Armed with markers and paint, some of those in attendance dedicated their signs to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist icon who was a pioneer for gender equality under the law. Other signs called for the continued protection of reproductive rights. Barrett’s confirmation to replace Ginsburg would solidify a conservative majority on the Supreme Court — possibly jeopardizing the future of abortion rights, Democrats fear.
Outside of the Supreme Court, a group of counterprotesters from Students for Life also had signs that included pictures of fetuses with messages such as “She could be Audrey” and “She could be Oprah.” The two sides chanted opposing messages to each other, signs in hand.
The Washington Post spoke to first-time marchers, teachers and others about the signs they made for the Women’s March and why they decided to participate on Saturday. Here’s what they said:
Ashleigh Subramanian-Montgomery, 33, from D.C.
Ashleigh Subramanian-Montgomery said she spent the week before the Women’s March mulling over what she wanted her signs to say. She wanted something creative and original, she said, “to help keep the momentum of the march going” after it ended. Eventually, she landed on a sign about controversial Supreme Court confirmations.
“It’s like women’s rights being rolled back 70 years,” she said, shaking her head.
Joanna Eljazzar, 34, from Georgia
Joanna Eljazzar traveled from Atlanta to meet friends from New York at the Women’s March in D.C.
Eljazzar said this is the first time she has participated in an organized Women’s March.
Martha Lawson, 58, from New York state
Martha Lawson, a middle school teacher from Liverpool, in central New York, carried a sign with a photo of her friend and neighbor Gail. Lawson’s friend has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is on oxygen, so she couldn’t travel to Washington.
“She said, ‘If I take my picture, will you bring me to Washington?’ ” Lawson said.
Lawson said she has been to every Women’s March in D.C. since the first year. Two years ago, she attended the march in Seneca Falls, home of the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. Wearing an RBG collar and a mask with the word “VOTE,” she marched for her students and for Black mothers like Gail, who has to have terrifying conversations with her sons about their safety.
This year’s march feels just as urgent as the first march in 2017, she said. The crowd is smaller than that historic day, but “it’s just as hopeful and just as determined,” she said.
Corrine Wilkinson, 25, from Maryland
Corrine Wilkinson, a graduate student from Baltimore, said she chose to make her sign because “it’s frustrating how we seem to prioritize our right to gun ownership over women’s rights over their bodies.”
She’s been to most of the Women’s Marches, but said she felt this one felt different from the others. The counterprotesters were more intense, and people seemed even more frustrated, she said.
At the first one, she said, “I think people were a lot more excited at the potential for change. People banded together more. You could see people took comfort in each other."
Now, Wilkinson said, “I think it’s just a feeling of exhaustion.”
Here are other signs from the Women’s March posted on Twitter: