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Thousands march in Michigan

Cheyna Roth
Thousands of protesters gathered at the state capitol in Lansing

From Detroit to Kalamazoo, thousands of people have turned out at rallies for women's rights, social causes and peace.   The marches were in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

An estimated 7,000 men, women, and children were at the State Capitol Saturday for the Women’s March on Lansing. It was a sister rally to the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

Ellen Sullivan is from Livonia. Sullivan said she used to protest in the 1960s at Wayne State for legalized abortion. She says she thought the concerns about women’s rights from the 60’s were over and done with.

“Our daughters have to worry, our granddaughters have to worry,” she said. “We have three generations here – there’s another group coming, the mother, the daughter, and the granddaughters. So this is affecting three generations right now.”

Mary Ann Arsenault, also from Livonia, was one of Sullivan’s four friends at the march. Arsenault said she doesn’t normally go out and protest anymore. But, she said, they have to draw a line.

“I can’t believe that the things we fought for in the 60’s – which is equality and tolerance and respect for people have been thrown out the window,” she said. “And we’re disgusted. We are old women. And we’re disgusted.”

In Kalamazoo, participants moved in a 3.5-mile loop from Western Michigan University to downtown and back in what was called the "little sister" march in support of a larger event in Washington.

  Ten-year-old Elliot Spoelstra held a sign that said, "Rise! We are resilient." Another sign said, "pizza rolls not gender roles."

  A similar but larger march took place in Detroit. President Donald Trump was a target of many. One sign said, "My uterus rejects this president."

  Gretchen Whitmer, a 2018 Democratic candidate for governor, told the Lansing crowd, "We must go high."

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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