Rhode Island Rally For Women's Solidarity Delivers Unity, Calls for Social and Environmental Justice

Gov. Gina Raimondo hugs daughter Ceci during the Jan. 21 Rally for Women's Solidarity at the Rhode Island Statehouse. (Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News photos)

Gov. Gina Raimondo hugs daughter Ceci during the Jan. 21 Rally for Women's Solidarity at the Rhode Island Statehouse. (Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News photos)

Videos and text by TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — Much like demonstrations and marches across the country and globe — even in Antarctica — Rhode Island's capital city hosted a massive post-inauguration rally for women’s solidarity on Jan. 21.

Women, men and children gathered on a sunny and unseasonably warm January day to support a range of issues: reproductive rights, equal pay, housing, college debt, health care, student activism, racism, immigration and climate change, and to voice loads of backlash against President Donald Trump.

Women voted 54 to 41 percent for Hillary Clinton on Election Day, and many at the rally stated why they did so.

Environmental issues, and climate change in particular, motivated several attendees.

“The oil pipelines have got to go,” said Shelby Alexander who was visiting Rhode Island from Colorado. “There are so many alternatives to oil.”

Leslie Rodrigues of East Providence noted a common theme among attendees, calling for Trump to unify an anxious country. “He fights instead of working on bringing our people together,” she said. “I’m just concerned in general about where he’s at, who he’s for.”

Gov. Gina Raimondo delivered an impassioned speech from the Statehouse steps that elicited huge applause from the estimated 7,000 attendees.

“President Trump, you better listen to us 'cause we are half the population and we matter too,” Raimondo said to cheers.

The governor said her 12-year-old daughter Ceci has been hurt by Trump’s remarks.

“A lot of girls and women were offended, and they should have been. His behavior towards women and comments aren’t acceptable," Raimondo said. "And I’m here to reassure that girls and women and all people of Rhode Island that (we say) ‘not in this state.’ And I hope that we all as Americans send a loud message to this administration that we can disagree on policy but there’s no place for violence, there’s no place for racism, there’s no place for hate, there’s no place for sexual harassment, and let’s get together and take care of each other.”