It was no ordinary Saturday afternoon at Lake Sumter Landing when a sea of protesters marched through the town square in conjunction with the women’s marches happening across the country and worldwide.
The march occurred exactly one year after President Trump’s inauguration and focused on topics such as inclusivity and ending voter suppression in Florida. Pink “pussyhats” and eye-catching signs caught the attention of onlookers as the marchers made their way from Barnes and Noble to the square.
Cindy Grossman of the Village of Caroline was the orchestrator of Saturday’s event and was pleasantly surprised with the turn out.
“I had no idea what to expect but I told a lot of people, I was hoping for 200 now I’m thinking we’re well over 400 maybe 500 here today. It’s wonderful,” Grossman said.
The event brought out many people who marched for causes they personally believed in such as LGBTQ rights and fair pay. Laura Hahnlen of Bel Aire came out to march against injustice, racism and sexism, a few of the many issues a lot of the participants also protested against.
“I think for us it’s very rudimentary, it’s about visibility. We want visibility for people who care about people,” Grossman stated on the common belief that brought all the participants together. “We want to be an inclusive community.”
Running for District 11 this Midterm Election is Dave Koller, who made his appearance at the march in solidarity with the participants and their causes. Koller, as a father with four daughters, he listens to their issues and believes he is the perfect candidate to champion women’s rights.
“This isn’t a red or blue issue. This isn’t about politics,” said Koller.
He then stated, “Women’s rights equals are humans’ rights,” which was also the mantra of Saturday’s event.
The movement was met with plenty of honks of support, but also boos from a few, which did not stop the marchers from making their voices heard. After chanting in the square, the marchers gathered on the street to appear on the Villages webcam.
From supporting Dreamers in the unknown fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to standing with Planned Parenthood, many of the participants said they are planning to march for their beliefs once again on Sunday at the women’s march in Orlando.