The mass protests commemorate a year since the historic Women's March on January 21, 2017, a day after Trump's inauguration.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets and landmarks in major cities across the US, including its capital of Washington, DC, to rally against President Donald Trump and show support for women’s rights, calling on citizens to get engaged on issues such as racial equality, sexual abuse, gun violence and immigrant protections.
The so-called Women’s March on Washington was one of numerous such protest rallies waged on Saturday in hundreds of cities across the US as protesters gathered on the steps of the iconic Lincoln Memorial and stood along the lengthy Reflecting Pool, also urging more women to compete for public office.
Although Washington was the focus of last year’s Women’s March, with hundreds of thousands of protesters filling the streets of the US capital, the largest marches this year are taking place in other major cities, including in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Charlotte and New York.
The Women's March rally in Los Angeles alone drew an estimated 600,000 protesters on Saturday as people took to the streets of the city in what turned out to be a protest action mostly against the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers.
In 2017, the Women’s March was a beacon of hope and defiance. In 2018, it is a testament to the power and resilience of women everywhere. Let’s show that same power in the voting booth this year. #PowerToThePolls
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 20, 2018
The protest rally in Washington took place just hours after the shutdown of the federal government that began at midnight, and was reportedly planned to revive the activism and civic participation sparked by the massive Women’s March in the city held the day after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. According to local press reports, protest organizers said they hope to build on efforts that have also brought feminist issues to the forefront during the politically hectic year since Trump rose to power.
A spokeswoman for the Women’s March, Emily Patton, was quoted by the local media as saying that last year’s march “was a rallying cry for a lot of women, who wanted their voices to be heard.”
“This year,” she added, “we really want to show support for women who are running for office and to encourage more women… to run for office, to register to vote, to be more civically engaged.”
Patton further stated that the rally would show support for those who are providing voter information and challenging voter suppression in Washington area communities.
She also insisted that “every politician and legislator needs to be put on notice,” emphasizing: “We are not going away. We are demanding women’s equality, women’s rights, immigration rights, and we are going to continue to uphold the values that we hold dearly.”
This is while Trump, at the White House, also weighed in on the protest march, saying on Twitter that, “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”
However, there were few Trump supporters at the protest rally in Washington. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, protesters held up a sign that spelled out “Impeach#45” on one side and “Narcissist” on the other.
Among public figures addressing the protesters in the US capital were senior Democratic Party leaders, who remained in Washington for the weekend due to the government shutdown.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California led more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers on the stage and told the demonstrators that they had “transformed the world.”
“Your truth is never more important than now,” she asserted.
Pelosi further underlined that many more people had turned out for last year’s march than had attended Trump’s inauguration. She then emphasized that the US president deserves an F for his first year in office.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who is often mentioned as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, also addressed the participants, saying: “It is women, who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times.”
One of the biggest protest events is due to take place Sunday in Las Vegas, where a concerted effort is being made to push for voter registration in bids to promote a Democratic Party Senate candidate against the state of Nevada’s incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller in November 2018 elections.