Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Women power - Millions protest against Trump worldwide

Published:Sunday | January 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A woman holds a cartoon depicting Donald Trump during the Women's March rally in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday.
Protesters carrying banners and placards take part in a Women's March next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, yesterday.
Demonstrators take part in the Women's March in Trafalgar Square, central London, yesterday.


Wearing pink, pointy-eared 'pussyhats' to mock the new president, hundreds of thousands of women massed in the United States capital and cities around the globe yesterday to send Donald Trump an emphatic message that they won't let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years.

"We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war," actress America Ferrera told the Washington crowd.

"Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. ... We are America and we are here to stay."

The women brandished signs with messages such as 'Women won't back down' and 'Less fear more love' and decried Trump's stand on such issues as abortion, health care, gay rights, diversity and climate change.

Their message reverberated at demonstrations around the world, from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago to Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney, and beyond.







There were signs that the crowds in Washington could top those that turned out for Trump's inauguration last Friday. City officials said organisers of the Women's March on Washington more than doubled their original turnout estimate to 500,000.

More than 600 'sister marches' took place around the world, and plenty of men were part of the tableau, too. Organisers estimated three million people would march worldwide.

In Chicago, organisers cancelled the march portion of their event for safety reasons after an overflow crowd estimated at 150,000 turned out.

As demonstrators rallied alongside the National Mall, Trump opened his first full day as president by attending a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral, a tradition for the day after inauguration.

On Trump's way back to the White House, his motorcade passed several groups of protesters that he would have been hard-pressed to miss.

At rallies around the world, many participants wore hand-knit 'pussyhats' - a message of female empowerment aimed squarely at Trump's crude boast about grabbing women's genitals.

The marches were a magnet for A-list celebrities, unlike Trump's inauguration, which had a deficit of top performers.

Cher, in the nation's capital, said Trump's ascendancy has people "more frightened maybe than they're ever been".

In New York, actresses Helen Mirren and Cynthia Nixon and Whoopi Goldberg joined a crowd of protesters marching to Trump's local home.

In Paris, thousands rallied in the Eiffel Tower neighbourhood in a joyful atmosphere, singing and carrying posters reading 'We have our eyes on you Mr Trump' and 'With our sisters in Washington'.

Hundreds gathered in Prague's Wenceslas Square in freezing weather, mockingly waving portraits of Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

In Sydney, thousands of Australians gathered in solidarity in Hyde Park. One organiser said hatred, bigotry and racism are not only America's problems.

The rallies were a peaceful counterpoint to the window-smashing unrest that unfolded last Friday when self-described anarchists tried to disrupt the inauguration. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades against demonstrators. More than 200 people were arrested.