ATLANTA — Around the world, millions of people joined together Saturday, Jan. 21 at various satellite locations of the March for Social Justice and Women.
In Atlanta, more than 60,000 people marched from the Center for Civil and Human Rights to the Georgia state Capitol.
And although storms in the morning might have deterred some people, Alpharetta resident and member of the Roswell chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, Terry Schiff said you couldn’t tell at the North Springs Marta station.
“I was amazed,” she said. “I was expecting maybe four people there on a Saturday morning. There was a huge crowd trying to buy tickets. The train was packed. And there was so much positive energy.”
Schiff and the crowd “walked cheerfully through sideways rain” to get to the march. She was intending to meet up with friends at the event, but due to the large turnout, she was unable to.
“I was astounded by all the people there,” she said. “It was a closely packed crowd with not much room to move around.”
She saw a variety of people in the crowd, all with varying reasons for attending. For Schiff, it was mainly about environmental issues.
“It was such a positive event,” Schiff said. “It wasn’t a protest but a demonstration of concern about some issues we want to make sure President Trump understands we care about deeply.”
In Trump’s new home of Washington, D.C., over half a million people reportedly marched there.
Anita Tucker is the third vice chairperson for the Forsyth County Democratic Party. She organized a group of 36 north Georgia residents to attend the D.C. event.
“It was amazing,” Tucker said. “It was emotional to see all these people of all walks of life and denominations. There were Muslim women praying to Mecca, LGBT people, transgender people. Nobody cared. It didn’t matter.”
Tucker witnessed multiple instances of people coming together to help each other out. Onlookers cheered the crowd on, and the marchers thanked the police as they walked by.
“There was no pushing, no one got violent,” she said. “Everyone went with the flow. There was no reason to be afraid of us. We are mad, but not at you. We respect them and what they’re doing.”
There were counter demonstrators, Tucker said, but she didn’t see anyone engaged with them.
“It’s a free country, everyone can protest,” she said. “But no one engaged with them which was important. It kept the focus of the demonstration where it should be.”
And although nice to one another, Tucker said they were still passionate.
“People were fired up,” she said. “Don’t mistake kindness as weakness, because it’s not, and it wasn’t.”
People are angry about what they think might happen now that Trump is in office, Tucker said.
“We don’t want the things being said by our president to be normal,” she said. “We don’t believe that’s the way the country should go. We may not be able to make changes, but we are definitely going to make our voices heard.”