• WGON

More than 1 Million Rally at Women's Marches in US and Around World



More than 1 million people rallied at women's marches in the nation's capital and cities around the world Saturday on President Donald Trump's first full day in office.

"Welcome to your first day, we will not go away!" marchers in Washington chanted.

Along with women, many in pink hats, plenty of men joined in, too, contributing to the turnout everywhere from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles to Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, London, Prague and Sydney.

The Washington rally alone attracted over 500,000 people according to city officials. 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. "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."

Turnout in the capital was so heavy that the designated march route alongside the National Mall was impassable. Protesters were told to make their way to the Ellipse near the White House by way of other streets, triggering a chaotic scene that snarled downtown Washington. Long after the program had ended, groups of demonstrators were still marching and chanting in different parts of the city.

The rally featured speeches from women's rights activist Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Madonna, actresses Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson and director Michael Moore among others.

A group of largely women senators and other politicians took the stage together at one point, including Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, Claire McCaskill, D-MO, and newly elected senators Kamala Harris, D-CA, and Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, who addressed the group as did Rep. Maxine Waters, D-CA. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL, and Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, were also on stage.

Various causes were attached to the march, which was largely billed as a demonstration in support of women's rights and civil rights but for many has clear political undertones connected to the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Steinem thanked the crowd for showing up, declaring, "We have people power and we will use it."

"Thank you for understanding that sometimes we have to put our bodies where our beliefs are. Sometimes pressing send is not enough," she said to the crowd, many of whom wore bright pink knitted hats.

Steinem suggested that the size and energy of the gathering was a positive outgrowth of Trump's election and inauguration.

"This is the upside of the downside. This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity," Steinem said.

She praised "our great leaders" Barack and Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton "who told the whole world that women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," quoting Clinton's speech at a United Nations conference in 1995.

Steinem then turned her focus to President Trump.

The new president's "Twitter finger must not become a trigger finger," she said.

Shortly before Steinem took the podium, actress America Ferrera was one of the first speakers at the rally ahead of the march, calling for supporters to "fight, oppose" the Trump administration.

"Marchers, make no mistake. We are -- every single one of us -- under attack. Our safety and freedoms are on the chopping block," she said.

Some of the homemade signs at the rally were related to Hillary Clinton, Trump's campaign rival. One read "Still With Her" using a play on Clinton's campaign slogan, and another read "Lock Him Up," playing on a chant that some Trump supporters directed at Clinton during the campaign. Several "Stronger Together" posters from the Clinton campaign were spotted as well.

While she wasn't there in person, Clinton gave her support via Twitter.

During his speech, Moore railed against President Trump, telling marchers to take action against his administration.

"We have to get busy folks. We've got our work cut out for us," Moore said.

A number of high-profile speakers are expected to address those at the rally, including Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Roberts, and director Michael Moore.

In Chicago, organizers canceled the march portion of their event for safety reasons because of an overflow crowd that reached an estimated 250,000. People made their way through the streets on their own anyway. In New York, well over 100,000 marched past Trump's home at glittering Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. More than 100,000 also gathered on Boston Common, and a similar number demonstrated in Los Angeles.

In Miami, real estate agent Regina Vasquez, 51, brought a sign saying "Repeal and Replace Trump."

"I believe that strength is in the numbers, and that we should all come out and not make Trump the new normal," she said.

All told, more than 600 "sister marches" were planned worldwide. Crowd estimates from police and organizers around the globe added up to well over a million.

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