Millions of women, men and children hit the streets around the world this past weekend to peacefully protest President Donald Trump and the policies and ethics he represents.
The primary march was based in Washington, D.C., mere feet from where Trump was sworn in the day before – there, hundreds of thousands of women participated including Vernon’s own – Dawn Tucker.
“It was just amazing to see. To see women going and marching, with signs, all marching for different reasons,” said Tucker.
“I got there before 8 a.m. and the women kept coming and coming. There were men and all types of women and children. It was phenomenal.”
Tucker made the decision to attend the march in November.
“I followed the election and I was shocked and yet not shocked Trump won,” said Tucker. “The day after the election, I was on Facebook and I noticed what was, at that point, small talk about a “Million Woman March.”
Feeling the need to be apart of this important day for women Tucker perfectly timed her visit to Florida to see her father with a return trip home near the date of the march.
“I knew I wanted to go to it,” said Tucker. “I found a not-so-great hotel in Maryland, but close to a train station and I made it work. At that point it was just a few thousand woman and it just started to grow and grow.”
After she signed up, the event started to really gain steam with millions of woman around the world committing to march the day after President Trump’s inauguration.
The event officially became the Women’s March on Washington.
“It turned in to this massive event,” said Tucker. “It changed its name, it got an organizing committee, sister marches sprung up. It was pretty neat. I felt like I had to go.”
Tucker arrived in D.C. on inauguration day and watched as violent protests broke out just blocks away from where Trump was being sworn in.
“I was there around the Washington Post when they set the limo on fire, and saw them using pepper spray and flash bangs, I witnessed all of that,” said Tucker.
Friday’s events were a stark contrast to what she heard and saw and felt during the women’s march.
“People were all so welcoming, everyone was from different places, you could talk to people,” said Tucker. “You were apart of something bigger.”
Reflecting back, Tucker described the metro stations as a never-ending flow of women.
“There were so many people we covered the entire original march route,” said Tucker. “We were in font of where we were supposed to be, beside where we were supposed to be, behind where we were supposed to be.”
To rectify the overwhelming turnout, the women and their supporters branched off into several different marches. Some to the White House and some to the new Trump hotel.
“It was just massive, people kept coming, they had to shut down several metro stations.
“People were marching for hours and hours. It took hours to get out of downtown. We broke the metro,” said Tucker with a laugh.
She said the march was all about being inclusive to all who marched and supporting all of the different reasons people had chosen to attend that day.
“It was really neat to see that. Everyone I met, when they heard I came from Canada, they just thanked me. It didn’t matter who I met.”
As for ongoing debate over the ‘huge’ numbers, or lack thereof, at the inauguration, Tucker said there is no doubt in her mind, the women’s march trumped inauguration day numbers.
“I can definitely guarantee there were not as many people at the inauguration and parade as Donald Trump says,” said Tucker.
“I can confirm there were more woman there, it was pretty phenomenal.”
For Tucker, the main takeaway from her experience was simple.
“I think it is important that we all take an interest in what is going on. The biggest message that came out of it, was that we all need to be involved and be active in politics and what is going on. Just get involved,” said Tucker.
“Whether it is school board, city council, regional district or elections – we need to be involved. If not, people we disagree with are going to get elected.
“This could easily happen anywhere, it could happen here and what happens in the United States will effect us.”