An estimated 15,000 people paraded the mile from Cumberland Park on the East Bank to Public Square Park outside the Davidson County Courthouse as part of the Nashville march held in conjunction with hundreds of others around the world Saturday, headed by the Women’s March on Washington in the nation’s capital.
Marchers stepped off from Cumberland Park and onto the John Seigenthaler Bridge at 10 and by noon, the first of the group arrived at Public Square, even as the rear of the line was still making its way across the bridge. Chanting “This is what democracy looks like,” marchers carried signs urging equality for women and alerting the newly-inaugurated Trump Administration that they would remain vigilant to the rights of women, as well as racial and religious minorities and other groups feeling threatened by the fiery rhetoric of the new Republican president and his supporters.
Officially, the march was called ‘Power Together,’ as the organizers wanted to emphasize the unity of all groups, rather than just women, a decision the organizers, Jennifer Wilson and Dee Clancy, told the Nashville Scene was not uniformly popular.
“One of the things, when we first started organizing, was we wanted to address the name issue. And in order to do that we needed to differentiate ourselves from the actual Women’s March. So Power Together was born. We realized through a lot of our meetings that there really is a need for a group that’s not specific to any one issue, but a group that shows unity. We’re not talking about uniting the groups. We’re talking about uniting actual people from different groups, and people who have never even thought about any kind of civil rights or social justice before, who are really stepping outside of their comfort zones to be a part of this movement,” Clancy said.
Initially, Power Together expected between 5,000 and 6,000 marchers, though the Facebook and EventBrite page had nearly 8,000 RSVPs by Friday night. The final turnout blew all those estimates out of the water, and the march-ending rally at the Public Square is believed to be the largest crowd ever at the city’s central civic space.
Among those in attendance was Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper, who told WTVF that Saturday was “a great day!” Also, comedian Chris Rock, in town for four shows at Zanies comedy club, tweeted an in-march selfie.