An unprecedented number of marchers and activists flooded the streets around the globe last Saturday, staging the biggest U.S. inaugural protest/Women’s march in the history of the world. Sister March sponsors boasted some 670 gatherings around the world in conjunction with the Washington event, estimating a worldwide turnout of over 4.6 million participants which were tallied by online march registrations.
Many activists rallied the marches to denounce the Trump administration’s new policy positions that many feel attack a variety of minority groups; including women, disabled individuals, Muslims, Mexican immigrants, and environmentalists. Aerial photographs appeared to show that the Women’s March on Washington drew a larger crowd than the previous day’s presidential swearing-in ceremony.
The overall tone of the marches across the globe were of peaceful protests. From Madonna, Katy Perry and self proclaimed “Nasty Woman” Nick Offerman, to New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, celebrities and government officials participated and voiced their concerns at the marches. Some of the signs carried by marchers stated; ‘My Body, My Choice’, ‘Strong Men Respect Women’, ‘You Can’t Comb Over Sexism’, ‘I’ve Seen Better Cabinets at Ikea’ and a play on the Cyndi Lauper song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Human Rights.’
Sister Marches in Chicago, New York City and Denver also had larger groups than anticipated. Organizers estimated over 750,000 demonstrators filled the streets of Los Angeles, one of the largest of Saturday’s gatherings. The Chicago organizers had to stage a rally in Grant Park instead of a parade through the city because of the high turnout. Organizers estimated the crowd at 200,000, the same tally they reported for Boston, and Denver.
Women-led marches also were staged in Sydney, London, Tokyo and other cities across Europe and Asia. Even in Moscow, a small group of women broke the law against protesting and did a “slow international stroll of support”, knowing full well the risks that could have come of it.
In his Twitter post early on Sunday after the event, Trump appeared to downplay the impact of the protests. “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election!” he tweeted. “Why didn’t these people vote?” A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found Trump had the lowest favorability rating of any incoming U.S. president since the 1970s.