Up to 20,000 people in Montpelier joined in the Women’s March on Saturday, according to Montpelier City Police.
It was one of dozens of marches coinciding with the Women’s March on Washington that attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the nation’s capital the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Thousands marched down Montpelier’s State Street hoisting signs that read messages including “We’re all in this together.”
“I want all the people that can’t be marching with us all today to know they are not forgotten that we are out here marching for them and for all the women and minorities who have been marching for all these years that we are still fighting the good fight,” said Heather Kantor of South Burlington.
Participants were hoping the Trump administration hears the message.
“He does not have a mandate to carry out his reckless, racist, sexist agenda,” said a protester.
“He is not our president… Donald no!” cheered another.
“I think the fact that there are women’s marches and rallies happening around the world sends a pretty strong message to the incoming administration that we care about each other and we care about women’s rights because women’s rights are human rights,” said Katie McCarty, Women’s March on Montpelier organizer.
The march ended on the steps of the statehouse where a number of speakers addressed the crowd including Vermont’s first and only female governor Madeleine Kunin.
“Why are we here, what are we marching for? We march for respect, we march for respect,” she said to the crowd.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) made a surprise appearance as well.
Some other Vermont’s political leaders were there including Lt. Governor David Zuckerman (P/D – Vermont) and former democratic gubernatorial nominee Sue Minter.
“We are coming together in unity, we are not going to let our state be divided and that it is upon all of us to be the leaders of that change in whatever way we can,” said Minter. “We are very proud of everyone here and in every state that is having a march today. Our state is a state that loves to act and step forward and people are scared and concerned.”
“I think it’s great for people to get out and show their support in favor of women’s rights which I have done consistently over my years of public service. I think it’d be great to see them in action,” said Governor Phil Scott (R – Vermont) who did not attend the march.
Local22/Local44 News met up with the Governor at an event in Berlin Saturday.
“I think there’s a lot of apprehension about what this is going to mean, and I want to make sure Vermonters know that we’ll do everything we can to protect them. Vermont is different, we treat our citizens with respect and dignity and that’s what we’ll continue to do under my administration,” Gov. Scott about the new Trump administration.
About 200 people also gathered in Plattsburgh, New York, according to Plattsburgh police.
In New Hampshire, Senators Maggie Hassan (D – New Hampshire) and Jeanne Shaheen (D – New Hampshire) spoke outside the state house in Concord to a crowd of thousands.
Groups of Vermonters also made the trip to D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington, including Rep. Peter Welch (D – Vermont).
Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) and his wife, Marcelle, hosted Vermonters and friends at the Mott House on Capitol hill for a “Warm Up for the March,” giving coffee and refreshments to folks before they headed out to the march.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – New York) attended the DC protest and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – New York) protested in New York City.