By Cheryl Mattox Berry
MIAMI – More than 8,000 women, men and children crammed into the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre Saturday for a solidarity rally to support the massive Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Thousands more who couldn’t get in milled about the grounds, parading through the crowd with signs supporting women’s rights, human rights, LGBT rights and anti-Trump slogans.
Loxana Viera, 45, traveled from Jupiter, Fla., with her husband, Kevin, 45; daughters Sofia, 11, and Lucia, 9; and her 74-year-old mother. “We decided that (the protest rally) would be a good example for our kids,” said Viera.
The Miami rally was an offshoot of the Women’s March on Washington to show President Donald J. Trump that women don’t support some of the proposed policies that he outlined during the bitter presidential race.
“I feel like our country has gotten hijacked. It’s a way of showing other people in America and the world how we feel,” said Dalia, 31, of Miami.
It was a perfect day for the beach, but 43-year-old Michelle Gallagher of Miami and nine friends decided the rally was more important. “We came out to make a difference and fight for our rights,” said Gallagher.
Wendy, 63, of Boca Raton, brought along her husband, who waited patiently in line for entrance to the park. “I have very strong feelings of hate (for Trump,)” she said. “I hate him, despise him. We have to react. We can’t sit back.”
The huge turnout surprised Rachel, 33, of Miami Beach. Other relatives participated in the Washington march and one in her native Pittsburgh. “I think we need to come out and make our voices known that Trump doesn’t have the mandate he thinks he does,” said Rachel, who was at the rally with her husband, Brian.
Fifty-five students, faculty and employees of Florida International University (FIU) came wearing navy T-shirts with the words “We Can Do It” on the front above a graphic of women. “A lot of students at FIU are passionate about equality issues and gender issues,” said Bronwen Bares Pelaez, director of the Women’s Center at FIU.
Many women in the crowd wore T-shirts that read “Nasty Woman,” in reference to Trump’s remark about Hillary Clinton during the last debate. There were plenty photo-ops for protesters carrying signs. Among the messages:
- Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
- Girls Just Want To Have FUNdamental Rights
- Our Rights Aren’t Up For Grabs
- Our Voice Is Our Future
- Trump Putin US In Danger
- Sister Act!
- She Should Make As Much As He
- Elizabeth Warren In 2020
- Russian Puppet