Women’s March 2018: Protesters Take to the Streets for the Second Straight Year

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A year after millions of people turned out for the Women’s March and took to the streets en masse to protest President Trump’s inauguration, demonstrators gathered on Saturday in cities across the United States, galvanized by their disdain for Mr. Trump and his administration’s policies.

A deluge of revelations about powerful men abusing women, leading to the #MeToo moment, has pushed activists to demand deeper social and political change. Progressive women are eager to build on the movement and translate their enthusiasm into electoral victories in this year’s midterm elections.

Here are some highlights:

• More than 200,000 protesters attended the march in New York on Saturday, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles said 600,000 attended the march there, while organizers of the Chicago march said 300,000 attended that event. Thousands also turned out in Washington, Philadelphia, Austin and hundreds of other cities and towns around the country and world.

• Several speakers urged women to channel their energy into helping Democrats win races in the upcoming midterm elections. A rally called “Power to the Polls,” organized by the leaders of last year’s Women’s March in Washington, will be held on Sunday in Las Vegas.

• President Trump said in a tweet that it was a “perfect day for all Women to March,” while touting “unprecedented economic success and wealth creation” under his watch.

• Read our analysis of how activists have tried to sustain the energy from last year’s marches — and the challenges they face next.

That’s what Vanessa Medina, a 32-year-old nurse, said prompted her to participate this year, even though she didn’t march last January. Ms. Medina, of Clifton, N.J., cited the Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment and Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood as her reasons for protesting.

“I want equal pay,” her 11-year-old daughter, Xenaya, chimed in. “And equal rights.”

“I feel differently about it this year,” said Ms. Allen, 61, who works in communications for a health care organization. “Last year, I just felt kind of angry and impassioned. This year, I feel like I’m in it for the long haul.”

Women filled Central Park West from 61st Street north as far as the eye could see. A D.J. spun songs. The wind kicked up.

Desiree Joy Frias, 24, of the Bronx, and her grandmother, Daisy Vanderhorst, wore red capes and curved white hoods — the telltale outfits of the enslaved child-bearers of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was recently adapted for television from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian science fiction novel.

“We both watch the show,” said Ms. Frias, a law school graduate who said she belongs to an activist group called the “Handmaid Coalition.” “We’re a group of men and women that believe fiction should not become reality.”

In the middle of a park surrounded by gleaming downtown skyscrapers, hundreds of thousands of people assembled. Some hugged strangers. Others were still coloring in their signs.

“I’m done with men feeling like they have some sort of power over women, and I’m definitely done with having a president who believes that he has the power to take things from them, to take things that are provided — like Planned Parenthood — from women, when they deserve the same sort of health care as anybody else,” said Amanda Kowalski, 28, who works in financial services.

Claudia Grubbs, a 42-year-old high school teacher, returned after marching last year, which she said spurred her into donating to organizations that support women in politics.

“Over the last year, every day when I read the news or watch the news, I’m horrified at the things that Trump and his administration are doing, and I feel like going to the march will help re-center me, refocus me and not make me feel like I don’t know what is happening to our country,” she said. “I feel like it’ll help me gain a sense of balance and a sense of purpose, and help me pursue things that I want to pursue.”

Ashley Bennett, a Democrat from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., unseated a longtime local Republican politician in her first campaign for office last November. She ran for Atlantic County freeholder against John L. Carman after he posted a meme on Facebook during last year’s march asking, “Will the women’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?”

Ms. Bennett told the crowd at Saturday’s march in New York that she was scared to run at first, and that she asked herself, “Am I the right person? Can I really do this? But then I realized that if you wait until you feel ready, you may never take action.”

In Washington, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, took the stage with other legislators who arrived from the Capitol. She praised the women who have already launched campaigns, many for the first time.

“They marched, and now they have run for office, and some of them have already won their office,” she said. “We want women to know their power in so many respects — by showing up not only on the day of the march, but in airports, in town halls.”

“It’s women who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times,” added Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York. “To change the system, we need to change the players and have women at the table.”

On Twitter Saturday afternoon, the president seemed to celebrate the women’s demonstrations, even though the protests across the country had a distinct anti-Trump message.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate for women aged 20 and older has been falling steadily since 2012, years before Mr. Trump took office.

“We are with you all the way,” he said in remarks broadcast to the National Mall. The president, who once described himself as “very pro-choice,” has used his executive powers to curtail abortion rights.

The federal government shutdown that took effect early Saturday did not dissuade marchers from taking to the streets.

One of the sticking points that led to the shutdown — disagreement over extending legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children — has become a rallying cry for organizers.

On the Metro headed to the Smithsonian, participants on their way to the Lincoln Memorial wore the symbolic pink hats that became popular during last year’s march.

Michelle Bloom, 52, a Washington teacher, held a sign as her daughter, Jenna, 14, repaired hers with duct tape. She had made it in her mother’s classroom Friday, tracing the handprints of her classmates who couldn’t make it to the march.

“It’s inspiring to see young and old coming together like this,” Michelle Bloom said. But, she added, “I thought there would be more.”

Elenco Articoli