WASHINGTON – On Saturday morning, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-8) gave a familiar speech in a familiar place.
Just as he did the night he won the Democratic primary in May, Raskin gave his stump speech to an enthusiastic crowd packed into the Silver Spring Civic Center.
“We are the heirs to the civil rights movement, and the women’s movement, and the LGBT movement, the environmental movement, the labor movement, the peace movement, the human rights movement,” Raskin said. “And we’re not going to allow a cabinet of billionaires and bigots and bullies take away everything that we built.”
But while the speech was similar to the one he gave after winning the Democratic primary for Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District, this time Raskin was not speaking just to his constituents but people from all around the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country gathered in Washington to protest the newly elected president, Donald J. Trump. Raskin led a packed Civic Center crowd to the District to protest the new Trump administration.
Organized by feminist activists Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour, the Women’s March was a series of protests in opposition to the Trump administration.
Metro trains were packed with riders. On the streets of the District, protesters crowded into the National Mall and areas around the U.S. Capitol Building, tightly knit and holding signs deriding the president.
“Reproductive rights and reproductive justice is something I feel is essential for women being able to control their lives, and it should be a fundamental right for access to whatever health care and reproductive option that they need,” said Rachelle Learch, who came to from Toledo, Ohio, to attend the Women’s March.
Raskin said he originally intended to attend Trump’s inauguration to witness a peaceful transfer of power as he did for Gov. Larry Hogan (R) when Raskin was a member of the Maryland Senate in 2014. But Raskin later changed his mind, saying in part that he could not attend because of Russian interference in the election.
“You know, if a foreign power, like Russia tried to dismantle the health care system of America, we would consider it an act of war – we would,” Raskin said.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report that said the Russian government tried to hack political parties and organizations in the United States but did not specify which groups. In addition, the director did not publish evidence that the Russian government hacked any American political organizations or changed votes in the presidential election.
At the White House, newly appointed White House press secretary Sean Spicer read a statement on the president’s activities but declined to take questions from reporters, walking away from the podium as reporters shouted questions about the Women’s March.