Donald Trump inauguration

Why I marched against Donald Trump

US citizen and Hong Kong resident Helen Troncoso joins millions of women - many with husbands, boyfriends and children in tow - in an unprecedented wave of mass protests against Donald Trump the day after his inauguration

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 6:30pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 6:30pm

When I first heard about the women’s marches a few months ago, I knew that even though I was in Hong Kong, I wanted to attend and add my voice to the hundreds of thousands who were felt crushed when Donald Trump won the US election.

It went from being comical that here was this man, a business man/reality star vying for the most important public office in America, to frightening, as I read and heard from his own mouth the racist insults, the misogynistic way he talked to women, and the disrespect he had towards military families had all still left him unscathed with his followers.

His winning essentially woke me up from the safe bubble I thought I was in, where I would have never have imagined my fellow American would vote someone like him into office, I knew that despite being thousands of miles away, I like so many of those feeling similarly had to take a more active role starting at the community level to make sure this man does not go unchecked for the next four years.

We are back in the #US and ready to march in #DC!!

A photo posted by Helen Troncoso (@mshelent) on Jan 21, 2017 at 7:28am PST

The day before the march, I watched in disbelief as small groups of rioters destroyed property and were being tear-gassed as a result. I was concerned because I would be bringing my nine-month-old son Hunter, and his safety was the most important thing to me.

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When I jumped online, I read other women who were concerned about safety, but felt relieved as one after the other, they said the women’s march was not about violence, it was going to be a positive day where all were welcomed to march alongside one another in unity, and that’s exactly is how it felt.

Despite there being long lines everywhere to enter the train stations, more long lines awaiting you to buy a train ticket and then waiting to even get down to the platforms, everyone was patient and pleasant. The energy was palpable. As I described above, despite the massive crowds and navigating them with a young baby and stroller, everyone was going out of their way to make room for me and to make sure that we were ok.

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I marched because I believe what Hillary Clinton once said: “women’s rights are human rights”.

I wanted to hold Donald Trump accountable for everything he has said, and urge him to address these issues, which at the present time he has not, as he is more concerned with the audience size of his inauguration.

I am deeply disturbed that Trump blatantly lies and distorts the facts, and then blames the media when he doesn’t like what they are accurately reporting. I am concerned when this man personally attacks anyone who dares to challenge him with the simplest, crudest insults and tweets.

This is not a reality show, this is real life, and his words have real consequences throughout the world.

I would really like to support him, but first he needs to apologise to the communities and people he has maligned.

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He needs to actively repair the many bridges he has burned, instead of continuing to build walls within America. Many people have said to just get over it, but I will not normalise his behaviour. I am still concerned at the attempts to silence the media, the distractions that he and his team do to deter from what they are doing like repealing Obamacare without having a viable replacement. I am tired of hearing this man say for everything to, “believe me” and that it will be “very, very good”.

He distorts, attacks and then refuses to directly answer questions and then is stunned and outraged when people are pressing him for more concrete answers. I am and will always be a proud American and I felt privileged to have been able to participate in this peaceful display of democracy today.

Helen Troncoso is an entrepreneur, writer and former Miss New York America. She currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband James and son Hunter.