ITHACA, N.Y. — More than 400 local residents are marching with nearly half a million people at the Women’s March on Washington.
Buses of Ithaca marchers arrived in Washington, D.C. around 11 a.m. Saturday. After spending more than an hour commuting into the city on the metro, marchers were finally able to take to the streets around 12:45 p.m.
Initially marchers stuck together through the massive crowds, but with an estimated 500,000 in attendance, according to police, many people split off into smaller groups.
Local marchers, identifiable by their purple hats that say “Rise Up Ithaca,” have said they are amazed by how beautiful and peaceful the march is.
Melissa Hartman, of Caroline, said: “It’s been so kind … I feel very safe for being in a march with half a million people.”
Hartman and other local marchers, like Asha Sanaker of Buffalo Street Books, have been carrying signs and leading chants like “Show me what America looks like.”
Ithaca Voice reporter Jolene Almendarez is at the Women’s March on Washington. Due to the massive amount of people in the area, cell phone service and WiFi availability has been spotty, but The Ithaca Voice will provide updates as often as possible.
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After sleeping for a few hours on Bus 5 headed to Washington D.C., riders from the Ithaca area are singing, munching on bagels, and getting palpably excited for the Women’s March.
The bus is expected to arrive in the area in less than three hours, pending traffic.
Two of the eight buses that left Ithaca College have run into some delays.
Buses 7 and 6 were involved in a minor fender bender around 6:45 a.m. after one of the buses reportedly lost power and the other slightly struck it from behind.
Bus 5 Leader Lauren Korfine said some people were able to transfer to the second bus, many even volunteering to take shifts standing to let more people on, after efforts to get another bus or mechanic were slow-moving.
But instead, two large vans were rented and the remaining people will continue the rest of the trip in those.
Korfine said everybody was safe and unharmed and the fender bender set back the marchers by about two hours.
ITHACA, N.Y. — More than 400 people, many clad in pink “pussy hats” and carting homemade signs, began boarding buses at Ithaca College around 3:30 a.m. About an hour later, they were on their way to the Women’s March on Washington — which is expected to be the biggest Inauguration Weekend protest in the country.
Ithacan Shawna Black sparked interest in Ithaca marchers joining a national movement of women and allies following the election of President Donald Trump in November.
By the time the final buses were booked, tickets sold out within 45 seconds, Black said.
Marchers will be taking on a variety if issues at the rally, demonstrating that women’s rights are humans rights and that people will stand with the most vulnerable community members in the face of hardship, organizers have said.
The Ithaca Voice will be reporting throughout the day from Washington D.C. and will be covering the Women’s March in Ithaca Saturday. For more information about the Ithaca March, click here.
Photos by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice