The United States of America has a long history of protests and demonstrations. From the Civil Rights movement to Occupy Wall Street, people have taken to the streets to voice their concerns and demand change. However, one protest stands out as the largest in American history.
This protest took place on January 21, 2017 – the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. The Women’s March on Washington was organized as a response to Trump’s election and his controversial policies regarding women’s rights, immigration, healthcare, and other issues.
The Women’s March on Washington was not just limited to Washington D.C. It quickly spread across the country and around the world, with sister marches held in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, London, Paris, Sydney and many more.
According to estimates by political scientists Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman, roughly 4.2 million people participated in the Women’s March across the United States. This number is based on crowd size estimates from local authorities and media reports.
To put this in perspective, this is more than double the number of people who participated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. It is also more than three times larger than any previous protest in American history.
Why Did People March?
The Women’s March on Washington was not just about women’s rights – it was a call for justice and equality for all marginalized groups affected by Trump’s policies. The march became a symbol of resistance against racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.
Participants carried signs with slogans such as “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”, “Love Trumps Hate”, “No Ban No Wall” and “Black Lives Matter”. Celebrities like Madonna and Alicia Keys addressed crowds with powerful speeches about their own experiences of inequality and discrimination.
- Women’s Rights: Trump’s derogatory remarks about women, his history of sexual assault allegations, and his administration’s efforts to restrict access to abortion and birth control were the main reasons why women marched.
- Immigration: Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries sparked outrage and fear among immigrant communities.
- Healthcare: The repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) threatened to leave millions of Americans without health insurance.
- Racism: Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policies Targeting people of color, including the proposed border wall with Mexico, have been widely criticized as racist.
The Impact of the Women’s March
The Women’s March on Washington was not just a one-time event – it inspired a new wave of activism across the country. The march sparked a surge in donations to progressive organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. It also led to the formation of new grassroots groups like Indivisible, which has played a key role in opposing Trump’s policies.
The Women’s March organizers have continued their activism beyond the march by launching a 10 Actions for 100 Days campaign. This campaign provides participants with concrete steps they can take to resist Trump’s policies and promote social justice.
The Legacy of the Women’s March
The Women’s March on Washington was not just a historic event – it was a symbol of hope for millions of people around the world who felt marginalized or oppressed by Trump’s election. The march showed that ordinary people can come together to make their voices heard and demand change.
The legacy of the Women’s March is still being written. However, one thing is clear – it has inspired a new generation of activists who are committed to promoting social justice and equality for all.