January 19th 2016— Twenty thousand people show up to Columbus Circle in Manhattan and stand for human rights on the eve of Trump's inauguration, an event put together by the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.
January 20th 2016— Trump is sworn in as the 45th President Of The United States.
January 21st 2016— The biggest march in U.S history takes place in the name of Women's Rights. An estimate of around one million women took to The National Mall in Washington DC, where the underwhelming Presidential Inauguration took place the day before. Although it is hard to gauge how many people were present in Washington and at the sisters marches across the world, the official Women's March Website estimates around 4.8 million people (and counting) took part in 673 marches in all 50 states and 32 countries, from Belarus to New Zealand — with the largest taking place in D.C.
As I joined the march in New York City through an entrance on 42nd Street and 2nd Avenue, I immediately became emotional and overwhelmed with the amount of love and support in the air. Being enveloped by 400,000 peaceful protesters—amongst them fathers, grandmothers, differently abled people, women, kids— was something I had absolutely needed to feel during such a rough, hostile time for the world.
People were passionately chanting and reassuring one another, "We will not go away, welcome to your first day!" "THIS is what democracy looks like!", and held up signs reading all kinds of clever slogans like "Ovary Squad", "Make Racism Wrong Again", "Fight like a Girl", "Girls just wanna have FUNdamental Rights", "A women's place is in the house and senate" and of course Beyonce was ever present with signs like "OK ladies now lets get in formation!" and "WHO RUN THE WORLD!".
As scary as it is for such a deplorable person to be sworn in as the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world— a country that oftentimes symbolized hope and freedom to millions of people under oppressive governments — this weekend was a little more tolerable feeling the presence and warmth of other compassionate beings, all walking together, there for one another.
As we reached the end of the march, The Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue—which had been fenced off from the crowds a couple of blocks south— marchers were dropping off their creative, colorful, badass signs at the foot of the fence. As we exited everyone was taking their time reading the signs and honoring them, and as if we were all mourning the loss of a loved one, we dropped our signs in silence and left. As we were walking away, I happened to catch a glimpse of a small piece of paper amongst all the posters that read "This is YOUR wall", and it was. It is the wall that the people of the world have erected with nothing more than love and a fiery anger in their hearts to protect one another from anyone or anything that wants to tear this country, its principles, and its beautiful people apart.
Photos by Julia de la Torre for Howl Magazine©