Some Ohio University students want to make history this weekend.
Dana Yablon, a junior studying child and family studies and a member of Ohio University Hillel, will protest Saturday with other members of the Jewish organization in the nationally organized Women's March on Washington. Yablon will protest what she believes to be President-elect Donald Trump’s serial oppression of marginalized groups. She thinks the Jewish community “will be next.”
The march, beginning at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street in Washington, D.C., could be the largest protest linked to Trump’s inauguration, according to The New York Times.
“For me to represent my culture, it’s showing that Donald Trump can say what he wants, but we’re going to speak up and say it’s not OK,” Yablon said.
Yablon’s family history involves the oppression of her loved ones: Her great-grandmother, great-grandfather, grandmother and great aunt were Holocaust survivors, she said.
Six Hillel members met Tuesday evening to discuss ride and housing arrangements in Washington, D.C. Lauren Goldberg, assistant director of OU Hillel, also attended the meeting and provided information about lodging at an OU alumna and former Hillel member’s home in Alexandria, Virginia. Goldberg also shared protesting “tips and tricks” she gathered from friends who went to D.C. for past inauguration weeks.
Lilli Sher, a freshman studying journalism and president of Jewish Women of Ohio, first presented the idea of representing the Jewish community in Washington, D.C., to Goldberg several weeks ago after seeing the event on Facebook.
“It was like a little warming of my heart when I heard Lilli was so inspired to organize this,” Goldberg, who will not be going on the trip, said. “I’m so jealous (of the students going).”
Sher is a former Post reporter.
Zach Reizes, a sophomore studying global studies — war and peace, said the 200,000 marchers would be "like a glacier" in size and pace, but with the high volume of people in mind, other students worry for their safety.
“I’m nervous to go because this is a mass gathering, and it’s such an easy target for something to happen,” Yablon said. “An attack, maybe.”
Jenna Reis, a freshman studying communication sciences and disorders, said she isn't nervous about what could go wrong but hopes other attendees “are there for one common goal: not to hurt anybody."
The travelers will use the Hillel International Synagogue as a home base in case marchers lose their “buddies” in the crowd.
Weather permitting, students said they hope to bond with other protestors in solidarity against a “horrifying man in power” and to make history in doing so.
“It means more than me just standing in Washington,” freshman Elli Lavon, who is studying communication studies and political science, said. “I feel like I’m standing up for the women who can’t stand up for themselves.”
Some women at the meeting said they hoped the march will be remembered 20 or 30 years from now.
“I think it will,” Yablon said.
There are 610,000 people currently invited to the demonstration on the march’s Facebook event page. More than a quarter of a million have replied they are "interested" in the event and 180,000 claim they will attend.
“The amount of people who are all thinking about the same thing as (Trump) is inaugurated — it will truly show that we’re not alone,” Reis said.
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly spelled Elli Lavon's name. The article as been updated to reflect the most accurate information.