More than 1 million people took to the streets across the nation and the globe in protest Saturday, the day after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.
That number included more than 3,000 at the southernmost tip of the Florida Keys.
In Key West, where the year-round population hovers at 25,000, some 3,200 people joined to walk the length of Duval Street in a version of the Women’s March on Washington, according to local organizers, who also said the event wasn’t designed as a political attack but an expression of liberty for all.
“You cannot tell me what I should do with my own body and you can't tell me how I should live my life,” said Michelle Mosley, 47, as she marched with her sister before heading to work.
Key West Police spokesman Steve Torrence estimated 3,000 to 3,500 people took part in the march, which started at 2 p.m.
Many people during the march directed anger at Trump, accusing him of sexist behavior and creating division among Americans when it comes to race, class, gender and ethnicity.
“Dump Trump,” “Love Trumps Hate,” and “Not My President,” were among the signs carried by a crowd that included wealthy snowbirds, parents with young children, native Key Westers, boat captains, gay couples, service industry workers, artists and activists.
Ted Okie wheeled a dilapidated grandfather clock through the march with a sign that read, “It’s time.”
“Women’s rights are human rights, we are the people,” said Taz Shepherd, of Key West, who said after the election she felt wounded. “We’re not defeated, we’re going to take back that feeling of depression and we’re going to turn it into activism.”
Like Florida, Monroe County voters overall chose Trump on Nov. 6, yet Democrat Hillary Clinton swept all 10 precincts in Key West and one on Stock Island just north of the famously liberal, laid-back island. Everything above mile marker 5 went to Republican Trump.
The peaceful event, which sent a flood of people walking from one end of Duval to the other and landing in Mallory Square, drew City Commissioners Sam Kaufman, Margaret Romero and Jimmy Weekley, who each helped carry a section of the 1.5-mile-long rainbow flag first unfurled in Key West.
J.T. Thompson, the artist who designed the One Human Family, a motto the city later formally adopted, handed out wristbands printed with the slogan.
“Don’t let anyone tell you protesting is pointless,” said Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, in a speech at Mallory Square, where the march ended.
Carruthers told the crowd to get involved, particularly at the local level, and encouraged more women to run for public office.
The Women’s March on Washington’s organizers, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said Saturday as many as half a million people participated, The Washington Post reported.
Few Trump supporters appeared
Contention between marchers and Trump supporters was minimal as the several thousand marchers made their way down Duval.
“Make America great again, get me a beer,” a woman in a red pro-Trump baseball cap said as she joined the march for a few steps with a friend.
One man stood outside the Beach Club T-shirt shop, 210 Duval St., cursing at the marchers and telling them to “go back to your country” and to get over the fact Trump was elected. Several men working at next-door shops laughed as he shouted profanities.
At the end in Mallory Square, chief organizer Jamie Mattingly, who wore a rainbow flag as a cape, asked the crowd to hold hands and sing along with John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
After a turbulent election season, Trump clinched the presidency by winning more than the 270 needed. Trump won 304 electoral votes to Clinton's 227.
Clinton, however, received more votes than any losing presidential candidate in history, taking nearly 2.9 million more votes in the popular election, with 65,844,954 (48.2%) to his 62,979,879 (46.1%), according to certified final election results from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
WLRN reporter Nancy Klingener contributed to this report.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen