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Solidarité des Femmes: Paris joins the Women's March


Christine Paquin's daughter
  • Christine Paquin's daughter

An estimated 10,000 women, men and children took to the streets of Paris on Saturday, Jan. 21, for a show of solidarity with the Women's March on Washington and cities around the world in a stand against the misogynist acts and attitudes of America's 45th president, Donald Trump.

Marching from Place du Trocadéro to the Champs des Mars, attendees carried signs, chanted, and danced their way along the one hour route with heavy police escorts. Hosted by the feminist rights group La Coordination française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes (CLEF), the march drew four times the 2,500 participants expected.

American Christine Paquin and her family have lived in Paris for three years, and she was grateful for the chance to voice her opposition to a president who shows little respect for women and women's rights.

Christine Paquin's daughter - LAURA MCPHEE
  • Laura McPhee
  • Christine Paquin's daughter
 As her husband helped their small daughters manage signs reading "Fight Like A Girl" and "Though she be but little, she is fierce," Paquin emphasized the helplessness many who live abroad feel when it comes to direct action.

"It's important for my family to be here. Not just to stand up for women's rights, but for the solidarity with others who can't act locally but want our voices heard."

Student Quint Simon of Austin, Tx is studying at Fontainebleau and made the trip to Paris in order to stand up to what she sees as a xenophobic attitude coming from the new White House. Joined by friend Loretta Lee, of Michigan, Trump's rhetoric towards minorities was a main motivation for participating in the march.

Quint Simon - LAURA MCPHEE
  • Laura McPhee
  • Quint Simon
"He is purposely divisive," said Lee. "He is sexist, racist and a danger to Americans around the world. I'm scared out of my wits, to be honest. "

American Harriet Welty Rochefort has lived in Paris with her French husband for 45 years.

"Marching isn't usually my thing, but these are dangerous times. We can't be silent. We can't let the world think we're okay with this man representing America and Americans."

While concerns about a Trump presidency were grave, the dominant mood of the gathering was uplifting. Solidarité avec tous les femmes, was the main message, and throughout the event women's rights were the focus.

"We can't go back. Our mothers, our grandmothers and our great grandmothers fought to hard so we could enjoy unprecedented equality," said Rochefort. "We are sisters, all of us. We must stand together against any encroachment of these rights."


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