Following the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, various groups on the left have vowed to protest his inauguration, with some going so far as to call for a “militant” response.
One protest planned for the occasion is the Women’s March on Washington, which is scheduled for Jan. 21, the day after Trump is set to become president.
“We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society,” the march’s organizers state on their website. “We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
Yet members of the Trump team are hoping to ease the concerns of those opposed to a Trump presidency in what appears to be a spirit of goodwill.
When asked about the women’s march Tuesday on CNN, Boris Epshteyn, spokesman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said, “We’re here to hear their concerns. We understand that people have concerns, but we welcome them to our side as well.”
“We hope some of those will come to D.C., change their mind — instead of protesting, come celebrate with us,” Epshteyn said.
“We very much respect the First Amendment,” he told CNN.
Communications Director for Trump Inaugural Committee on women’s march: “We very much respect the First Amendment” https://t.co/bB4EtHi8Re
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 27, 2016
“We understand that people choose to protest, as long as they do so within all laws, rules and regulations, they’re welcome to do so,” Epshteyn added.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to join the Women’s March on Washington, which was announced shortly after Trump won the election in November.
Organizers for the march have secured a permit for the event to gather at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol.
Fontaine Pearson, one of the event’s organizers, says the march is not a direct protest of Trump, despite its timing, rather it will seek to highlight women’s issues such as workplace discrimination and sexual assault.
Planned Parenthood has become an official sponsor of the march as well, yet its intent seems more focused on addressing the president-elect.
According to Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, the march will “send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive healthcare, abortion services and access to Planned Parenthood.
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