On Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, activists flocked to cities across and beyond the U.S. to advocate for the rights of those now threatened by this drastic political change. Of the millions of marchers across the world were a handful of McGill students. The McGill Tribune spoke to several students about what they learned from the Women’s March on Washington.
Question: What did you take away from the Women’s March on Washington?
Rebecca Jacobson, U3 Classical Music Studies
“I guess that there are a lot more people behind me than I thought, which gave me a bit of hope. The number of people there was pretty motivating.”
Emily Stimpson, U2 Women's Studies, studying abroad at Sciences Po
“I was deeply impacted by [the] overwhelming whiteness of the march here. I took from that the fact that we as white women are complicit in the election of Trump and the racist policies to come. The march showed me we need to uphold [intersectional feminism] and take greater action in support and solidarity with women of colour.”
Phoebe Warren, U3 Political Science and History studying abroad at Durham University
“I took away that no matter how scary things might seem back home, there are people all around the world who will help us fight back against oppression, against apathy, and against the fear that has entered the hearts of so many of us.”
Xheni Qamo, U3 Political Science and Art History
“I think the biggest thing I took away from the sister march in Montreal [Manif des femmes] was just comfort from the sense of unity. I don’t mean to sound overly sentimental, but, like a lot [of] people, I’ve felt anxious about Trump’s positions on literally every issue, and it was incredible to be in a space with so many other people who were there to show their dissent [….] It just felt like thousands of people were ready to organize and work against misogyny and systemic discrimination, and it was inspiring. It gave me a sense of hope and comfort that I hadn’t felt since November 9th, and I know a lot of work now needs to be done, but if all the people who took the time to demonstrate continue to work against his rhetoric and policies, I think we’ll be able to keep the world from ending.”
New York City
Eliana Zimmerman, U1 Music Performance
“My biggest takeaway from the Women’s March on NYC was the overwhelming sense of unity and optimism that it created. Even before the march began, as my friends and I were walking around, gathering supplies on the Upper West Side, nowhere near the march, total strangers would stop and ask us what the posters under our arms said, and wish us luck for later—they'd see us there! It was a camaraderie that felt very hopeful in the face of these alarming, uncertain times. Especially because New York is a city so near and dear to Mr. Trump, and he has clearly been attempting to retain power over it, it felt like an important act of defiance in his personal territory.”