Thousands of women and men have arrived in Washington to support the Women’s March and the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com is there to capture the event.
Check back on Ohio.com throughout the day for updates from staff writer Doug Livingston and photographer Leah Klafczynski, who are in Washington to cover the march.
O-H-I-O in D.C.
A wave of Ohioans carried each other in spirit from Washington, D.C. stations and bus stops to the focal point of a march for women’s issues and the myriad others Saturday morning.
Leading a group that left Ohio in a van on Friday, Bill Kelvin played cheerleader. The third year Ph.D. student at Kent State University pumped a fist in the air in sync with the sea of women chanting around him.
“I’d say he’s the class clown,” said Sara Liptow, endearingly.
“With leadership qualities,” finished her brother, Jimmy Liptow. The siblings, in their early 20s, drove up from Columbus or down from South Euclid to meet at KSU’s Stark campus in Jackson Township Friday morning. They arrived in the national’s capitol by noon Friday to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
On Saturday, they boisterously yelled “this is what democracy looks like” or “this is what a movement looks like” in a crowd that roared together across turf occupied by Trump supporters the day before.
“This has become one of the best experiences of my life,” said Kelvin, who felt obligated to march when he found out a Chinese Facebook friend, who isn’t a citizen, would be there with Americans and immigrants to rally for women’s rights, equality for all and other egalitarian efforts.
The issues may be many. But the mind set is coalescent.
“We are the same,” Kelvin continued. “I’m surrounded by thousands of like-minded people. There’s a positive energy pushing us all forward.”
Thousands and thousands of pink-hatted women, sign-holding activists and their families and friends poured out of a metro train station beside the Capitol Building.
They were greeted soon by Mary Clare Rietz, who grew up in Firestone Park in Akron but now lives in Cincinnati, where she studied at Xavier University. The artists and community organizer designed and printed 1,000 signs that read, “_______ is a women’s issue.”
She brought 500 with her to Washington D.C. (which added 50 pounds to her luggage) and left the other half in Cincinnati, where Ohio would be holding a sister march Saturday.
Train passengers leaving the station grabbed one of her posters and a colored pen, then filled in the blank. Rietz herself had trouble boiling down all the issues that matter to women, a difficulty that inspired the sign project.
Smiling and showing what they had come up with, a group of friends from Maryland and Colorado held up their creation: which said “Every issue” in large lettering and — writing outside the lines — a circular listing that included equality, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, health care, LGBTQIA, disability rights, education, equal pay, climate and free press.
“We brainstormed this together,” said Anh LyJordan of Bethesda, Md.
“We affect all people,” she summarized.