500,000 included 30 from campus

Pitt-Johnstown College Democrats Sophia Lewis (left), Halee Sesock (middle) and Makenzie Croyle (right) participate in the Women’s March Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

Tyler McNulty

Pitt-Johnstown College Democrats Sophia Lewis (left), Halee Sesock (middle) and Makenzie Croyle (right) participate in the Women’s March Jan. 21 in Washington, D.C.

Tyler McNulty , News Editor

In four vans Saturday, 23 students and seven faculty members travelled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March on Washington.

Biology professor Jill Henning said that it was important to teach students that social activism and peaceful protests can initiate change.

The group left at 5:30 a.m. from the Living/Learning Center.

The group was led by history professor Paul Newman, biology professor Christine Dahlin and  English literature professor Ann Rea. English literature professor Jeremy Justus also led the group.

Dahlin said she went because some professors were trying to set positive examples for students.

“Our country is now divided, and we will not be better until we come together.

“For me, as a biologist, I am terrified of climate change. We will lose biodiversity the planet can never regain.”

Instead of driving straight into the capital, the group parked at the Shady Grove Metro station to take a train into the city.

According to Newman, driving into the capital would have been impossible because of the large numbers of people expected to attend the march, 500,000, according to estimates.

Pitt-Johnstown students and faculty members had seats on a packed train. Henning gave her seat to a woman carrying a baby.

Once the group arrived in the capital, they walked down the crowded Seventh Ave. toward the Washington Mall.

Freshman Kait Sloan said she was surprised by the crowd.

“The (number) of people here is crazy. I haven’t seen a negative thing yet, and we aren’t even at (the march),” Sloan said.

The march began at the Capitol and concluded at the Lincoln Memorial.

Throughout the march, people held up signs saying, “Not my president,” and, “I have concerns.”

In addition to the signs, chants also erupted.

“Whose streets? Our streets,” people shouted.

Police during the march were not apparent, except for two officers shutting down a street vendor.

After the march ended, patrol cars were sent down streets in an attempt to re-open traffic and push protesters onto the sidewalks, with police beginning to put on riot gear.

All four vans returned to Pitt-Johnstown before midnight.

The College Democrats sponsored the trip, and after the march concluded, the club’s president Jacob Williamson-Rea said he thought it went well.

“I think this was the largest protest march against an inauguration in history, and it’s something UPJ College Democrats should be proud of,” he said.

According to the Women’s March on Washington website, there were an additional 673 Sister Marches across the world with an estimated number of 4,797,500 marchers.