More than 1 million join women’s marches worldwide
By Nancy Benac And Ben Nuckols
WASHINGTON — In a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, more than 1 million people rallied at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world Saturday to send President Donald Trump an emphatic message on his first full day in office that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged.
Many of the women came wearing pink, pointy-eared “pussyhats” to mock the new president. Plenty of men joined in, too, contributing to surprising numbers everywhere from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles to Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, London, Prague and Sydney.
In Reno, about 10,000 joined the peaceful rally where no incidents were reported. In Stateline, about 500 braved the snow and marched. No incidents were reported, either.
The Washington rally alone attracted over 500,000 people by the unofficial estimate of city officials — apparently more than Trump’s inauguration drew on Friday.
The international outpouring served to underscore the degree to which Trump has unsettled people in both hemispheres.
“We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war,” actress America Ferrera told the Washington crowd. “Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. … We are America, and we are here to stay.”
Turnout in the capital was so heavy that the designated march route alongside the National Mall was impassable. Protesters were told to make their way to the Ellipse near the White House by way of other streets, triggering a chaotic scene that snarled downtown Washington.
Around the world, women brandished signs with slogans such as “Women won’t back down” and “Less fear more love.” They decried Trump’s stand on such issues as abortion, health care, diversity and climate change. And they branded him a sexist, a bully, a bigot and more.
In Chicago, organizers canceled the march portion of their event for safety reasons after the overflow crowd reached an estimated 150,000. People made their way through the streets on their own anyway. In New York, well over 100,000 marched past Trump’s home at glittering Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. More than 100,000 also gathered on Boston Common, and a similar number demonstrated in Los Angeles.
All told, more than 600 “sister marches” were planned worldwide. Crowd estimates from police and organizers around the globe added up to more than a million.
As the demonstrators rallied alongside the National Mall, Trump opened his first full day as president by attending a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral, a tradition for the day after inauguration, and later visited the CIA. As he traveled around town, his motorcade passed large groups of protesters that would have been hard to miss.
The Women’s March on Washington appeared to accomplish the historic feat of drawing more people to protest the inauguration than the ceremony itself attracted.
It far surpassed the 60,000 people who protested the Vietnam War at Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. Before Saturday, that was thought to be the largest such demonstration in inaugural history.
The rallies were a peaceful counterpoint to the window-smashing unrest that unfolded on Friday when self-described anarchists tried to disrupt the inauguration. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades against the demonstrators. More than 200 people were arrested.
Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump, took to Twitter to thank the participants for “standing, speaking and marching for our values.”
The marches displayed a level of enthusiasm that Clinton herself was largely unable to generate during her campaign against Trump, when she won the popular vote but he outdistanced her in the electoral vote.