Philadelphians call for equality at Women’s March [photos]

Nearly 50,000 people packed the Ben Franklin Parkway for the Philadelphia Women’s March today. 

Updated: Sat. January 21, 5:00 p.m.

Nearly 50,000 people packed the Ben Franklin Parkway for the Philadelphia Women’s March today.

The crowd hosted people of all ages, championing a wide variety of issues they expect to clash with the Trump administration about, such as reproductive rights, environmental protection, and immigrant rights.

Marchers carried signs, chanted and sang as they walked from Logan Square up the Parkway. Participants stood shoulder-to-shoulder from Eakins Oval to 21st Street as Mayor Jim Kenney spoke of equal pay for women, and touted his new law that bans employers from asking about applicant’s wage histories. “I always say if you want to get something done, hire a woman, it’ll get done faster,” Kenney said as he left the stage.

Organizers called it a demonstration in support of the rights of women and America’s diverse communities following a presidential election in which they say many groups were demonized. They say the marches are intended to unify the diverse communities in an effort to protect the rights of all.

Christine Ramsay came to the march with a sign saying “You can’t comb-over racism.” She says she came to express her solidarity with the wide variety of causes of the march in Philly, and those across the country. Mostly she came as a concerned mom. “My daughter is mixed-race, and so she and I feel very strongly about the rights of not only women, but we do not appreciate any kind of racism in the country. And I feel like Donald Trump is actually promoting racism,” said Ramsay.

“We’re nasty women,” joked Alexis Turner, who attended with a work friend Julia Frense.  Her comment refers to what became a catch phrase after Trump called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman” during one of the presidential debates.  “You can’t just let this stuff happen,” added Frense,  about potential rollbacks in women’s rights, “You have to get out there and show everyone that you’re not OK with it.”

Tykee James, with state Rep. Donna Bullock’s office agreed, saying that Bullock’s office recognizes that women’s rights are human rights. “There might be federal conflict because of the leadership in Washington. But despite that, we can be united much in the same way that we are this morning,” he said.

This article was edited to reflect updated crowd estimates for Philadelphia Women’s March.

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