TRENTON — Nearly 14,000 people from New Jersey are planning to take buses to Saturday's Women's March on Washington. And those who can't make the trip can still participate within the confines of the Garden State.

The march is a women's rights march and not an officially anti-Donald Trump event. But Felicity Crew, co-coordinator of the march's New Jersey chapter, isn't the only participant who counts herself as one of those unhappy with the result of the presidential election.

"I was very upset, I was depressed, I really didn't know what to do," she said. "I hope this will do what it did for me, which was cause me to say 'I need to do something to work against this. I need to do something positive as opposed to just sitting around being upset and having all this negative energy."

The march happens a day after Trump is sworn into office.

Crew said over 13,000 people on board as many as 300 buses are leaving as early as 4 a.m. and she expects that many more will be driving or taking Amtrak for the the noon event.

"I know everyone's excited and has been doing a huge amount of preparation for this," Crew said. "The big goal we've heard from a lot of participants is they want to make sure it's not just something they do on Saturday and then, that's it."

Crew, 35, said she strongly believes in women's rights and is inspired by the phrase "women's rights are human rights"  used by  Hillary Clinton in 1995. "I think that is absolutely 100 percent fundamentally true and I wanted to make sure I was there as a large, large group to show support, to show that we are a large number of people and we are not going to be quiet and we're not going to go away."

Signs and posters for the Women's March on Washington in New Jersey (Elizabeth Meyer)

Marches are also scheduled for Asbury Park, Mount Laurel, Pompton Plains, Trenton, Westfield and Wyckoff. Elizabeth Meyer, 39, of Branchburg, organized the Trenton march and is expecting 2,000-3,000 to attend.
This is the first activist type of activity for many participants, according to Crew, and many hope to keep the message of Saturday's march alive by possibly starting  a political career.

Meyer echoed her sentiments and hoped the march would stay positive. "This is certainly a peaceful march but its an affirmative march for women's rights. The focus is on uniting, standing together in solidarity, setting aside all those differences for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our families."

Raquel Guarino, 25, of Marlboro, has been very vocal among her Facebook friends about her disappointment in the election result and is driving to Washington D.C. with her mother.

"We are going to the march to basically protest what Donald Trump stands for and I think also to empower women and people who feel as though Trump coming into office is a slap in the face to what a lot of Americans stand for when it comes to civil rights and human rights in general."

Women's marches in New Jersey:

    • Asbury Park: Biergarten, Boardwalk and Porta, 527 Lake Ave.
    • Mount Laurel: Laurel Acres Park, 1045 South Church St.
    • Pompton Plains: Municipal Parking lot in Pequannock, 530 Newark-Pompton Turnpike
    • Trenton: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial, 1 Memorial Drive
    • Westfield: in front of L&T, 609 W. North Avenue
    • Wyckoff: Municipal Town Hall, 340 Franklin Ave

 

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