Women’s March demonstrators take over Boston streets chanting ‘Vote Him Out’

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Chanting “My Body My Choice,” and “Vote Him Out,” roughly 1,000 demonstrators took over the streets around Boston Common in a show of resistance to President Trump, one of more than 400 such events staged in all 50 states on Saturday.

The demonstrations were planned by the Women’s March organization that staged marches around the world the day after Trump’s inauguration to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and to rally voter opposition to Trump’s reelection.

“We’re not going to allow the Trump administration to decide who has equal rights and who doesn’t,” Siobhan Reidy, the lead organizer of the event, told demonstrators gathered across the street from the State House before the march. “We are here today to tell the temporary occupant of the White House that his sham of a nomination process is not supported by the American people.”

Starr Felder was in the crowd at a women's rally on Boston Common.
Starr Felder was in the crowd at a women’s rally on Boston Common.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Reidy pointed to liberal concerns that, with the addition of Barrett, a more conservative Supreme Court may overturn the rulings that legalized abortion and same-sex marriage, and may not uphold the Affordable Care Act instituted by President Obama.

“We are here to tell Amy Coney Barrett that Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges and the ACA are settled law, and she will not take that away from us,” Reidy said.

“Tell them that we refuse to be handmaids,” she added.

Toiell Washington, of Black Boston, led the crowd in a call-and-response chant saying, “I will protect Black women. I will support women. I will believe Black women.”

And speaker Rosario Ubiera-Minaya used a cheeky reminder of the president’s preelection comments about women captured by Access Hollywood when she urged demonstrators from the Boston Common steps: “Let’s amplify our voices. Let’s grab him by the ballot.”

With polls indicating a gaping gender divide in the Nov. 3 election between Trump and Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, women’s votes will be key to defeating Trump, Rachel O’Leary Carmona, Women’s March executive director, said in an interview. One recent poll found Biden’s lead over Trump to be 59 percent to 36 percent among women, the widest margin for a presidential candidate in exit polls since 1976.

“They’re about to learn what happens when you subvert the will of the people, when you come for women and when you come for democracy itself,” said O’Leary Carmona.

O’Leary Carmona called Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic “mind-blowingly incompetent.”

“By any kind of measure, we are sicker, we are poorer, we are unhappier than we were four years ago,” O’Leary Carmona said. “Oftentimes we talk about, are we thriving or are we surviving? I would say we’re not even surviving at this point.”

A person with their sign at a women's rally on Boston Common.
A person with their sign at a women’s rally on Boston Common.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, who decided to run for office after organizing the women’s march in Northampton in 2017, told participants at the march that


Demonstrators gather for Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

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Demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the second Women’s March of the year. Although the fourth annual Women’s March occurred earlier this year, today’s event was organized in honor of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

text: Women's March Washington

© Jose Luis Magana / AP
Women’s March Washington

A rally began midday, followed by a march to the United States Capitol. It will conclude at the National Mall with a “socially distant text-banking telethon” with the goal of sending five million messages to encourage people to vote, according to the website for the march.

In an effort to ensure the safety of participants, everyone who attends was required to wear a mask and practice social distancing. There will also be hand sanitizing stations throughout the march, and anyone who felt too ill to attend in person could participate in a virtual event.  

A journalist for CBS affiliate WUSA9 reported that attendees attempted to remain socially distant.

Reproductive rights active Sonja Spoo said in a speech ahead of the march that it had been a “hard and painful past several years,” but that this demonstration was a “repudiation” of the president and his politics.

“Donald Trump is leaving office and there is no choice for him – it is our choice – and we are voting him out come November 3,” Spoo said.

The first Women’s March was held on the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017 to protest the new administration. Millions of women gathered for that first march.

“We saw the power when millions of us joined in the streets together the day after Trump’s inauguration. We need to bring that same power and determination to October 17 to cap off Trump’s presidency just the way it started – with massive, women-led resistance,” the Women’s March website said.

Saturday’s march is intended to commemorate Ginsburg’s legacy but also to protest Mr. Trump’s choice to replace her on the Supreme Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats worry that Barrett would rule with the other conservative justices on the court and vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act. Barrett’s nomination will be taken up by the Senate next week.

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