Jessica Machetta reported from St. Louis; Ashley Byrd reported from Columbia
More than 30,000 people mobbed downtown St. Louis over the weekend for the Women’s March on St. Louis. About 10,000 people turned out in Kansas City, while about 3,000 gathered in Columbia. Two thousand also marched in Springfield.
In St. Louis, Democratic State Senator Maria Chappelle Nadal marched with her constituents. “There are a lot of peoples’ lives who, they don’t know what’s going to happen” said Chappelle Nadal. “They don’t know if they’re going to have their health care next week. They don’t know if they’re going to keep they’re jobs.”
She said the peaceful resistance to the Donald Trump presidency was positive action that many have been waiting for. “We’re are in a place where we’re trying to figure things out. And people are just scared, frankly. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we have to speak up and fight back.”
Lori Colvin, who lives north of Kansas City decided to go to the march in Columbia instead.
“My daughter lives in Columbia. She’s having a baby this coming week I believe. And I thought it would be awesome to share this experience with my daughter and my soon to be granddaughter.”
The catalyst was the march in Washington of about half a million, to bring attention to concerns about how women were spoken about during the 2016 campaign and now about anti-Trump sentiments.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 men, women and children participated in what was called the “March for Solidarity” in downtown Columbia. High school students Melissa and Leela said their message was about the new president.
“Just against hearing what Trump is saying, and being together. And understanding that just because he’s our president doesn’t mean that we have to listen to what he says (about) things against women’s rights, and racial issues and things like that.”
A participant in the march in Columbia, Leona Greer is Muslim, and was impressed with the tone of the turnout. “I fit in so many categories. I would say from healthcare, as a woman, as a Muslim, just equality. My family is Palestinian, my husband and children. Many rights, just human rights, I guess, would be respectful to humans’ dignities and human rights.”
At least 3.7 million people marched across at least 500 different cities on Saturday. The gathering in St. Louis end in a peaceful rally at the Arch monument on the Mississippi River.