Jan 23, 2017
A half a million people streamed into Washington D.C., a day after Trump’s inauguration. They came to show their support for women’s rights – from Planned Parenthood, to equal pay, to reproductive rights. And signs at the march noted that the fight of women is tied to those of others: with calls for a living wage, for full political rights for immigrants, for racial equality and the stop to police violence.
They came by car, by bus, by train, clogging the D.C. Metro system. There were a thousand more chartered buses coming into D.C. on Saturday than for Friday’s inauguration.
Hundreds of thousands more converged on other cities – from New York with 400,000 to Chicago and Los Angeles, with crowds put at 250,000, to Boston at 150,000. The Women’s March website identified nearly 700 cities with over 3 million people who signed up to “get on the bus” to go to marches from Florida to Washington State; from Ypsilanti, Michigan, to Fargo, North Dakota. Whatever the figures were, the outpouring was immense.
For some, it was the first time they had ever come to anything resembling a march or rally.
Obviously, one march is not going to stop the attacks on women’s rights, but it shows how deep is the determination of women to fight for themselves – and that is perhaps the most important result of this huge turnout.
And it can give courage to others who want to fight. In and of itself, this march won’t push back the increasingly reactionary policies carried out by both parties – Republican AND Democrat. But it can be built on – if we remember that the Democrats, who were ready to push these demonstrations now that the Republicans are in office, never once called on people to mobilize during the eight years they were in office and pretended to be blocked by the Republicans.
The changes we need are going to come from ourselves and our own willingness to fight.