NEW YORK (AP) — People participating in marches in the United States and around the world walked in support of female empowerment and denounced President Donald Trump’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights and women’s rights on the anniversary of his inauguration.
Tens of thousands of them marched in cities up and down the West Coast. Actress Viola Davis addressed members of the Los Angeles crowd, many of whom carried signs like “Real news, fake president.” In Park City, Utah, where the annual Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, actress Jane Fonda and nationally known attorney Gloria Allred joined the women’s march.
In Morristown, New Jersey, that state’s new first lady told a crowd she was a victim of sexual violence while attending college.
Tammy Murphy, the wife of Democrat Phil Murphy, said the attack occurred while she was a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She said she was walking along a path when a man grabbed her and pulled her into some bushes. She said the man tried to take her clothes off and put a crab apple in her mouth to silence her but she bit his hand and fled half-dressed to a nearby fraternity house, where students called police.
The 2017 rally in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of similar marches created solidarity for those opposing Trump’s views, words and actions. Millions of people around the world marched during last year’s rallies, and many on Saturday talked about the news avalanche of politics and gender issues in the past year.
Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday mentioned the same time frame, tweeting that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” that’s happened during his first year in office — while women across the nation rallied against him and his policies.
“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months,” the Republican wrote. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”
Demonstrators denounced Trump’s views with colorful signs and even saltier language.
Oklahoma City protesters chanted “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” One woman donned a T-shirt with the likeness of social justice icon Woody Guthrie, who wrote “This Land Is Your Land.”
Members of the group Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Seattle burned sage and chanted in front of Seattle’s rainy march.
In Richmond, Virginia, the crowd burst into cheers when a woman ran down the middle of the street carrying a pink flag with the word “Resist.”
The march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday took on the feel of a political rally when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.
“We march, we run, we vote, we win,” Pelosi said, to applause.
People gathered from Montpelier to Milwaukee, from Shreveport to Seneca Falls.
“I think right now with the #MeToo movement, it’s even more important to stand for our rights,” said Karen Tordivo, who marched in Cleveland with her husband and 6-year-old daughter.