The United States may not have made history by electing the nation’s first female president, but a popular movement opposed to the chauvinism and bigotry of incoming president Donald Trump just might set a record of its own.
On Saturday January 21st, hundreds of thousands of women and allies will descend on the nation’s capital to publicly proclaim that women’s rights are human rights. Accompanied by sister marches in cities across the country, the march will feature scores of different groups uniting to make their collective voice heard.
The official Women’s March website explains the movement’s overarching vision:
We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
While conflicts arose during the march’s nascent planning stages (as will happen with any big tent movement), the organizers settled on a solidly progressive platform that bridged a number gaps. People from all walks are welcome to join, including men and young children, and the organizers have included religious and racial tolerance in the march’s official program in order to include all groups denigrated by the bigoted Trump campaign.
While Trump has struggled to find performers for his (arguably illegitimate) inauguration, a number of artists are showing up on Saturday in solidarity with those marginalized by Trump’s scorched earth campaign, including Janelle Monae. In expectation of the crowds – which will far exceed those of Trump’s inauguration – the city of Washington DC has announced additional metro services. As many as 200,000 are expected in DC. In Chicago, organizers anticipate as many as 50,000 demonstrators. Tens of thousands are expected in other major cities, including Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Organizers hope that the protest will not stop when the crowds disperse, but will rather transform into an ongoing movement to prevent and rollback the reactionary excesses of Donald Trump and his swamp of a cabinet. With the amount of passion on display in recent weeks, that hope may very well become a reality.