- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Women and their supporters rallied Saturday in Madison to protest against policies under the new administration of Republican President Donald Trump during his first full day in office.

Tens of thousands of people filled the Library Mall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus as similar marches were held in Washington and around the world, the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/2iYmChI ) reported.

Pink hats adorned the heads of hundreds of women, men and children as they marched down State Street to the state Capitol for the Women’s March on Madison. Protesters held signs supporting women’s reproductive rights and public education.

Madison police estimate the crowd grew to more than 75,000, rivaling the turnout of the largest protests of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal in 2011 that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. No one was arrested.

While many at the march and rally were there to speak out against Trump, who was sworn in Friday, Kristopher Gash, 34, said he was not protesting against anything but instead was protesting in favor of equal rights and inclusiveness.

Gash held a sign reading, “God made us gay. Common sense made us march for women’s rights.”

Nomi Rivers, 54, of Madison, said she came in support of many causes she fears will be ignored under the Republican majority in Washington, including women’s health, inequality and climate change.

As a biracial woman coming from a mostly white family, Rivers said she felt alone in her feelings after the election. She said the energy of the march and rally made her feel less alone and more hopeful for the future she wants for the country.

Speakers included a transgender activist, a public school teacher and student poets. All spoke of the need for inclusiveness and kindness.

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Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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