ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A march from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House is being planned for Saturday, Jan. 21. So far more than 80,000 people have signed up through a Facebook page saying they will attend.
The event is planned the day after President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office on Jan. 20 to formally become the 45th president of the United States.
The national march is mainly being publicized on Facebook and people from the Tampa Bay area are already making plans to attend. Organizers across Florida and from St. Petersburg/Pinellas County, Manatee County/Sarasota and Hillsborough County/Tampa have also set up an official Facebook page to fundraise, organize trips and invite others to join them.
Mia Culbertson, of St. Petersburg, is going with her boyfriend. She says they made their travel arrangements last weekend. She says, "I think it's really important to stand up for what you believe in. I think it's incredibly important to stand up for those who will be more affected by this than we will. It's a message of solidarity."
Culbertson says even though she's white she's concerned about the way President-elect Trump singled out communities of color, Muslims and gays and she hopes her presence sends a message that discrimination will not be tolerated. She adds, "The purpose is not to change what's happened. We can accept that but what we can also do is open the door to start talking."
Katherine Habenicht supports President-elect Donald Trump and says she's supported him since he announced his plans to run for the office. We asked Habenicht her thoughts on the Women's March on Washington. She says, "I don't think it's going to make any difference."
Habenicht says it's time to get past the controversial comments the president-elect made during his campaign. She says, "Sure half of the country is disappointed. Half of the country is elated but you have to give him a chance and people make mistakes. He's already said he regrets some of the things he's said."
Culbertson says, "You know. The people asking us to accept him and give him a chance are the same people who didn't give the Obamas a chance for the past eight years so I don't think it's necessarily fair to ask us to wholly support him when he has continually come out against women - against minorities - really saying offensive things and urging his supporters to start acting on those beliefs."
Emma Collum is the administrator for the State of Florida chapter of the Women March on Washington. She says, "We want everyone from all races, creeds, genders, sexes, nationalities, sexualities, and religions to join us. Our group has been diligently working since this movement was announced last Thursday to help facilitate transportation lodging and information to make sure every person in Florida, especially those in our most vulnerable communities, will have a voice in DC. It is extremely important that on the first day of this new administration's term the voices of Floridian women join with those of women from every state in the Country and are heard."
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