Nationwide Women’s Marches surpass expectations
January 23, 2017
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Donald Trump is the 45th U.S. president, and women across the country are “grabbing” back.
On Saturday, Jan. 21, an estimated 2.6 million people took part in 673 marches in all 50 states and 32 countries.
The largest march took place in the District of Columbia with an estimated half a million people in attendance. Women marched in major cities around the world including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, and Cape Town.
In San Francisco, one police officer estimated “at least 150,000” people at the march.
While organizers said the marches weren’t meant to protest the new president, protesters denounced pledges by Trump and the new Congress to cut government-funded social services. The protests were peaceful and resulted in no arrests in the Bay Area by the end of the day.
Many marchers also declared opposition to the new administration’s policies that they believe are against women.
“I have a message for Donald Trump: If you think you can bully women back to the 1950s, think again,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at the Oakland march.
For others, the marches showed that the community would stand up for each other in times of conflict.
“I feel like it’s about us standing up for each other and knowing our community is not going to stand idly by. We’re going to have our voices heard, so people know we’re not just going to lie down and let this s— happen to us,” said San Francisco resident Rebecca Kidler in a statement to SF Gate.
While the marches were aimed towards protecting and supporting women’s rights, many men took part in the rallies as well.
According to USA Today, Peter Monks of San Francisco attended with his wife and daughters and said he was showing support for women’s issues “to a president who doesn’t seem to recognize or care about them.”
“As a white guy, it’s easy to take privilege for granted. It feels really important to stand up for civil society when powerful voices are lined up against it,” said Monks.
According to the SF Examiner, the crowd was cheerful and loud despite the pouring rain. Women, men, and children alike carried signs reading slogans such as “Sisterhood is Powerful” and “Make America Think Again.”
In a statement to SF Gate, Kylea Clayton, 15, said, “I’m feeling happy that so many people can make it today. I think everyone in my generation can come together for our rights and get something done.”