Thousands of people marched across the Ringling Bridge during the Women’s Solidarity March.
“We knew it was going to be big, but we didn’t know it was going to be this big,” marcher Barbara Sulton said while watching thousands of people make their way to the Ringling Bridge to participate in the Women’s Solidarity March Jan. 21.
Participants marched from Bayfront Park, across the Ringling Bridge and back.
Demonstration organizer Cathy Bryant said she was stunned by the turnout. On Jan. 17 Bryant said 3,900 people had signed up, with another 1,000 waiting to be added to the roster. At that time she estimated that 5,000 would attend the march.
The march held on Jan. 21 attracted between 7,500 and 8,000 participants according to the Sarasota Police Department.
While many made their way across the bridge, speakers took to the stage including author Stephen King. But for Bryant, the highlight of the event was the lack of altercations despite the number of attendees.
“The mission is to come together,” Bryant said. “There were no party lines … It wasn’t about party. It was about humanity.”
The march was organized in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, which attracted 500,000 people to the nation's capital. Thousands more marched in solidarity marches in cities around the world, including Sarasota, with an estimated 2.5 million participants worldwide.