Here’s What’s Happening
It’s been 12 months to the day since President Donald Trump took the oath of office and entered the White House. That means it’s also been almost 12 months since millions of women in DC, across the US, and around the world took part in Women’s Marches against the new administration.
One year on, women and their allies have been hitting the streets once more in protest against what they say are anti-women policies by Trump and other conservative governments.
Hundreds of thousands of women took part in protests across the US, with the NYPD telling BuzzFeed News they estimated roughly 200,000 people marched in New York City alone.
Demonstrations were also seen in Chicago, Denver, Austin, Montgomery, Charlotte, and in dozens of other cities and towns.
Here are some of the most clever signs from this year’s march.
The movement is somewhat divided, however. Some women in conservative US states want to concentrate on political action and voter registration, while others want to focus on
activism and social justice issues.
The #MeToo movement has sparked a global reckoning for sexual harassment, and marchers on Saturday helped to amplify the message further, carrying signs calling for an end to sexual abuse.
Incensed and angered by the turn the country has taken, many demonstrators in Los Angeles said Saturday they have become more active and involved in social issues since they first marched in the streets last year.
Dancing on Olive Street before the march kicked off, Melanie Hunter said she has become more involved in fighting to protect immigrants after seeing the ripple effects the Trump administration’s crack down on illegal immigration has had on her friends and community.
“I regret that I wasn’t as active as I am now,” the 30-year-old publicist said. “But there’s more work to be done now than ever before and we need to stay focused and stick together.”
As a black woman, Hunter says issues like access to health care, jobs, and fighting for equality “affect me twice as much.”
“But we’ve been through worse,” she said. “I hope people don’t just get caught up in the moment and keep pushing. We still need to show up and fight.”
Christine Lee with Los Angeles office of the city clerk said several hundred people had registered to vote in just a few hours at the booths set up here.
After watching “the country go backwards,” Rachel Martinez says she is now training to run for the House of Representatives in the next five years. The 22-year-old is working for California Sen. Diane Feinstein and has stacked her college course load with classes to prepare her to be in politics.
“I wanted to run for office in the next 10 years but now I’ll be doing it in five because it’s much more urgent,” she explained. “I’ve become louder and I’ve learned I can’t let my opinions fall by the wayside anymore.”
Watching how opinions and policies have changed toward “discriminating against [her] black, LGBT, and DREAMer friends” is propelling her to get in as fast as she can because she’s “pissed off.”
Marla Weiss, a high school teacher, says she has become more involved in environmental issues after the president pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and down-sizing national monuments.
“It’s not for us, but for our kids,” she said. “These things affect their lifetimes and it’s disheartening to think of the place they might grow up in.”
For high schoolers like Grace Green, losing access to resources like Planned Parenthood motivated her to get involved in the fight to save it.
“I am a survivor of sexual assault and so is my mom, so Planned Parenthood is very personal to me, especially as a woman of color,” the 17-year-old said.
She says she also planned an event and march to support DREAMers with her high school, Larchmont Charter, friends, and other youth to raise awareness as to how many students would be affected.
“I grew up in the Obama era so this feeling of having to fight for acceptance and progress is new for me,” she said. “It’s fucked.”
Some of the most clever signs from the March
At Women’s March events across the country on Saturday, people carried signs bearing all sorts of messages.
Some were punny, some were powerful, and one even told the patriarchy to go eat a Tide Pod. Check out some of the most clever Women’s March signs here.
Viola Davis: ‘When I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence”
Academy Award-winning actor Viola Davis used her speech at Saturday’s Los Angeles Women’s March to draw attention to young people of color who are victims of sexual assault.
“I am speaking today not just for the Me Toos, because I was a Me Too, but when I raise my hand, I am aware of all the women who are still in silence,” Davis said.
“The women who are faceless. The women who don’t have the money and don’t have the constitution and who don’t have the confidence and who don’t have the images in our media that gives them a sense of self-worth enough to break their silence that is rooted in the shame of assault, that’s rooted in the stigma of assault,” she said.
On the same day as the government shutdown, Davis also brought up the Statue of Liberty being a reminder to fight for the rights of all Americans.
“Written on the Statue of Liberty is, ‘Come, come you tireless, poor yearning to breathe free, to breathe free,'” she said. “Every single day, your job as an American citizen is not just to fight for your rights. It’s to fight for the right of every individual that is taking a breath, whose heart is pumping and breathing on this Earth.”
—Krystie Lee Yandoli