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The Women’s March around the world

Gabriella Deleon, Staff Writer

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On January 21st, 2017– the day after President Trump’s inauguration–3.3 million participants came together to support many different causes in what would now be viewed as an unprecedented historic event: the organic movement known as “The Women’s March on Washington.”

The march came to fruition when a retired lawyer and grandmother in Hawaii, incensed by the hatred and bigotry of Donald Trump’s campaign, found herself feeling helpless and dismayed on election night.Teresa Shook rallied her friends via a Facebook post on November 9, 2016, and immediately a group of 40 women were prepared to march in protest of Trump’s presidency.

By the next day, the number had grown to tens of thousands. Several other women had the same idea and in a show of unity, quickly merged their groups into one movement.

Each mark on the map represents a protest held on Saturday, January 21st. Graphic made by Alejandra Carrasquilla.

As each state organized their own march and others around the world followed suit. While the most significant march was in Washington D.C., the organizers reported 408 sister marches in the United States and 168 in other countries (including one in Erbil, Iraq). All seven continents participate, thus making it the largest global march in history.

More and more people joined the march, and more causes found support. It soon became apparent that millions were ready to march–men, women, and children alike, all for different reasons.

The mission statement of the march “Protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country,” served as a human rights umbrella under which people could march to demand such things as gender equality, healthcare reform, LGTB equality, reproductive rights, environmental protections, and so much more.

Countless celebrities joined the march, both in D.C. and around the world. All day long, social media feeds highlighted familiar faces such as Katy

Perry, James Franco, Rihanna, Zendaya, and Lin Manuel-Miranda, holding signs, giving impassioned speeches and even performing.
One of the most notable celebrity speakers was Madonna, but many critics found her speech to be fueled by hate due to her profane language. She said “Good did not win this election. But good will win in the end…” and added, “Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House…”

According to Twitter, however, the celebrities were not the highlight of the day–it was the signs. Many people posted pictures of signs with clever and laugh-inducing phrases and photos. Some included “I’ve seen better cabinets at IKEA!” “Melania, blink twice if you need help,” while others made references to popular memes.

In addition to the signs, the sight of hundreds of thousands of women wearing knitted pink “Pussycat Hats” in solidarity with one another will endure as one of the most iconic visuals of the movement.
Soon, comparisons were being made regarding the amount of people who participated in the Women’s March vs. the size of the inaugural crowd.

Aerial pictures have been put side-to-side, showing the vast difference in the crowded streets at the march and the empty seats at Trump’s inauguration.

Although it is hard to accurately count how many people participated in the Women’s March, it is estimated that there were three times the amount compared to the inauguration. To put it in perspective, just 200 bus permits were requested for Trump’s inauguration day, while 1,200 were requested for the day of the Women’s March.

Another comparison being made is the fact that there were NO arrests on the day of the Women’s March, while there were over 200 arrests on inauguration day. Businesses were also vandalized during the inauguration day protests, damages inflicted by what many have concluded to be well-organized anarchist groups.

People have different viewpoints about the effectiveness of the march. Some believe it to be the beginning of a new generation of peaceful activism that will bring about positive change. Others feel that although the march was impressive, nothing will be done until the people fighting for change speak to those who can make these changes actually happen.

“It was beautiful to see women around the world coming together as sisters and stand up for the rights we deserve… seeing people of all ages and backgrounds peacefully protest these issues restored my faith in humanity a little bit, and I’m glad to be alive to witness change happening,” said Jade Sierra, senior.

Whether one believes that the march started a global movement or was just a protest, it cannot be denied that the Women’s March has marched its place in the history books forever.

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