An estimated two thousand people marched through downtown Columbus in a preview of the Women’s March on Washington this weekend after President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Many of the marchers came for some of the same reasons. “I am here to advocate for women’s rights, women’s health care and equality for all,” said Delta Steck of Westerville. “I’m here to support my fellow women with their equal rights,” said Tarek Akkari of Columbus. “Oh my gosh, there’s so many reasons. Why don’t we march, really? I mean, we’re here for women’s rights, we’re for equality, we’re here for gun control," said Sarah Hall Philips of Columbus.
Most marchers said they were there for unity too, though some doubted that will be possible. Some also joined with faith groups that held hands and formed a human chain around the Statehouse.
There was a little conflict – such as when a police officer had to separate two protestors – but the demonstration was peaceful. That’s what Barbara Marshall of Hilliard had hoped for – she’d come with other faith groups. “It’s not a church function. We’re just people who care about the rights of women, of the LGBT, of immigrants, of people whose rights might be in danger,” Marshall said.
Some of the women’s marchers stayed to join with the faith groups’ demonstration. And many of the marchers said they plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington next weekend.