In a global exclamation of defiance and solidarity, more than 1 million people rallied at women’s marches in the nation’s capital and cities around the world Saturday to send President Donald Trump an emphatic message on his first full day in office that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged.
“Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!” marchers in Washington chanted.
Many of the women came wearing pink, pointy-eared hats to mock the new president. Plenty of men joined in, too, contributing to surprising numbers. The Washington rally alone attracted over 500,000 people according to city officials — apparently more than Trump’s inauguration drew on Friday. It was easily one of the biggest demonstrations in the city’s history, and as night fell, not a single arrest was reported.
The international outpouring served to underscore the degree to which Trump has unsettled people in both hemispheres.
“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.
Around the world, women brandished signs with slogans such as “Women won’t back down” and “Less fear more love.” They decried Trump’s stand on such issues as abortion, health care, diversity and climate change. And they branded him a sexist, a bully, a bigot and more.
“We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter,” some marchers chanted in Washington.
It far surpassed the 60,000 people who protested the Vietnam War at Richard Nixon’s inauguration in 1973. Before Saturday, that was thought to be the largest such demonstration in inaugural history.
The marches were a magnet for A-list celebrities, unlike Trump’s inauguration, which had a deficit of top performers.
Alicia Keys sang “Girl on Fire” for the Washington crowd. Madonna gave a fiery, profanity-laced address to the gathering. Cher, also in the nation’s capital, said Trump’s ascendance has people “more frightened maybe than they’ve ever been.”