Thousands gathered on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Saturday morning for the second year of the Women’s March on Philadelphia.
Emily Cooper Morse, the woman who started the march in January of last year, stood before a crowd of an estimated 55,000.
“I’m just an ordinary person,” she said nervously through a microphone. “I don’t do this for a living.”
But that was the point, Cooper Morse explained. It takes ordinary people to make change, to loud cheers of support.
Women’s activists gathered at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 11 a.m. to begin marching to Eakins Oval just outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Men, women, and children alike carried signs reading “The future is female” and “Down with Trump.”
Marcher Jeanine Glasgow said felt like the march turned her fear into action.
“It was such a shock last year with what happened with the election. The feeling of fear stifled me,” she said. “The sense of unity and purpose with all these voices – both men and women – it’s just a motivator. And it’s the same thing this year. I can’t believe we’re still doing this.”
After the march, the energy of the crowd continued. Singers and speakers took the stage outside the art museum until 3 p.m. and activists continued to hold their hand-made posters proudly.
Sister marches occurred throughout the United States and even in places like Rome, but the national organizers of the Women’s March in Washington focused on a march in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Chris Demer, of Jenkintown, Pa., came back for the march in Philadelphia after last year.
“I’m still pretty disgusted with the way things are not working in Washington, and I wanted to register my dismay yet again,” she said. “Trump is not a leader and he is not fit to be our president in any shape or form.”
Despite the march’s anti-Trump message, Donald Trump tweeted out in support. “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March,” he wrote.
Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018