OMAHA, Nebraska – “This is what democracy looks like!” rang out in Nebraska just as it did in cities and towns across the land Saturday.
The Women’s March on Washington movement started as just that — a march by women on the nation’s capital. But one day after the inaugural address of President Donald Trump, it exploded into an international crusade.
Omaha was just one of the hundreds of cities to feel the electrical pulse. The organizers were not expecting a crowd much larger than a few thousand. They were thrilled when more than 12,000 showed up.
Before the march, protesters waited outside and within Century Link Convention Center to find seats, in order to hear the day’s speakers. Due to the unexpected turnout, it was difficult to get in.
This didn’t stop protesters from staying loud and inspired.
The Betsy Riot group, a prominent congregation in the march, held a makeshift coffin with “Democracy” painted on the front. A leader of the group said they were mourning the fall of democracy. They later led cries of “No KKK. No NRA. No neo-Nazi USA.”
Starting at the convention center at promptly 6 p.m., protesters kicked off their march through Omaha. They traveled through 14 blocks of the Old Market, cycling chants and jubilant cheers.
“Love trumps hate!” and “Hey hey, ho ho, misogyny has got to go” were two common shouts.
The crowd’s favorite appeared to be “We will not go away!” echoed closely by “Welcome to your first day!”
Women were certainly not the only ones on the march. Both men and children accompanied them in large numbers. They walked, leading many of the cheers and holding home-made signs.
One eight-year-old girl held a sign that canvassed for her 2048 presidential campaign. Another young girl held one that said, “Because I matter.”
At the conclusion of the march, those who finished first, stood and continued to cheer. People poured through until the police cars ushered participants onto the sidewalk, thanking those that did so.
Walking away, one could still hear the continued shouts from protesters who aren’t ready to give up.