TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Over fifteen thousand individuals joined in on a march in Tallahassee on Saturday morning in support of women's rights, along with the millions of women marching in their own cities all around the world.
The march, led by the Florida Planned Parenthood Alliance and held at the Florida A&M University Recreation Center, was inspired by the Woman's March on Washington that took place simultaneously, the day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
"Times are tough and we will be tougher," said organizers of the local event on their Facebook page, "These marches will send a bold message to the new administration and Congress in Washington, to Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature, and to the world – that women's rights are human rights."
The event was projected to be part of the largest mass mobilization of citizens for women's rights since the suffrage movement in the 1920s.
Originally set to head for the Capitol, organizers had to move the event indoors due to dangerous weather conditions. This change led to a rift within the attendees, some continuing to march to the capitol, and some deciding to stay with the organizers in the FAMU Recreation Center.
One Facebook commenter wrote of the attendee's dissent on the event's page, insisting, "Visibility is achieved through mass media and social media. The change in location does not negatively affect this." Other commenters argued that the rallying in front of the Capitol is an important symbol, and will raise visibility to those driving through the area.
Despite these disagreements, the number of attendees grew and grew as the afternoon wore on.
Laura Goodhue, the Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, announced that in the two locations combined, there were somewhere between fifteen and eighteen thousand supporters.
One such supporter, FSU student Genesis Gates, when asked why she was at the rally, replied, "my grandma, my mom, me, my roommates, my future daughter, every woman I know. It means everything to me," she continued, "equality is so important and we need to make sure we give every single person rights."
There was indeed a sense of support and camaraderie in the air. In the massive crowd, attendees could be seen laughing, hugging, taking pictures, chanting, and cheering for the cause.
"This is a show of the love that's in our community, the support that we have for one another, and the incredible power in numbers that we have when we stand up together," said Planned Parenthood Action Fund's National Campus Organizer Kate Cartagena. "We're hoping that this shows our elected officials that it is an unpopular political thing to do to defund Planned Parenthood. Our patient base, communities of color, LGBTQ folks, immigrant folks, we want to make sure that their voices are being heard."
Speakers at the event included Dr. Petra Doan from Equality Florida, Barbara Zdravecky and Lillian Tamayo of Planned Parenthood, and Lola Periwinkle of the FSU transgender activist group, Gender Odyssey.