MONTCLAIR, NJ - Hundreds of Montclair and surrounding-area residents loaded onto buses during the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, Jan. 21 headed for Washington, DC to attend the Women's March on Washington.
The national movement resulted in nearly a million gathered in Washington, DC and also in cities across the country.
Buses chartered by several organizations and individuals, including Montclair-based Blue WaveNJ, left from the campus of Montclair High School at about 4:00 a.m.
There was an air of excitement as women and a few men held signs with messages, while dozens of volunteers assisted with loading people onto the correct buses.
The buses arrived in DC around 9 a.m., with many of the women wearing their pink "power pussy hats," which is an initiative of the Pussyhat Project. Demonstrations then began around 11 a.m. in DC and across the nation.
For those who did not want to make the trek to DC, another group met up at the Bay Street Train Station to travel to Trenton for another planned march. There in Trenton, Blue WaveNJ President Marcia Marley addressed a crowd of about 6000 women, and some men.
Others traveled to participate in the Women's march in NYC. For those who wanted to participate, but unable to travel, an impromptu group in Montclair held a vigil on the corner of Bloomfield Avenue and Church Street.
TAPinto Montclair caught up to many of the residents as they returned from the journey to DC. They all stated that they were excited to have been a part of demonstration, noting that there was much solidarity and positivity in the air.
Sharon Stephens-Sutton said that she and some friends independently organized a charter bus to DC. She stated, "It's something I feel passionately about, so I did everything I could to make it happen. It was an amazing event."
Stephens-Sutton said that she feels many participated in the march because of their concern over possible changes in the country. "There is a vast amount of concern about what could be occurring in our country and that it could have a strong impact on women and it is something that many of us do not want to have to fight for again." She spoke of the national concern for women's rights. "Because we thought this fight was fought in the 70's and so on, but we're here to do it. It's not just women's rights, it's the rights any people who may be vulnerable."
Many of the demonstrators having returned from DC, although tired, expressed similar sentiments that they had a positive and uplifting experience.
"The energy that went into this march was phenomenal, uplifting, inspiring, and hopeful," added Stephens-Sutton. "Everybody was so positive, friendly and nice."