting for the rights that we all deserve, like clean water and clean air, just remember: Don’t forget about us, and we’ll stand with you. Go out there, ladies. Have a great day!
RABBI SHARON BROUS: Good afternoon. I’m Rabbi Sharon Brous. Sometimes it happens, maybe once in a generation, that a spirit of resistance is awakened at the intersection of love and faith and holy outrage. And in those moments, we are reminded what we’re fighting for, what this country was built for, what our armed forces are willing to die for, what our flag flies for. And that is liberty and justice for all. This is one of those moments.
Today, around the country, we, the people, stand together in protest, proclaiming our fidelity to love over hate, progress over regress, and inclusion over exclusion, because the nation we love is in crisis. But we know it’s not only a political crisis. It is a moral crisis. It is a soul crisis that is rooted in a cynical politics of division that pits vulnerable populations against each other. But spiritual resistance, which is the marriage of radical empathy and moral action, spiritual resistance reawakens us to our shared humanity, one nation, indivisible.
Our children will one day ask us, "Where were you when our country was thrust into a lion’s den of demagoguery and division?" And we will say, "I stood with love. I stood with hope. I stood with sisters and brothers of all religions and all races and all genders and sexualities to insist that we will emerge from darkness and bask in the brilliance of an America that honors the infinite worth all of God’s children."
I ask you now to take the hand of someone to your right and take the hand of someone to your left. Raise your hands high. We are the vast and varied manifestations of hope and love and spiritual defiance that will hold our nation to its greatest aspirations. We are the agents of change! Together, we stand against the moral bankruptcy that threatens our democracy. Together, we reclaim truth and lift our voices for justice and mercy. Together, we become the midwives of a new America. Shabbat shalom. May this holy day bring peace to all of us and peace to our beloved country!
ANNOUNCER: Thank you. I have one quick announcement before an amazing guest. There is a 12-year-old little girl who has been separated from her parents. She is in that white tent. Her name is Claire. She has red hair and Converse shoes. She’s in that tent to my right. Claire, 12 years old. She’s safe and fine, but go to that tent. Thank you. And it is my honor to introduce the amazing, the incredible Maxwell!
MAXWELL: I can’t hear myself yet. OK. It’s good to be here to celebrate this incredible experience. This is an incredible occasion that represents not only women, but all mankind, all people. Thank you for having me here to sing a very special song written by an incredible woman, Kate Bush. The song is called "This Woman’s Work," because this is this woman’s work!
[Maxwell performing "This Woman’s Work"]
MAXWELL: Thank you so much. The Women’s March. The march goes on every day, each and every day. Thank you for having me.
ERIKA ANDIOLA: Hello, everyone. My name is Erika Andiola, and I am undocumented and not afraid.
I want to tell you about November 8th of 2016, a day of horror for millions and millions of families across the country who are undocumented. That day, I get a call from the most precious person in my life, my mother. And she tells me, "Erika, what’s going to happen? I am afraid." And this is coming from a woman who would never show a sign of weakness, a woman who, when she was hit over and over again by my own father, never showed a sign of weakness to us. This is a woman who decided to leave the country that she was raised and born in, through the desert with her children and never showed a sign of weakness, the same woman who was in my house, and I accidentally opened the door to ICE and was taken. And even in handcuffs in front of me and my family, she looked at me in the eye and said, "It’s going to be OK. I’m going to be fine." This same woman called me on November 8th in 2016 and said, "What’s going to happen?" I said to her, "You know what, Mommy? You are not alone. There’s millions of people who will be there and who will fight for you and who will fight for millions of others who right now feel a threat because of everything that our current president said about you and about millions of others."
To you, I can—also cannot tell you what’s going to happen. But I can tell you this, as well: You are not alone. And I want to also—for us to tell every single person out there, every transgender woman who is in the detention center right now: You are not alone. Can we say it? You are not alone! To every black, brown, Muslim, LGBT child out there who right now is depressed and doesn’t know what to do with their lives, because they don’t know what’s going to happen to them: You are not alone. To all of those guerreras and women who have been raped and who have been sexually harassed, who doesn’t know what’s going to happen to them: You are not alone. And this Monday, there might be a threat to take away our deferred action—our deferred action, it’s DACA—something that has been said over and over again by our current president, I can tell you, to all those DREAMers out there, this Monday, if that happens, you are not alone.
And I want to thank you all. And I can tell you just one last thing. This—everything that our president and the rhetoric that happened, it’s up to us to make sure that that is not the norm. Hate will not be the norm in this country. Love will be the norm in this country. Thank you!
MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY: All right. All right. I was at the inauguration yesterday. I know most people weren’t at the inauguration yesterday. But I went. And I know we didn’t go because we didn’t want to make it normal, what was going on. But let me tell you, I was standing there, and there was a lot of craziness going on. And one of my students looked at me and said, "Is this normal?" And I wasn’t sure how to answer.
Should I say, "No, this isn’t normal, because we’re Americans, and we move freely and joyfully. This isn’t normal, because even if we lose, we know that our freedoms are instantiated in the very soil and the documents. This isn’t normal, because we know that we can go back, and we can fight, and we can be certain that the winners don’t take all"?
Or should I say, "Yes, this is normal, because we’re Japanese Americans, and we were ripped from our homes, and our property was stolen, and we were labeled enemies of the state, even as our sons fought and died in war, and we shivered in horse stalls at the racetrack as we waited to be shipped to American concentration camps. And yes, this is normal, because we are black Americans, and our tax dollars built glittering edifices we can’t enter and solid prisons we cannot exit, and we pay the salaries of those who slaughter us, and we have never moved freely across this free land, and we came shackled in the hulls of ships, and we were pushed into Jim Crow’s crowded ghettos, and we’re even now pinned in the penitentiaries of profits. And of course this is normal, because we’re women, and every boy and every man lays claim to our bodies, and the state’s compelling interest says what to do with what’s inside us, and some supposedly woke fool calls us the community’s greatest asset, while he uses us up, and fathers and brothers and dates and strangers pin us and trap us and silence us as we struggle, and then they call us liars if we tell. And yes, this is normal, because we’re children, so we’re precious as embryos and irrelevant when we’re born, and no one even asks us what we want before imposing change on us, because we’re assumed to not have a preference or deserve a voice. And yes, this is normal, because we’re undocumented and separated and walled and removed and voiceless and betrayed by friends and foes alike. And yes, this is normal, because we’re Sikh, and our turbans of faith are misidentified, and we’re killed without comment. And yes, this is normal, because we’re Muslim, so we’re called enemy and deemed foreign and tested and registered. And yes, this is normal, because we’re queer, and our very being is deemed unnatural, and our love unworthy, and our families laughable. And yes, this is normal, because we’re disabled, so we’re shut out of homes and work and classrooms and sidewalks"?
So it wasn’t the inauguration that made it normal or not. We’re going to decide today whether or not this is the normal.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!'s live coverage of the March on Washington. The numbers, we can't possibly estimate. Associated Press is saying maybe what? At this point, 500,000? You’ve been listening to a myriad voices on the stage. Now that it’s over, let’s talk to some of the people in the crowd. This group is from New Mexico. OK. Can you tell me what your name is, why you’re here, where you’re from, how long it took you to get here?
SAMIA ASSED: My name is Samia Assed. I’m with the New Mexico delegation. And it took us 39 hours, two buses. We picked up passengers also in Oklahoma. We’re very proud to be here. We can’t divorce ourselves, our opinions, our presence as one community, one sisterhood, to say no to bigotry, no to Islamophobia, no to xenophobia, and to stand for justice for every one of us—every one of us, no matter our gender, our color, our race.
AMY GOODMAN: And what’s your group’s name?
SAMIA ASSED: Enchanted Uprising!
AMY GOODMAN: Now, I see someone—I believe you’re from?
BRIANNA TAYLOR: New York. How are you?
AMY GOODMAN: Good. What’s your name?
BRIANNA TAYLOR: Brianna Taylor. I’m a senior in high school.
AMY GOODMAN: What high school?
BRIANNA TAYLOR: Bowie High School.
AMY GOODMAN: Where?
BRIANNA TAYLOR: Bowie, Maryland. So, I’m originally from New York, but I go to Bowie High School.
AMY GOODMAN: And why are you here?
BRIANNA TAYLOR: Because women are equal—LGBT women, black women, white women, everyone, every creed. We should be able to stand together and unite and to be equal.
AMY GOODMAN: How about the person behind you? She’s wearing a similar hat. But first, can you tell me—
MADONNA: OK. Hello! Are you still awake out there? Are you sure about that? Can you hear me? Are you ready to shake up the world?
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.
And to our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, [bleep] you. [bleep] you! It is the beginning of much-needed change, change that will require sacrifice, people, change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives. But this is the hallmark of revolution.
So, my question to you today is: Are you ready? I said, are you ready?
MADONNA: Say "Yes, we’re ready!"
AUDIENCE: Yes, we’re ready!
MADONNA: Say "Yes, we’re ready!"
AUDIENCE: Yes, we’re ready!
MADONNA: One more time. You’re ready!
AUDIENCE: Yes, we’re ready!
MADONNA: Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, "We must love one another or die." I choose love. Are you with me?
MADONNA: Say this with me. We choose love!
AUDIENCE: We choose love!
MADONNA: We choose love!
AUDIENCE: We choose love!
MADONNA: We choose love!
AUDIENCE: We choose love!
MADONNA: All right. So this leads me very beautifully into this song that I hope some of you know. Are you ready?
MADONNA: Yeah? Please feel free to sing along. It’ll keep you warm. It’ll make me happy. Come on, girls, do you believe in love? Because I got something to say about it. And it goes a little something like this.
[Madonna performing "Express Yourself"]
MADONNA: Thank you! Thank you very much. And I have one more song. One more song. But I’m going to need a little bit more audience participation. Can you handle it?
MADONNA: Do you have the energy for it?
MADONNA: This next song—I can’t even say his name. This is—this song is dedicated to the new D.T. in the White House. Boo! OK. "D" could stand for Dick. I don’t know. Here we go. Are you ready?
[Madonna performing "Human Nature"]
Put your hands together. Come on, all you people back there. 100 miles back there. And I’m not sorry, do so don’t hang your — on me Wouldn’t let me say the words I long to say You didn’t want to say that to my eyes It shows me back inside a lot of things to say Did I say something wrong I didn’t know
AMY GOODMAN: And that does it on this historic day, the Women’s March on Washington. I’m Amy Goodman.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: And I’m Nermeen Shaikh, with this special edition of Democracy Now!
[End of Hour 5]