Starting with the Women’s March on January 21, scores of Harvard Law students joined hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marching in Boston and around the country for left-leaning causes in the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
In the weeks following the Women’s March, HLS students joined several other demonstrations in the Boston area, including a demonstration for the release of detainees at Logan International Airport on January 28 and a protest against President Trump’s anti-immigration executive orders in Copley Square on January 29.
At the Women’s March, around 100 HLS students joined the Boston march. Organized by 3Ls Natalie Vernon, Kristen Turner, Stephanie Jiminez, and 2Ls Amanda Lee, Paavani Garg, Margaret Kettles, and Suzanne Schlossberg, the group walked from Wasserstein to Boston Common on Saturday morning with banners, signs, and chants.
“Standing up is doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, whether or not it benefits you, whether or not it benefits your children,” said Vernon.
It was important to many students that they made their voice heard.
“I want to be on the record as opposing what he’s doing,” said 3L Nino Monea. “It’s really important that we show that we are here on Day 1.”
Many students who attended the protests see President Trump’s policies and actions as directly antithetical to not only their principles and values, but what they’ve worked toward in their careers.
“Any way that Moroccans saw America as a force for good is getting swamped by Trump,” said 2L Mike Maruca, who served two years in the Peace Corps in Morocco and protested in Copley Square on January 29. “Going to the march was the least I could do [to push back against Trump].”
Several prominent Democratic politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, attended the January 21 Women’s March.
“We will never stop fighting to ensure the equality of all Americans,” Warren said in a speech to the crowd at the March.
For some students, Warren’s message was one that they felt was inadequately communicated by Democrats in the 2016 campaigns.
“There was at least a perception that Democrats were not fighting for working people enough,” said 2L David Kimball-Stanley. “I don’t think that was fair, but we need to do whatever we can to make sure that those types of perceptions don’t persist and that people see us as fighting for the little guy because to me, that’s what the Democratic Party is all about.”
Several of the students attending the marches emphasized that such protests were only the beginning, and more work lay ahead of them.
“This year, there’s gonna be Boston municipal elections, there’s gonna be gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, there are gonna be local city council elections all over the country, there are gonna be referenda all over the country” said Monea. People should get involved “not just every four years, but every time there’s an election.”
“We have to fight at all levels. That’s what Republicans have done, and we need to learn to do the same,” said Kimball-Stanley.
With awareness of the challenges of opposing a federal government under Republican control, students felt that the protests would help keep people energized and motivated to tackle those challenges.
“This march will help give us the energy, the resolve, and the strength, frankly, to stand up every day for the next four years,” Vernon said of the Women’s March. “We don’t want this feeling, this momentum to end.”
Jim An contributed reporting.