PARIS — On a bright, clear day — the kind rarely seen in Paris in winter — thousands upon thousands of women and men marched through the French capital, for a multitude of reasons.
For Mathilde, 16, from Paris, this was the reason to come — even though Trump is not technically her president.
“Even though I’m not American, it’s important for everyone in the world to know that Trump is not a good representation of anything,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to run a country who is sexist or racist.”
But this was not the only reason so many gathered: over 4,000, according to the event’s Facebook page.
For Nancy Reynolds, 60, visiting Paris from Minneapolis — who carried a sign that read “Ceci n’est pas un président,” with Trump’s face emblazoned on the end of a smoking pipe, a play on the famous painting by René Magritte — the event transcended Trump.
“I'm here to stand against Trump,” she said, standing on the Pont d’Iéna in front of the Eiffel Tower. “And to be here for all the mothers and daughters and grandmothers and women everywhere.”
And for others — especially many of the Americans there — the march was a means of reclaiming a particular vision of their country.
Michelle Priest-Gaultret, 55, who grew up in San Francisco and moved to France 20 years ago to marry her husband, said she had waked up in the wee hours of Saturday morning and driven all the way from the Loire Valley to Paris to be in town in time for the march.
“I came to mourn the loss of the country I thought I knew,” she said. “I saw America as a beacon, and now I see that beacon going dark. I didn't think it could happen here — and certainly not that fast.”
Her sign had a giant pair of eyes beneath a furrowed brow: “We’ve Got Our Eyes On You Mr. Trump….”