Veterans’ groups are taking part in the Women’s March on Washington the day after GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest his presidency.
Veterans For Peace has decided to take part in the march and the Service Women’s Action Network is also gathering female veterans to join the protest, which covers the whole gamut of complaints stemming from Trump’s perceived campaign rhetoric, namely that he’s insulted and demonized immigrants, racial minorities, Muslims, sexual assault victims, LGBT people and other communities, Stars and Stripes reports.
The march, which begins Jan. 21 at 10 a.m., has 200,000 participants registered. Thousands of others have pledged to engage in similar protests across the country.
Veteran Shelly Goode-Burgoyne, who served two tours in Iraq, is concerned that Trump may roll back hard-earned reforms that have ended gender barriers in the military, such as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s decision in late 2015 to open up all combat roles to women without exception.
“For many people, many women and men who have fought for a long time for things like gay rights in the military, women’s rights in the military, reproductive rights and others, they see the incoming administration as a direct threat … turning back those things,” Goode-Burgoyne said. “There is a powerful, visceral fear that they woke up in a country they don’t recognize. I don’t think we thought that about other presidents.”
Former Army Capt. Sue Fulton is also joining the protest. She was one of the first women to graduate from West Point and has been active in pushing progressive reforms in the military, namely the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” in 2011. She’s founded a group of LGBT veterans.
Still, Fulton does not necessarily believe Trump is interested in starting a culture war and rolling back changes instead of taking the fight to America’s real enemies like the Islamic State.
Kate Germano, chief operating officer at the Service Women’s Action Network, wants a huge show of women to signal to the Trump administration that “we won’t roll over.”
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