The Women’s March On Washington, a mass demonstration against the president-elect and many of his policies, is set to draw a crowd of up to 200,000 people – potentially more than the inauguration itself.
The march, which is set to take place on January 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration, is already being billed as one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history, being compared to events that protested the Vietnam War.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) January 2, 2017
Speaking to the New York Times, organizer Breanne Butler explains the motivation behind the demonstration.
“We’re doing it his very first day in office because we are making a statement. We are here and we are watching. And, like, ‘Welcome to the White House.'”
With over 200 different progressive groups set to be involved in the demonstration, many of those marching have a different cause at heart. Some of the issues being protested include the environment, Trump’s policies on abortion, freedom of press, healthcare reform, gun safety, racial and gender equality, and a higher minimum wage. Despite the differing objectives of those involved, all attendees have been united by the impending threat of a Trump presidency, and what that means for the nation.
Another organizer, Linda Sarsour, explains her motivation for marching.
“We have no choice. We need to stand up against an administration that threatens everything we believe in, in what we hope will become one of the largest grassroots, progressive movements ever seen.”
One trend that is sure to be visible during the march is the pink hat “Pussyhat Project.” The project is focused on delivering a flood of women wearing pink knitted hats with cat ears in the lead up to, and following Trump’s inauguration. Co-founder Jayna Zweiman explains the goal of the project.
“The project’s goal is to make a visual statement on the first day of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration to show that women stand united when it comes to protecting their rights.”
Zweiman continues on the inspiration behind the project’s name.
“We used the term ‘pussyhat’ for the project as a play on words referencing the way Trump bragged about groping unsuspecting women in a 2005 recording leaked during the presidential race.”
The project aims to have 1 million hats delivered to Washington in time for next Friday’s inauguration, utilizing volunteers around the country to help achieve the goal.
Also motivated into action by Trump’s bragging about groping women was Florida domestic worker June Barrett. Barrett had a personal experience where she was groped by an elderly man in her care, and felt compelled to travel from Miami to Washington to take part in the march.
“When that tape came out, I went into a bit of a depression. And I’ve had to walk away from my Baptist church after they were strongly guiding us to vote for Trump and Mike Pence. It’s shaken my whole faith. I have to march against this hate.”
While inspiring in theory, there are reports the inclusion of so many causes in the march have been met with calls for boycot by various societal groups. Some white people have been said to feel excluded by talks of race relations, while women of racial minorities have reported feeling discrimination by white women who know little of their struggle against class and racial discrimination. For their part, organizers have made a notable effort to emphasize the inclusive nature of the event.
Some high profile names have voiced their support for the cause, with celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, and Cher confirming their attendance.
JOIN MARCH IN D.C.,2PROTEST TRUMP REGIME‼️2 PROTEST IN YOUR OWN HOME…TURN ON TV,AND AS TRUMPS INAUGURAL STARTS…
TURN TV OFF????????
— Cher (@cher) January 13, 2017
SISTERS ARE DOIN' IT FOR THEMSELVES! ????????????????❤️ https://t.co/0shuUYUBEv
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) January 10, 2017
It has been reported that over 300 protests will be held simultaneously in all 50 states and over 30 other countries. Click here to find a demonstration near you.
[Featured Image by Jose Luis/AP Images]