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Estimated over 200,000 people in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., it was the largest protest since the anti-Vietnam War protests in the 1960s and 1970s.
Estimated 3,300,000-5,600,000 in the United States Estimated up to 5 million worldwide
The main protest was in Washington, D.C., and is known as the Women's March on Washington with many other marches taking place worldwide. The Washington March was streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The Washington March drew well over 200,000 people. Between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 people participated in the marches in the U.S., approximately 1.0 to 1.6 percent of the U.S. population. Worldwide participation has been estimated at over seven million. At least 408 marches were reported to have been planned in the U.S. and 168 in 81 other countries. After the marches, organizers reported that around 673 marches took place worldwide, on all seven continents, 29 in Canada, 20 in Mexico, and 1 in Antarctica. The crowds were peaceful, no arrests were made in D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles,[b] New York City, or Seattle, where a combined total of about two million people marched. The organization's website states that they wanted to adhere to "the nonviolent ideology of the Civil Rights movement". Following the march, the organizers of the Women's March on Washington posted the "10 Actions for the first 100 Days" campaign for joint activism to keep up momentum from the march.
Poster created by the official Women's March on Washington organizers
On November 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, in reaction to Trump's election campaign and political views,[c] and his defeat of female presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Teresa Shook of Hawaii created a Facebook event and invited friends to march on Washington in protest. Similar Facebook pages created by Evvie Harmon, Fontaine Pearson, Bob Bland (a New York fashion designer), Breanne Butler, and others quickly led to thousands of women signing up to march. Harmon, Pearson, and Butler decided to unite their efforts and consolidate their pages, beginning the official Women's March on Washington. To ensure that the march was led by women of differing races and backgrounds, Vanessa Wruble, co-founder, and co-president of Okayafrica, served as Head of Campaign Operations and brought on Tamika D. Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour to serve as National Co-Chairs alongside Bland. Former Miss New Jersey USAJanaye Ingram served as Head of Logistics. Filmmaker Paola Mendoza served as Artistic Director and a National Organizer.
During "the first hours of the first meeting for what would become the Women's March," Mallory and Perez allegedly put forward a debunked antisemitic conspiracy theory regarding Jews and the slave trade. No one who was in the room spoke about it for almost two years. Mallory and Bland deny that the offensive content in the conversation took place, but, according to Tablet Magazine, "multiple sources with knowledge of what happened confirmed the story." Several journalists who shared the story were emailed by a PR agency which claimed to be able to disprove the article, but would only share their information on condition of journalists keeping it off the record. Andrea González-Ramírez, a journalist from Refinery29, claimed to have agreed to the PR firm's request, but the PR firm's fact checking failed to disprove Tablet Magazines claims.
According to The New York Times, opposition to and defiance of Trump infused the protests, which were sometimes directly called anti-Trump protests. Organizers stated that they were "not targeting Trump specifically" and that the event was "more about being proactive about women's rights". Sarsour called it "a stand on social justice and human rights issues ranging from race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration and healthcare". Wruble stated that "it's about feminism [...] But it's about more than that: It's about basic equality for all people."
Planned Parenthood partnered with the march by providing staff and offering knowledge related to planning a large-scale event. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said that the march would "send a strong message to the incoming administration that millions of people across this country are prepared to fight attacks on reproductive healthcare, abortion services and access to Planned Parenthood, [which] hopes that [in the future] many of the protesters will mobilize in its defense when Trump and congressional Republicans make their attempt to strip the organization of millions in federal funding". The national organizing director stressed the importance of continuing action at a local level and remaining active after the event.
Seven women coordinated marches outside the U.S. The women were: Brit-Agnes Svaeri, Oslo, Norway; Marissa McTasney, Toronto, Canada; Karen Olson, Geneva, Switzerland; Kerry Haggerty, London, United Kingdom; Rebecca Turnbow, Sydney, Australia; and Breanne Butler and Evvie Harmon in the United States. The women organized the international marches through social media and had weekly Skype meetings to plot strategy.
The organizers also addressed environmental issues: "We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed--especially at the risk of public safety and health."
By January 20, 2017, 222,000 people had RSVP'd as going to the Washington, D.C., march and 251,000 had indicated interest. On January 16, 2017, Fox News reported that authorities were expecting "a crowd of almost 500,000 people", and the permit for the march issued by the National Park Service was revised by the head of D.C.'s Homeland Security department to half a million people--significantly more than the estimated attendance at President Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony the previous day.
In late December, organizers announced that over 100 organizations would provide assistance during the march and support the event across their social media platforms. By January 18, more than 400 organizations were listed as "partners" on the March's official website.
On January 13, event organizers granted the anti-abortion feminist group New Wave Feminists partnership status. But after the organization's involvement was publicized in The Atlantic, it was removed from the partners page on the march's website. Other anti-abortion groups that had been granted partnership status, including Abby Johnson's And Then There Were None (ATTWN) and Stanton Healthcare, were subsequently unlisted as partners as well. New Wave Feminists and Johnson still participated in the official march, alongside other anti-abortion groups such as ATTWN, Students for Life of America, and Life Matters Journal.[d]
While organizers had originally expected over 200,000 people, the march ended up drawing between 440,000 to 500,000 in Washington D.C. The Washington Metro system had its second-busiest day ever with over a million trips taken, considerably larger than the inauguration day's ridership and second only to the first inauguration of Barack Obama.The New York Times reported that crowd-scientists estimate that the Women's March was three times the size of the Trump inauguration, which they estimate at 160,000 attendees. However, The Washington Post and The New York Times have stated that it is difficult to accurately calculate crowd size and other estimates of the Trump inauguration range from 250,000 to 600,000 people.
An estimated 3,300,000 - 4,600,000 people participated in the United States and up to 5 million did worldwide.
The large crowds enabled Washington's Subway to break 1,000,000 passengers for only the second time in its history. The 1,001,613 trips are the second busiest day, the highest counted total (as the highest, from Obama's First Inauguration is only an estimate) and the highest single-day ridership for a weekend day breaking the previous record of 825,437 trips set during the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Steinem commented "Our constitution does not begin with 'I, the President.' It begins with, 'We, the People.' I am proud to be one of thousands who have come to Washington to make clear that we will keep working for a democracy in which we are linked as human beings, not ranked by race or gender or class or any other label."
Ferrera stated, "If we - the millions of Americans who believe in common decency, in the greater good, in justice for all - if we fall into the trap by separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight and we will lose. But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance of saving the soul of our country."
Johansson called for long-term change: "Once the heaviness [of the election] began to subside, an opportunity has presented itself to make real long-term change, not just for future Americans, but in the way we view our responsibility to get involved with and stay active in our communities. Let this weight not drag you down, but help to get your heels stuck in."
The youngest presenter at the Washington D.C. march, 6-year-old Sophie Cruz, said, "Let us fight with love, faith, and courage so that our families will not be destroyed," and ended her speech saying, "I also want to tell the children not to be afraid, because we are not alone. There are still many people that have their hearts filled with love. Let's keep together and fight for the rights. God is with us." Cruz repeated her speech in Spanish.
Alicia Keys performed at the rally saying, "We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise."Angela Davis said, "We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages." Maryum Ali also spoke, saying, "Don't get frustrated, get involved. Don't complain, organize."
Other U.S. locations
Across the United States, there were a total of 408 planned marches.
Marches occurred worldwide, with 198 in 84 other countries. Organisers of the event reported 673 marches worldwide, including 20 in Mexico and 29 in Canada. Women in India also organized a nationwide march on January 21, 2017 called I Will Go Out to demand access to safe public spaces. It was held in small countries such as Belgium, Costa Rica, Latvia. The movement also took place in countries in Africa, including Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania all held marches calling for women to have equal rights, and specifically demanding an end to violence against women.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand since October 2017, gave a speech after marching in Auckland; New Zealand was chronologically the first country in the world to participate in the march.
Sewn and knit pussyhats being worn on a plane to Washington D.C.
The Pussyhat Project was a nationwide effort initiated by Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman, a screenwriter and architect located in Los Angeles, to create pussyhats, pink hats to be worn at the march for visual impact. In response to this call, crafters all over the United States began making these hats using patterns provided on the project website for use with either a knitting method, crocheting and even sewing with fabrics. The project's goal was to have one million hats handed out at the Washington March. The hats are made using pink yarns or fabrics and were originally designed to be a positive form of protest for Trump's inauguration by Krista Suh. Suh, from Los Angeles, wanted a hat for the cooler climate in Washington, D. C. and made herself a hat for the protest, realizing the potential: "we could all wear them, make a unified statement". One of the project founders, Jayna Zweiman, stated "I think it's resonating a lot because we're really saying that no matter who you are or where you are, you can be politically active." Suh and Zwieman worked with Kat Coyle, the owner of a local knitting supply shop called The Little Knittery, to come up with the original design. The project launched in November 2016 and quickly became popular on social media with over 100,000 downloads of the pattern to make the hat.
The name refers to the resemblance of the top corners of the hats to cat ears and attempts to reclaim the derogatory term "pussy", a play on Trump's widely reported 2005 remarks that women would let him "grab them by the pussy". Many of the hats worn by marchers in Washington, D.C., were created by crafters who were unable to attend and wished them to be worn by those who could, to represent their presence. Those hats optionally contained notes from the crafters to the wearers, expressing support. They were distributed by the crafters themselves, by yarn stores at the points of origin, carried to the event by marchers, and also distributed at the destination. The production of the hats caused reported shortages of pink knitting yarn across the United States. On the day of the march, NPR compared the hats to the "Make America Great Again" hats worn by Trump supporters, in that both represented groups that had at one point been politically marginalized; both sent "simultaneously unifying and antagonistic" messages; and both were simple in their messages. Pussyhats were featured later on the fashion runway, and on the covers of Time and The New Yorker.
In Richmond, Virginia, attendees of the March on Washington participated in an "Art of Activism" series of workshops at Studio Two Three, a printmaking studio for artists in Scott's Addition.
In Los Angeles, actor Amir Talai was carrying the sign "I'll see you nice white ladies at the next #blacklivesmatter march right?" to express frustration at the lack of participation by white Americans in the Black Lives Matter movement, and simultaneously hopeful of encouraging them to do so. The photo of Talai with the sign went viral over the internet.
While the march aims to create a social movement, Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice commented that its success will depend on the marchers' ability to maintain momentum in the following weeks. "One of the goals of any type of march or any type of visible sign of solidarity is to get inspired, to inspire people to do more. And the question is, at the march, what kind of organizational structures or movements will also be present to help people know how to channel their energy for the next day and for the long haul?" Historian Michael Kazin also commented on the importance of a long-term strategy: "All successful movements in American history have both inside and outside strategy. If you're just protesting, and it just stops there, you're not going to get anything done."
In the aftermath of the protest, museum curators around the world sought to gather signs and other cultural artifacts of the marches.
Many members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that they would not attend Trump's inauguration ceremony, with the numbers growing after he made disparaging remarks about veteran House member and civil rights leader John Lewis. Some of them said they would attend the Women's March.
Maine Representative Chellie Pingree said she would instead visit a Planned Parenthood center and a business owned by immigrants on Inauguration Day before going to Washington to appear on stage with other politicians who refused to attend. "We need to do everything we can to let the incoming administration know we are not happy about their agenda. I've had unprecedented numbers of my constituents calling me worried about healthcare, the environment, public education, and they feel disrespected," she said.
On January 22, 2017, Trump wrote on his personal Twitter account: "Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly." Two hours later, he sent a more placatory tweet: "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views." A White House official criticized the March for not welcoming abortion rights opponents, and then criticized Madonna's comment that she "thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House".
Senator Bernie Sanders, who attended the March in Montpelier, Vermont, said Trump should listen to the protesters: "Listen to the needs of women. Listen to the needs of the immigrant community. Listen to the needs of workers. Listen to what's going on with regards to climate change ... Modify your positions. Let's work together to try to save this planet and protect the middle class."
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, offered her support on Twitter, calling the march "awe-inspiring" and stated "[I] hope it brought joy to others as it did to me".
Following a tweet that offended other lawmakers and the public, Bill Kintner resigned from his position as Nebraska State Senator.
John Carmen, a Republican official in South Jersey mocked the Women's March, asking if the protest would "be over in time for them to cook dinner". He lost the next election on November 7, 2017, against a political newcomer, Ashley Bennett.
Apart from the celebrities present at the march, others such as Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen made statements of support for it. The latter, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and is a friend to Barack Obama, gave a speech during a concert in Australia, saying, "The E Street Band is glad to be here in Western Australia. But we're a long way from home, and our hearts and spirits are with the hundreds of thousands of women and men that marched yesterday in every city in America and in Melbourne who rallied against hate and division and in support of tolerance, inclusion, reproductive rights, civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, the environment, wage equality, gender equality, healthcare, and immigrant rights. We stand with you. We are the new American resistance."
Cyndi Lauper commented on Madonna's controversial speech at the Washington march, saying, "Anger is not better than clarity and humanity. That is what opens people's minds. When you want to change people's mind, you have to share your real story."
Jon Voight called the march "destructive" and said it was "against the president and against the government". He was particularly critical of Shia LaBeouf and march participant Miley Cyrus, saying "they have a lot of followers" and felt their stances were "teaching treason".
Piers Morgan, a friend of Trump's, stated the march was a reaction by women that "a man won" and that "At its core, it was about Trump-hating and resentment that he won and Hillary lost". He also felt that it was democratic to protest, but not due to the result of a democratic election. In response to Morgan's comments about the march, Ewan McGregor canceled his appearance on Good Morning Britain, which Morgan was hosting.
Following the march, the organizers of the Women's March on Washington posted the "10 Actions for the first 100 Days" campaign to keep up the momentum from the march. The first action included contacting senators about concerns, with an option of using "Hear Our Voice" postcards. A new action was provided every 10 days.
Filmmaker Michael Moore called for 100 days of resistance, for Trump's first 100 days of his presidency.
In July 2017, the Women's March official Twitter feed celebrated the birthday of Assata Shakur, an African-American on the FBI most wanted terrorists list who was convicted of murder, leading to criticism from conservative media outlets. In an August 1, 2017, editorial, Bari Weiss criticized three co-chairs for their association with Louis Farrakhan, and for failing to reject anti-Semitism. In a reply letter, co-Chair Bob Bland dismissed critics as "apologists for the status quo, racist ideology and the white nationalist patriarchy".
In October 2017, leaders of the decentralized Women's Marches across the country formed a new organization, March On, and launched a Super PAC called March On's Fight Back PAC. Led by Vanessa Wruble, one of the co-founders and chief architects of the Women's March on Washington, March On announced the goal of creating political change through their "March on the Polls" campaign, including marching people to voting booths for the November 2018 midterms for a "March on the Midterms". "March on aims to coordinate actions at the federal, state, and local level.
^It has also been called the Women's March Movement, or the Women's Marches, or the Women's March on Washington and its sister Marches or solidarity marches
^According to organizers, 750,000 people marched in Los Angeles.
^"Born of one woman's invitation to forty friends, the event is meant as a rejoinder to the fact that a candidate with a troubling history regarding women's rights--one who actually bragged about committing sexual assault--has made it to the White House."
^"No one contacted them to give them the news, she said, but they found out after a flurry of stories announced pro-life groups like hers were taken off the roster as partners by officials. The groups And Then There Were None and Students for Life of America also were denied or taken off the Women's March roster. 'We don't want to be opposing the (Women's March),' Herndon-De La Rosa said. 'We're not trying to make them look bad.'"
^Emily Tamkin; Robbie Gramer (January 21, 2017). "The Women's March Heard Round the World". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved 2017. The Women's March on Saturday ... grew into a day long international event both in support of women and in opposition to the president's past rhetoric and potential future policies. There were more than 600 events in 60 countries around the world, with millions taking to the streets.
^"Women's March on Washington". Women's March on Washington. Archived from the original on January 21, 2017. Retrieved 2017. You can view the program live on a number of Jumbotrons on Independence Ave. and through all of our social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
^Tornquist, Cynthia (October 25, 1997). "Million Woman March fills Philadelphia streets". CNN / Reuters. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved 2013. Organizers estimated that 2.1 million people filled a mile-long avenue in early afternoon. Estimates made by police officers ranged from 300,000 to 1 million.
^Gabriella Paiella (January 26, 2017). "Nebraska State Senator Resigns After Offensive Women's March Tweet". New York. Archived from the original on January 25, 2017. Retrieved 2017. Kintner retweeted a now-deleted tweet by Larry Elder, a conservative radio host. In it, three women are pictured holding signs referencing Donald Trump's 'grab them by the pussy' comments; Elder's comment was 'Ladies, I think you're safe.'