A stalwart crowd of protesters gathered at the state Capitol Saturday for the 2020 Women’s March. The event was one of 200 sister marches held across the country for the popular protest that began in 2017 as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, the day after his inauguration.
Now, in it’s fourth year, crowd sizes have dwindled. In 2017 it’s estimated that three million people participated in marches nationwide. The Michigan march attracted between 8,000 and 9,000 people to the state’s capital city. But this year, as President Donald Trump seeks reelection, the march gathered just over 250 people according to an estimate from officials with capitol facilities.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke to the crowd, referencing the day she spoke at the 2017 march as a candidate for Governor. She noted the swath of electoral victories women have had in the state, electing record numbers of women to the state legislature, flipping two congressional districts, and sweeping Michigan’s top statewide posts.
“But since that day in 2017, we have elected women to serve in every top constitutional office in the state of Michigan. We’ve lived two republican congressional districts to Elissa Slotkin and Hayley Stevens,” said Whitmer.
Last year, the Michigan march was moved to Detroit to improve accessibility and draw a more diverse crowd. The event gathered just over 1,000 protesters despite similarly dour weather conditions. This came after leadership helming the national Women’s March was vocally criticized for catering to white-women protesters. The group gathered in Lansing Saturday was diverse under their pink hats and parkas, unbothered by the freezing temperatures.
The march took place as the president begins to stand trial in the U.S. Senate for abuse of power and obstruction of congress. Earlier in the week Virginia became the 38th state to pass the Equal Rights Amendment leaving many of the objectives of the Women’s march, reforming President Trump and securing equality for Women, tacitly answered. But, marchers in Lansing avowed they’d continue marching, even if Donald Trump loses. The fight for women’s rights, they said, is far from over and they still have electoral victories to claim and defend.
- Jill Bornemeier, a software tester from Ann Arbor. This is her fourth Women's March.
- Rosalyn Schaefer, 21-year-old MSU student, this is her second Women's March.
- Carl Morrison, orginally from the Upper Penninsula. This is his second Women's March.