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Michigan women head to protest in Washington, D.C.

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

Amanda Frasier doesn’t plan to stand mute about her opinions on abortion and sexual assault against women.

Frasier, 31, said she is ready to speak out her belief that women’s rights don’t get the attention they deserve.

At 5 a.m. Saturday, she plans to board a flight from Detroit to Washington, D.C., where she will march with more than an estimated 200,000 women, one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

“Throughout the election... a lot of the rhetoric around women was disturbing,” said Frasier, a doctoral student at Michigan State University from Livingston County. “I would find myself arguing with people about whether or not sexual assault was OK.”

About 7,000 women from Michigan are in Washington, or headed there, for the Women’s March on Washington, which will focus on issues including reproductive rights, equal pay, and lesbian and gay rights.

Michigan women have organized charter buses, car pools with friends and coworkers, and even one-day round-trip flights to participate in the march.

Members of the Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers Michigan are boarding buses Friday night to Washington, D.C., from five locations in Michigan, including Lathrup Village.

Joyce Lalonde, a retired teacher from Eastpointe, said she is marching for college sexual assault awareness, voting rights, equal pay and women’s right choose their own health care.

Lalonde, who opposes Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, said she is also standing up for students.

“I think first and foremost — because so much of Washington D.C. is not listening to America that it is almost necessary that we show our concerns, cares, beliefs and values,” Lalonde said. “All the things that we were starting to make inroads on, and now it appears we are going backward.”

Nicole Fear of Shelby Township said Friday afternoon she and her friends are uniting with other women who are driving to the march.

They painted “#Women’s March” on the window of her Chevrolet Equinox, which she said has attracted honks from other march-goers on the road.

“We feel it’s important for us to show up as a united front,” said Fear, 31. “And be part of a positive movement that is showcasing that we don’t want to live in fear of this new (Trump) administration.”