From London to LA, women’s marches pack cities big and small
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago. Oklahoma City. London. Los Angeles.
Across the globe, cities big and small saw throngs of women, men and children take to the streets Saturday in a show of unity and support for women’s rights. The swarms of marchers came together in the sunshine and rain to rally against sexism, racism and hatred and to protest President Donald Trump.
The crowds were so large that some U.S. cities ground to a halt as demonstrators overwhelmed streets, train stations and parks. The more than 600 “sister marches” were held in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington a day after Trump’s inauguration.
Here’s a closer look at some of those marches around the world:
Nazik Hasan was among the tens of thousands of demonstrators who filled downtown streets, waving posters and gay-pride flags and chanting in English and Spanish.
The 29-year-old attorney carried a sign that read, “Immigrants and refugees are America.”
Hasan’s family is originally from Palestine and came, she said, in pursuit of the American dream. One generation later, Hasan and her siblings are all college graduates.
Since the election, though, she said she has felt shocked and fearful and particularly worries about her mother, who wears a headscarf.
“If immigrants’ rights are violated and women’s rights are violated, I’ll be directly affected,” she said. “Our fulfillment of the American dream doesn’t take away from anyone else’s.”
Los Angeles police said well over 100,000 people packed several closed blocks. Several trains were added to the city’s jammed metro line in order to accommodate the large crowds.
Scores of protesters spilled into the streets after organizers canceled the city’s march for safety reasons because of a larger-than-expected turnout. The overflow crowd reached an estimated 250,000 people.
People flooded nearby streets, chanting and waving signs protesting Trump, after a rally concluded at Grant Park.
Demonstrator Dorothy DeCarlo, 69, burned her bra for women’s rights in college 50 years ago and said it was shameful Saturday’s marches and rallies were even necessary.
“I thought we took the bruises. I thought it was over,” she said.
After a presidential campaign that focused on women’s bodies, Katie Kastner made a sign that drew attention to hers: A circle cut through it focused eyes on her pregnant belly.
The 34-year-old said she drove two hours to Oklahoma City to set an example for her unborn son. She hopes one day the boy will see photos of her at the march and know she stood up to bullies she believes Trump has brought out of the shadows.
“It’s easy for people to sit and complain at their homes, behind a computer, but I just thought I didn’t want to do that,” said Kastner, of Cordell, Oklahoma.
She joined hundreds of others gathered at the state Capitol, in the shadow of working oil wells and statues honoring Oklahoma’s cowboy and Native American cultures.
Samantha Moyo looked out at the tens of thousands of marchers sardined into Trafalgar Square with a look of contentment.
The 30-year-old Londoner, originally from Zimbabwe, was overwhelmed by the size of the crowd, and its determination to challenge Trump’s world view.
“I’m a black, immigrant bisexual woman, and the fact that women all over the world are standing up for what they believe in, and that I was invited to be on the front line, feels like a huge privilege,” she said after helping to lead a march that snaked through central London, stopping traffic at times.
Moyo said she was initially worried about Trump’s policies but has come to believe he will inspire resistance.
Police described the event as peaceful with no arrests.
A crowd in Atlanta huddled under a blanket of umbrellas amid intermittent downpours. Among them was Diane Lent, 66, an educator from rural Habersham County who drove 90 miles to attend the rally.
“I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother — and I believe in justice, and I think we need to stand up for what we believe in,” she said.
Lent said she’s concerned about how education will fare under a Trump administration, and she’s worried about his cabinet appointees.
During the campaign, she was stunned at the ways he referred to women.
“I was horrified, just horrified that we’ve come to that point in time again,” Lent said.
Demonstrators crammed the streets outside Trump’s Manhattan home, saying the new leader might be from there, but he’s no New Yorker.
“New York is a community in itself, and people care about each other, and it’s diverse,” said Ashia Badi, 44, who brought her two daughters to the march. “He doesn’t feel like he has those New York values I see.”
Trump was born and raised in New York City, but the majority of the city and state voted for Hillary Clinton.
Tens of thousands of protesters carrying signs that read: “Women’s rights are human rights” and “A woman’s place is in the resistance” funneled past Trump Tower to thunderous cheers on tony Fifth Avenue, where he conducted nearly all of his postelection business. It’s also where first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s young son, Barron, will live.
Brooklyn resident Zakiyyah Woods, 32, said Trump doesn’t understand how the city’s working men and women struggle.
“He definitely represents that one percent of New Yorkers who built this city for themselves,” she said.
TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
Sarah Gospodar likened the chilly, damp rally at Trenton’s War Memorial to the civil rights marches of the 1960s, when people came together peacefully to effect change.
“As a middle-aged black woman, I’ve seen a lot in my life — things that divided this country and things that united it,” she said.
“These issues we address today are things that should unite us. How can anyone be against equal pay and fair and equal rights for all Americans?”
Gospodar, 53, acknowledged she’s no Trump fan but said she will give him the chance to “show he really does want to make America great.”
Roxana Viera and her family joined thousands at a rally hoping to demonstrate that the majority of Americans did not choose Trump.
“The values he presents are not the values of the nation,” said the 45-year-old doctor from Jupiter, Florida.
Thousands filed into an amphitheater under blazing sunshine and gave rousing cheers to speeches by community activists, interspersed with the thumping rhythms of a drum group and other musical acts.
Gay couple Gary Fuller, 29, a medical device salesman, and Kyle Merville, 28, a developer, said they feared a rollback of gay rights under Trump.
“He’s marginalized so many groups,” Fuller said.
Amanda Guzman said Saturday’s march in Seattle gave her hope as her two young sons and husband joined thousands in
“What I’m seeing here is overwhelming, the solidarity and love,” she said, pushing her 18-month-old in a stroller.
She said it’s so easy to listen to Trump and see the only bad, but the throngs of protesters gave her hope. “It’s all reassuring that there’s still good, and we will fight this.”
Fathia Absie, a Muslim-American writer and filmmaker who lives in Seattle, said she marched to support women’s rights and all rights. As a woman who wears a hijab, she said she is more afraid now than after Sept. 11.
“We have to come together,” she said. “What makes this country beautiful and unique, unlike anywhere else in the world, is that we’re so diverse. Our differences make us beautiful.”
City officials declined to provide estimates but said the march grew into one contiguous mass of people filling an entire 3.6-mile route.
PARK CITY, UTAH
Actress Charlize Theron and other celebrities led demonstrators in a chant of “Love, not hate, makes America great” through the snowy streets during the annual Sundance Film Festival.
The march was about unity and bringing people together, Theron told The Associated Press.
“None of us are here today to divide anyone. We’re already divided enough,” she said. “I think we are really here today to celebrate coming together and working together and hearing each other and being able to move forward instead of moving backward. That’s all we want.”
Comedian Chelsea Handler agreed.
“After that terrible day yesterday, we are going to unite,” she said.
Several hundred demonstrators shut down four lanes of traffic on a central boulevard outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico City. They held up signs such as “Nasty women keep fighting” and “Girls just wanna have fundamental rights.”
The Mexican capital is home to a sizable population of U.S. citizens, and many in the crowd were Americans.
Laura Moodey, a 40-year-old nonprofit worker originally from Phoenix, said she was disappointed by Trump’s inaugural speech.
“I was hoping for something different. I was hoping to hear the change in tone that we normally hear after a long, bitter campaign,” she said.
Moodey brought her 3-year-old son, Joaquin Torres, to the march. He held a sign that read, in Spanish, “This is my world. I believe in science and respect.”
Katz reported from London. Also contributing to this report were: Ian Mader in Miami: Phuong Le in Seattle; Dan Sewell in Cincinnati; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, S.C.; Sylvie Corbet in Paris; Peter Orsi in Mexico City; Esther Htusan in Yangon, Myanmar; Adam Kealoha Causey in Oklahoma City; Don Schanche in Atlanta; Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, N.J.; Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vermont; Ryan Pearson in Park City, Utah; Rachelle Blidner and Colleen Long in New York; and Christine Armario in Los Angeles; Don Schanche in Atlanta; Jim Suhr in Kansas City; Jeff Baenen in St. Paul, Minn.; John Hanna in Topeka, Kan.; Frank Bajak in Houston.