Women’s March, ‘text-a-thon’ aimed to engage voters ahead of Election Day

Women's March Washington People rally during the Women's March in D.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington Inga Solomon, of Kent Island, Maryland, and Margaret Dollman, of Charlotte, North Carolina, came to D.C. to demonstrate in the Women's March helo on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington This group of women came to D.C. on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to rally for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
DC: Women's March Count On Us Women's March protesters move along Washington, D.C.'s National Mall on Oct. 17, 2020. The Women's March held a multi-city wave of protests to bolster momentum against U.S. President Donald Trump and his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Women's March Washington Olivia DeSalvo of Indianapolis (center), is seen here with friends at Saturday's Women March in D.C. She said she's fearful of the future of women's equality.
Women's March Washington People rally during the Women's March in D.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington People rally during the Women's March in D.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington Demonstrators rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington People rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington Protestors rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington Protestors rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington Protestors rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
Women's March Washington People rally during the Women's March at Freedom Plaza, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020.
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The Women’s March Saturday in D.C. gave thousands of people a chance to express their opposition to President Donald Trump and his policies just weeks before Election Day.

Demonstrators rallied in dozens of other cities from New York to San Francisco to signal opposition to Trump and his policies, especially the push to fill the seat of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before Election Day.

The first Women’s March was held the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017.

This year’s march was also a chance to focus on last-minute get-out-the-vote efforts.

Organizers said this march will be capped off with a “text-banking telethon” that aims to send 5 million texts encouraging citizens to vote in this year’s presidential election.

The event was meant to act as a bookend to the incumbency of President Donald Trump, organizers said.

Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, opened the event by asking people to keep their distance from one another, saying that the only superspreader event would be the recent one at the White House. While most wore masks, the crowd made it hard to stay socially distant.

Carmona spoke about the power of women to end Trump’s presidency.

“His presidency began with women marching and now it’s going to end with woman voting. Period,” she said.

“We saw the power when millions of us joined in the streets together the day after Trump’s inauguration,” the event website said.

Organizers said they “need to bring that same power and determination to Oct. 17 to cap off Trump’s presidency just the way it started — with massive, women-led resistance.”


Inga Solomon of Kent Island, Maryland, told WTOP that she was marching to oppose a Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

“We really should not be bringing in another Supreme Court nominee at this point in time,” said Solomon.

Kathryn Trew of Virginia Beach, Virginia, joined others at a separate rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Barrett.

“She’s not going to serve the left. She’s not going to serve the right. She’s going to serve the law,” said Trew.

Dee Wright traveled from Chicago for the march to demonstrate for racial justice.

“I’m giving voices to those that can’t. Breonna Taylor; she’s not here. George Floyd; he’s not here,” said Wright.

Posters at the march included slogans such as: “This is my resisting bitch face,” “Dump Trump,” and “I am so tired of men.”

The march began at a packed Freedom Plaza in Northwest D.C., then set out down Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, and looped around the Capitol Building and end up on the National Mall, where the text banking will be held.

At one point, close to the Supreme Court, across the street from the Capitol, the marchers were met by anti-abortion activists.

In one of several speeches at the rally, Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at Ultraviolet, said she has to chuckle when she hears reporters ask Trump whether he will accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses his reelection bid.

“When we vote him out, come Nov. 3, there is no choice,” said Spoo. “Donald Trump will not get to choose whether he stays in power.”

“That is not his power, that is our power. … We are the hell and high water,” she said.

 

The route of the Saturday’s 2020 Women’s March in D.C. (Courtesy Women’s March)

 

March organizers prohibited participants from the 30 states on the self-quarantine list, such as Florida, North Carolina and Texas. Hand-sanitizer stations were seen throughout the march.

D.C. police began closing streets early in the morning but a number reopened as the march passed after 2 p.m. Below is a full list of closures.

The following streets were posted as Emergency No Parking from about 6
a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday:

  • 14th Street Northwest from Pennsylvania Avenue to F Street Northwest
  • 13th Street Northwest from Pennsylvania Avenue to F Street Northwest
  • Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest from 15th Street and 3rd Street Northwest
  • Constitution Avenue Northwest from 3rd Street to Louisiana Avenue Northwest
  • E Street Northwest from 14th Street to 12th Street Northwest
  • 3rd Street Northwest from C Street to Independence Avenue Northwest
  • 4th Street Northwest from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue Southwest
  • 6th Street Northwest from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue Northwest
  • 7th Street Northwest from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue Southwest

Additional weekend road and rail information from the WTOP Traffic Center.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano, Alejandro Alvarez, Zeke Hartner, CNN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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