Protesters rally worldwide in solidarity with Washington march
Donald Trump hammered home in his inaugural address outside the Capitol building Friday the promise he had sewn onto so many red ballcaps: that he would Make America Great Again. In the same spot the following day, Women’s March on Washington protesters with far less nostalgia for America’s past – women who lived through the Civil Rights movement, who came of age in an era when abortion was criminalized, who have vivid memories of a time when gay men and women were regularly victimized – have gathered to say, We are not going back.
I’m marching for my three-year-old, who will grow up in Trump’s America, and the next baby I still hope to have
An estimated 500,000 marchers – more than double the crowd that showed up to watch Trump’s swearing-in – are squeezed onto the National Mall with their families and their hand-drawn signs and their pink knit caps, waiting for their turn to talk.
They self-describe as “nasty,” but for the most part the marchers are good: they don’t push, they carry their possessions in translucent bags, as requested, and their posters don’t have poles or sticks or stakes. Some are frustrated to see the evangelical Christians who are parked in the middle of the Mall hoisting signs that read “Attention Rebellious Jezebels” and “Abortion Is Murder” with strictly verboten metal poles.
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It isn’t fair, but add it to the fucking list: Hillary Clinton earned three million more votes than Donald Trump and still lost the presidency. Women earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men – women of color even less. They have only 19 percent representation in Congress.
As they’ve proven by turning out in record numbers all over the U.S. and the world Saturday, women are tired of double standards. So they surround the anti-abortion protesters and chant, “My body, my choice!” and “Love trumps hate!” loud enough to drown out the bullhorn.
A teenage boy leans out from the Newseum‘s second-floor balcony, waving and kissing his star-spangled Make America Great Again hat and hollering, “Jesus loves you! Donald Trump loves you!” as the march sweeps down Pennsylvania Avenue. The marchers channel Michelle Obama, drowning him out with chants of, “When they go low, we go high!”
A marcher in D.C. with the same signs she’s had since 2004. Devin Yalkin for Rolling Stone
For the millions of men and women pouring into the streets around the world Saturday, the march is a show of force, proof that for however many people are happy about Donald Trump’s inauguration – and that number is far smaller than he or his press secretary would have us believe – many more are unhappy. Across the country, and in countries around the globe, people are showing up to drown Trump out.
Just past the Newseum, four women – ages 57, 66, 77 and 79 – are sitting on a bench, watching as a line of police vans cuts through the protesters. One of the women, Roberta Safer, explains why they drove together from Maryland for the march. “I demonstrated in 1957 for Civil Rights,” she says. “It’s still the same problems, and Donald Trump’s cabinet picks are going to reverse many of the things that we’ve had. … It just upsets me to see us go backwards.”
Her friend Rosanna Mason has similar concerns. “My wife, before she died, was a teacher. I’m getting texts constantly from her students: ‘What about me, what about me? Am I going to be deported? Are they going to send me to [conversion] therapy?’ A lot of people are scared.” She says she tells them the only thing she can: that she remembers how she coped as a lesbian before gay rights were mainstream. “I remember back in the Seventies, I remember the Eighties, the violence. I tell them to hold on to your friends. … because when we all do it together, we’ll be stronger.”
The Bikers for Trump have set up a counter-protest in support of the new president at a park on Pennsylvania Avenue. There aren’t more than 20 Trump supporters there, but they have a stage equipped with speakers blasting Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith and Kid Rock at an unreasonable volume. At one point, the group’s head, Chris Cox, gets onstage and tells the marchers, “On November 8th, America voted, and it voted for Donald Trump.”
Women’s March on Washington protesters Devin Yalkin for Rolling Stone
“Three million votes! Three million votes!” they chant back.
Off to one side, 31-year-old Courtney Miller is standing silently, holding a sign that reads, “Sorry. Were my civil rights getting the way of your privilege?” She asks a man in a Confederate hat why he still wears it even though the South lost. He retorts by asking her why she has black pride – her people lost too, he says. For ten minutes, he tries (and fails) to defend an indefensible point, while she maintains her composure, trying, maybe in vain, to reason with him.
“You never get anything accomplished by fighting, by yelling and screaming. We’re not going to get our points across. We might leave here today and agree to disagree, but maybe I said something that will make him think,” Miller says after the interaction. “I’m standing here because my grandparents had to do this. Now I have to do this. I’m hoping my kids don’t have to do this. We’re marching for the same things, and I’m getting tired.”
(CNN)The Women’s March extended beyond the United States, as similar protests cropped up around the world over women’s rights and other issues the marchers fear could be under threat from Donald Trump’s presidency.
Although the focus of the day was the Women’s March on Washington, many people attended the hundreds of “sister marches” that occurred around the US and the globe.
Women and men in cities including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Nairobi and Cape Town, marched in solidarity with the marchers in Washington and in opposition to the values they think Trump represents.
Near and far
A crowd of people gathered near the US Embassy in Mexico City on Saturday, shutting down the street and holding signs.
“Say it loud, say it clear, migrants are welcome here,” they shouted.
Not all of the protesters were Mexican. Some Americans were there, too, in a show of solidarity.
One man told CNN, “It’s a little strange to have this kind of shame and lack of pride for what direction the United States is heading in.”
A “pro-peace, pro-environment” march also took place on Antarctica. Twitter user Linda Zunas posted pictures of people there taking part in the global event.
“Love rules in Antarctica,” read one poster, held by a man bundled up on the snowy landscape in Paradise Bay.
“We are allies, not bystanders,” read another sign, held by a woman posing in front of a glacier.
‘Girl Power vs. Trump Tower’
Australia was the scene of the day’s first major international march, with thousands joining an anti-Trump demonstration in downtown Sydney.
Organizers said as many as 5,000 people attended the protest at Martin Place; police estimated the number was closer to 3,000.
Chants from the crowd included “Women united will never be defeated” and “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back.” Some carried banners with messages such as “Girl Power vs. Trump Tower” and “Dump the Trump.”
A separate group of about 30 Trump supporters held a rally in Sydney. The police restrained some of them, blocking them from entering the same area as the Trump protest group.
Protest organizers in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, said about 700 people turned out there for a women’s march. Marches were also held in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Protesters also joined together to march in Nairobi, Kenya — the African nation that was the native country of former President Barack Obama’s father.
Marchers in Cape Town, South Africa, carried banners with slogans such as “Climate change is a women’s issue” and “So over mediocre men running things.”
Other African nations staging women’s marches included Ghana and Malawi.
Big crowds turned out Saturday in dozens of cities across Europe, with marchers including men, women and children.
Protesters who gathered outside one of Rome’s most famous structures, the Pantheon, on Saturday morning carried signs reading “Yes we must” and “Women’s rights are human rights.”
Demonstrators also took to the streets of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and other cities in Germany.
Hundreds of thousands of women are expected to march in Washington D.C. and other cities across the country this weekend to raise awareness of women’s rights and other civil rights issues that many think are being threatened by the Trump administration. The gathering is expected to be multi-racial, multi-ethnic, inclusive of LGBTQ Americans, immigrants and yes, men, too.
But one group in particular is hoping their voices will be heard by Washington: women of color.
Over the course of his campaign, Trump has raised fears about racial profiling, mass deportations and gender discrimination. He called some Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “killers,” boasted about how he could grope women because he was famous and has threatened to build a wall along the border with Mexico and create a registry of Muslims within the United States.
“We are focusing on all women, but we are centering the voices of those who are most marginalized,” said activist Tamika Mallory one of the three women of color co-chairs who is organizing the march with Bob Bland, who is white. “We do not face the same challenges of other
(Race and gender were big factors in the election, with 52% of white women voting for Trump compared to 25% of Latinas and 4% of black women according to CNN exit polls.)
“It’s a courageous conversation, it’s a difficult conversation,” said Mallory who will be marching on Saturday.
Here are some of the top issues she and other women of color who are participating in the march are most concerned about.
Equal pay & worker’s rights
Women’s March organizers recently released a set of guiding principles. Among them: A focus on economic justice for women, in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women and LGBTQ women. “We believe gender justice, is racial justice is economic justice,” the document said.
On average, women earn 78 cents for every dollar a white man earns, but that disparity is compounded by race. Black women earn 64 cents for every dollar a white man earns and Latinas, 56 cents.
“We don’t ever talk about the impact that women of color feel as a result of economic inequality,” said Winnie Wong, a former strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and one of the co-authors of the document.
She and other march organizers say they are in support of the Fight for $15 movement to increase the minimum wage. During his campaign, Trump wavered in his support of a minimum wage increase, at first saying that wages were “too high” and then later supporting a federal minimum wage to $10 an hour.
March organizers also list worker benefits and rights as a priority. “All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave and healthy work environments,” the Women’s March organizers wrote in their principles.
“Women of color are on the front lines of this low-wage work as caregivers, domestic workers, fast food workers. They deserve to be paid $15 an hour and they deserve to have healthcare,” said Wong.
Women of color are also more likely to be heads of household or single mothers than white women are, said Tracy Sturdivant, co-founder of the non-profit Make it Work. Sturdivant said she was worried about Trump’s nomination of Andrew Puzder as Labor Secretary because he opposes raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Puzder has also been a critic of mandatory paid sick leave, broader overtime pay and the Affordable Care Act.
“He is definitely not pro-worker,” Sturdivant said of the former fast food chain executive.
Street artist Shepard Fairey designed posters for the Women’s March featuring black, Native American, Latina and Muslim women.
“Women have been the fastest growing population of people going to prison in the past decade,” said Glenn Martin, the founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA, a criminal justice advocacy group.
And, according to the Vera Institute for Justice, two-thirds of incarcerated women in the U.S. are women of color.
The implications of this trend extend beyond the jail cell. “As women go, so does the family,” Martin said. In fact, 79% of incarcerated women are also mothers whose children are often taken away from them once they are locked up.
Like men, women who serve time in prison often face hurdles to finding employment, housing and financial stability when they come out, said Martin. Many re-entry programs are tailored for men and not women, Martin said.
“A conservative like President-elect Trump who believes in community and the strength of family should recognize that our prison system is the antithesis of those values,” Martin said. “You can’t make America great again when 70 million Americans have a criminal record.”
March organizers and activists fear those numbers may increase at a much more rapid pace under President Trump.
Throughout his campaign, Trump said he would be the “law and order” president and said he supported the controversial “stop and frisk” policing policy, which was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in New York in 2013 because it unlawfully targeted blacks and Latinos.
Trump’s decision to nominate Jeff Sessions as attorney general has also deeply concerned activists and politicians. (Sessions was denied a federal judgeship after issues were raised about comments he had made regarding the Klu Klux Klan.)
Martin said he was most concerned about the future of Obama’s executive orders like “Ban the Box” which prevents federal employers from asking preliminary questions about a job applicant’s criminal history and the expansion of federal Pell Grants to prisoners to take college courses.
In 2012, President Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order that enabled hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to come out from the shadows and get valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs. DACA provides temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — a group known as DREAMers.
But now these DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants are living in fear amid vows by Trump to overturn DACA and crack down on immigration. Trump has also said he plans to “move criminal aliens out day one” and end sanctuary cities that protect undocumented residents.
Between 2003 and 2013, almost all of the 3.7 million people deported from the United States were men from Mexico or Central America. But many of those men were fathers or spouses, making it an issue that affects women and children as well, said Randy Capps the director of research and U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration think tank.
“Mothers are left with the stress of caring for the kids,” said Capps. “They are afraid that they could be picked up, they are worried about their kids, they are worried about the finances, they are worried about the father. It creates a situation of uncertainty.”
Capps also raised concerns about the increase in Central American families — mostly women and children — that are crossing the Southwestern border into the U.S., which has increased significantly in the past year.
Immigrants who are seeking asylum could see their requests delayed or denied, said Capps and Trump’s talk of “extreme vetting” of immigrants and refugees may also “slow the flow” of admission to the U.S., even for those who are trying to reunite with family, he said.
Health care & reproductive rights
Between Trump’s promise to appoint a conservative justice to the Supreme Court to the recent push by Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood and the impending repeal of the Affordable Care Act, women — particularly those who are low-income or women of color — could see a significant decrease in their access to insurance and reproductive health services.
“Because of persistent wealth and income disparities, women of color are disproportionately more likely to be underinsured, uninsured, or eligible for Medicaid than their white counterparts,” said Louise Melling, legal director of the ACLU.
The Affordable Care Act has helped close some of the gap. The health care reform law made it possible for millions of people who don’t have insurance through their job or elsewhere to get coverage. Under Obamacare, things like birth control, mammograms and care for a newborn are considered preventative care and must be covered.
Trump has made the repeal of Obamacare a signature part of his campaign promise which, if implemented, could remove coverage for a slew of these women’s health services.
“We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education,” the Women’s March site states.