The streets of Washington DC were rammed full today, Saturday, in an inspiring show of strength against US president Donald Trump. Some reports suggested 500,000 were marching, some closer to a milion.
It was one of more than 350 marches in the United States and hundreds more across the world, including London. In Boston in the US police said 120,000 took part.
In Chicago the march was so huge it was deemed dangerous to move and was changed to a rally.
The Women’s March on Washington drew protesters from all over the US. Metro trains to DC were packed with those heading to the march.
It was impossible to move around Independence Avenue as it became a sea of protesters and placards. The protest showed the fury many ordinary people feel at Trump’s sexist rhetoric and his plans to attack women’s rights.
Trump’s speech at his inauguration yesterday, protected by up to 28,000 police and security personnel, shocked and enraged millions of people.
He detected enemies everywhere, ranting that, “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs,”
In a chilling right wing fashion he declared, “We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny” and added that “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first”.
But, just like the protests yesterday, today was a sign that there will be resistance.
Teacher Kerry Robertson came with a group of teachers from New York. She told Socialist Worker, “The current president does not represent us. We are not going to back down over our rights – we are going to fight.”
Amy Martin, another teacher from the group, added, “We teach ten year olds and they have been very supportive.
“One made us cinnamon bread to bring with us. A Muslim boy gave me a pink hijab from his sister so I can show solidarity with Muslims.”
Amy, like many others, said this was the first time she has been politically active. Others had been protesting for years.
Barb Schade from Westport Unitarian Church said she had “been protesting for human rights my entire life”.
Barb told Socialist Worker, “To think that there are protests in many other countries today is fantastic. And it will get bigger because people who voted for Trump are going to see what he’s really like.”
She added, “I’m very disappointed in the Democrats. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter. I am not in any way a Hillary supporter. As far as I’m concerned she is not a supporter of women.
“And she’s a warmonger – while I’m for peace.”
Some on the march did back Clinton. But even some of her supporters weren’t entirely happy. Tara Pistar from the Washington County Teachers’ Union told Socialist Worker, “I supported Hillary as I didn’t really have a choice.
“There is no comparison between her and Trump. And I wanted a woman president. But I think she could’ve done some things better.”
First time marcher Usha agreed. “Both Sanders and Trump picked up on a real problem – that middle and working class Americans don’t think politics is working for them,” she told Socialist Worker. “I think the Democrats should work on that.”
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle