Millions Participate in Women’s March: Now What?

Saturday was the first day after President Trump’s inauguration but it was also the day that women across all 50 states of the US protested against him. Trump is now infamous for his often sexist views. Perhaps the most offensive thing that has come to light is a voice recording of him admitting to sexually assaulting women and saying [about women] “You can grab them by the p*ssy.”

Despite the massive public outrage and multiple women coming forward to expose his sexual aggression, his support was still solid. He still won the election and is officially the 45th President of the United States of America. In fact, 53% of white women actually voted for trump. Those women that did vote for him reported that his attitude toward women mattered less than his perceived experience with business and his independence from traditional politics. This comes as a double blow due to the loss of what could have been the first female President in US history.

Regardless of why people voted for him there is no denying that Trump has very few women in his appointments. Additionally, those that he did appoint are known for cutting funding for anti-domestic violence programs, against health care that covers contraception and opposing minimum wage increase. The Women’s March was organized as a way to show peaceful resistance against the new commander-in-chief. A stark comparison to the 200+ arrests in Washington D.C. alone following Trump’s inauguration from protesters.

Washington D.C. alone likely surpassed half a million protestors which easily surpassed the crowd that turned up for Trump’s inauguration. Over 400,000 protesters marched in New York City, and hundreds of thousands more in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. The exact number of protesters is difficult to determine not only in the US but because there were protests going on around the world. Cities like Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Cape Town and many more all had women protesting in the thousands against a man that isn’t even their President. Prominent figures like Boston’s Senator, Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also took part.

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Signs like “Hate Does Not Make America Great,” “I Will Not Go Back Quietly to the 1950s” and “I’m 17 — Fear Me!” littered the crowd. Protesters chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.’” By almost any measure, the protests were a success. But the real question is, what now? How do we translate protest turnout into real change?

Women’s March, wherever available, set up a 4 hour pep rally/networking session on Sunday for anyone who wants to turn mobilization into political action. There, people were taught how to most effectively gain the attention of people who could enact change both locally and nationally. Planned Parenthood held a training session for over 2,000 organizers where they tackled similar issues.

Many believe that what causes real change is a unifying force that catalyzes a mass amount of people into standing up for what they believe in. Whether it’s war, civil rights, bailouts or even now reproductive rights there has been a common unifying emotion. “Trump is the cure here,” said Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat and supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the Democratic primary who was invited to Mr. Brock’s conference. “He brings everybody together.”

Per usual, Trump could not resist a chance to tweet his opinion.

It’s great that Trump feels that way about peaceful assembly because there will be a lot more of that very soon.

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