This article was written by Emma Atkinson for WIUX News.
Indianapolis, IN – An estimated 7,500 people attended the Indiana Women’s March on Washington Rally at the Indiana State House on Saturday morning to protest the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump.
According to a report by Fox59 News, organizers said that more than 7,500 people had pledged to attend the rally through the event’s Facebook page. That morning, the crowd gathered outside the West Side Plaza of the Indiana State House was a sea of pink – an undulating mass of pink posters, pink jackets, and pink hats, otherwise known as “pussy hats” by many of the women in attendance.
Attendee Morgana Thomas knitted five of these hats: one for each of her three young daughters, and one for herself and her mother, respectively. “They are basically an art form to celebrate women, and to let others know, and Washington know, that we are together for women,” Thomas said. Her daughters sat on a concrete bench next to the statehouse, beaming. “They’re kitty hats for my kids,” Thomas added.
Other attendees held homemade signs and banners. Jennifer Bradley and Susan Woods were stationed near the State House with signs that read “Herr Trump” and “Hear Our Voice, Hear Us Roar.” Bradley’s young daughter was with them, running around with a sign around her neck that said “We Believe Black Lives Matter; Women’s Rights Are Human Rights; No Human is Illegal; Science is Real”. Bradley made it very clear that while she was attending a rally, she was there to make her voice heard. “I feel like we all need to use our bodies to protest [President Donald J. Trump], and I am here for protest, there is no question about that,” she said.
While women did make up the majority of those in attendance, there was a significant male presence as well. “I have a daughter…I feel strongly about women’s rights and I’m thinking about her future,” said Matt, a protestor from Indianapolis who did not provide his last name. He held a poster that said, “Fight Fascism.”
A group of female Indiana University Law students stood near the back of the crowd. Kayla Frye, Elaena Harris, Sunrita Sen, and Star Martinez held colorful signs that read, “Women Taking Over For the 99’s and the 2000’s,” “Back That Ass Off My Rights,” and “I Got 24 Karat Black Girl Magic #loveformysisters,” which they said were references to songs by artists Juvenile and Bruno Mars.
“The law school took a large group of women to the Women’s March in DC, and we didn’t get to go for various reasons so we wanted to come here, and show the same support,” said Harris.
The four women expressed their desire to show solidarity with women across the country on that day and stressed that their respective statuses as minorities made taking action even more important. Martinez said, “As women of color, I think that we have a lot at stake over the next four years to be concerned with, and part of it all is just showing up and making sure you show support.”
She added, “I feel like a lot of what’s going on right now is a, ‘OK, give [President Trump] a chance, it’s not that bad’…. setting an example for people to get up and do what they need to do over the next four years is gonna be really important.”
One of the featured speakers at the rally was rally organizer Terri Siler, who announced the formation of a new political action committee, Hoosiers for Action. The PAC’s goal is to fund the lower-level campaigns of Democratic candidates across the state. Over the roar of the crowd, she said, “It’s time to move Indiana into the future and we need the next generation to come forward and become our legislators and lawmakers. We want all of you to join our organization and to help us make a change that will be good for everyone in Indiana.”