An estimated 500,000 people gathered at the National Mall for the Women’s March on Washington Saturday following President Donald Trump’s inauguration the day before. That crowd included two Florida Gulf Coast University students who traveled up for the march with money they raised through a crowd-funding site.
“We fundraised with GoFundMe, and we got a lot of really, like, generous donations that allowed us to be here and, like, have our voices heard,” said Brittany Rincon.
Rincon’s friend Jacqueline Burgos first planned on attending and asked her to join.
“I heard about it through Dr. Anne Hartley from FGCU,” said Burgos. “She posted it in the FGCU Enlighten Us page, and I was like, ‘Oh, this sounds interesting.’ And, I started doing more research. I private messaged her, and that was it.”
Burgos and Rincon met Hartley for the first time in person at the airport the day before the march.
“The plane that we took here, like, more than half the plane were protestors,” said Burgos.
Burgos said the small crowd of fellow marchers on her flight did not prepare her for the feeling of being in the large crowd on Saturday.
“I have an overwhelming sense of emotion,” said Burgos. “I’m feeling everything at once. I’m going to look back at this in 10, 15, 20 years and be like, ‘I was a part of this. This is a movement.’ this. This is welcoming. This is a true definition of intersectionality.”
There has been speculation that the march was in large part due to the 2016 presidential race. Burgos said, for her, it very much was. It was Hillary Clinton’s concession speech that drove her to rally.
“A piece of me died with her that day, and if anything, I think that mobilized me and other students to want to actually do something because they realize now it’s a problem,” said Burgos. “You know, we keep hearing, like, ‘the silent majority, the silent majority.’ The majority is here right now.”
Rincon, whose bright purple colored tips of hair matched the vibrant feminine colors in the crowd around her, jumped in to add how surprised she was by how loving the crowd was despite its size.
“It really is unifying,” said Rincon. “That’s what it’s doing. It’s bringing people together. Like, the election definitely separated a lot of us, and this is trying to bring the people back together behind a common cause.”
That cause brought together an estimated 2.9 million people in women’s marches across the nation Saturday as well as an uncalculated amount in the 168 other countries that held marches of their own.