“A woman’s place is in the revolution”.
Thus said a particularly striking placard as Washington DC was overwhelmed by a tide of pink, red, yellow, blue, grey, black and many more hues of women – over a million of them – thronging the Capitol Hill area and registering their absolute and utter protest against the newly anointed 45th president of the USA: Donald J Trump.
This is so brilliant. #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/d0Ox7qJiqG— Greg James (@gregjames) January 21, 2017
Washington D.C.'s metro system reports 275,000 rides as of 11 a.m. this morning. That's 82,000 more than yesterday https://t.co/tcEZ75lq00 pic.twitter.com/GgWI4UFtR7— NPR (@NPR) January 21, 2017
Dwarfed by sheer numbers – just 250,000 attended the oath-taking and inauguration ceremony of President Trump the day before, it was a moment reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street of 2010, Arab Spring of 2011 and Black Lives Matter protests that have struck the world earlier.
This time, people said, democracy must be sent back to the United States of America.
A call for universal human rights is vastly more popular than populist hate. Politicians worldwide: take note. #WomensMarch https://t.co/l6itPhBtLS— Andrew Stroehlein (@astroehlein) January 21, 2017
Over 600 rallies took place worldwide and solidarity crossed borders.
As Trump spent the day signing executive orders to repeal Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act that had saved thousands of Americans from illness-induced penury, kept them alive through serious sickness, nursed them to health.
Women marched. And so did their men friends.
Boston, St. Louis, DC; crowds still gathering. But it's not what you see at the top of @NYTimes or @WashingtonPost. #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/cMReyf6c6V— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 21, 2017
It was a Saturday of spontaneous uprising against a demagogue who had just unleashed fear psychosis in his very first and heavily plagiarised speech as the 45th POTUS.
It was a mass congregation against the imminent violence of “American Carnage”, as sloganeered by President Trump.
It was a coming together to vow to resist the politics of fear and hate and spread the good word of respect and racial, religious cohabitation in the land of democracy.
#WomensMarch New York - photo by @Flip_Stewart pic.twitter.com/oST5i6b86p— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) January 21, 2017
It was a renewal of the faith in America, which most think doesn’t need to be made “great again”, but to let it be what it already is – a melting pot of culture, values and ideals.
It’s also the country that just bid a tearful goodbye to 44th POTUS Barack Obama, a man who is as admired as Abraham Lincoln was in the 19th century.
Near the #Capitol #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/kNhhHiTfmj— Maya Shwayder (@MayaErgas) January 21, 2017
Women’s march started out, as Washington Post reports, as “a Facebook post by a Hawaii retiree became an unprecedented international rebuke of a new president that packed cities large and small — from London to Los Angeles, Paris to Park City, Utah, Miami to Melbourne, Australia.
The organisers of the Women’s March on Washington, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said Saturday that as many as half a million people participated.”
In Chicago, large crowds come out for Women's March the day after Pres. Donald Trump's inauguration https://t.co/MIVYbJqJrQ pic.twitter.com/Hr3d55jY14— ABC News (@ABC) January 21, 2017
Donald Trump’s divisive campaign might have paid off electorally, even though Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent, had over 2 million more popular votes, but to hear President Trump talk along exactly the same axes fearmongering and hatred, of not respecting rights that are constitutionally enshrined but to an imagined and uncritical allegiance to the national flag, disappointed many.
This was so much bigger than one person or one issue and I'm so proud I could be a part of it. #WMWArt #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/ku7HBIzs50— Alyssa Holden (@_alyssaholden) January 21, 2017
Those who thought that the office of the president would bring about a change in Trump almost overnight, were left disconcerted. Someone who had made his political fortunes stirring the hornet’s nest of xenophobia and racism, of unabashed white nationalism and whitewashing American history, obviously stuck to his guts and spoke of “America First”, which was really a euphemism for “white people first”.
So the “pu**y-grabber” had to contend with the pink pu**y hats, the knitted vaginas fighting back. “Toddlers against Trump”, “Equal rights, equal pay”, “Vaginas will vote you out” – there were signboards of democracy everywhere, as cities were flooded with women: politically aware, alert and unafraid to make their presence felt.
It was the belated outpouring of democracy that couldn’t let the country be hijacked by an elected demagogue, perhaps America’s first “fake president”.
January 21, 2017
Today, millions of people gathered in cities and towns across the world, to stand together for human rights. pic.twitter.com/aXKht13N9I— Women's March (@womensmarch) January 22, 2017
Given that the Women’s March, which only has a Twitter handle, @womensmarch and a Facebook page, assumed the massive scale only by word of mouth and the power of social media, it was once again understood that the digital arsenal could galvanise both real resistance as well as spread malicious politics of fear and hate.
It was important to remember which side one fought on, because this was a moment history was being made, afresh.
Shut it down. Today's best sign (via @womensmarch). pic.twitter.com/Bsd2128jDw— Johanna Fuentes (@jfuentes) January 21, 2017
There were several tweets with pictures and video snippets of the scale of crowds thronging Washington DC.
Awed and amazed at the outpouring of concern for democracy, this was women reclaiming America, becoming the biggest ever next-day resistance to a nascent presidential inauguration.
It was reminiscent of the 1913 women’s march for voting rights, day after Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as the American president.
We were in all 50 states + over 70 countries! See pics from the #WomensMarch all around the globe here: https://t.co/YRN7wa8n6B #WhyIMarch— Women's March (@womensmarch) January 21, 2017
And what a contrast it was from the Trump inaugural programme which was boycotted by Hollywood’s who’s who.
The Women’s March had Madonna, Scarlett Johansson, America Ferrera, Gloria Steinem, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd, Katy Perry, Janelle Monae, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, and so many more well known faces and celebrities.
You want to talk about women’s issues? That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about health care, education, climate change, and more. #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/PhNtH7qlNi— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2017
Senator Kamala Harris gave an impassioned impromptu speech at the Women’s March, when she asked women to buckle up because the work has just begun.
#IMarchFor a more perfect union where the law finally guarantees women equal pay for equal work, no matter their race.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2017
Today’s @WomensMarch really made me believe in the possibilities of our country, with people of all backgrounds united for justice. pic.twitter.com/1nDQL2uX7w— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 22, 2017
That is the work of reclaiming democracy, the work of sticking up for civil rights, so resist their erosion, to fight for the rights of immigrants and LGBTQ people, to fight for the rights of disabled people, aged and pensioners, retirees, and anyone who who wanted to call America their home.
Hillary Clinton tweeted:
I stand w/ Nora Harren, a 17-year from Boise, ID, & every person marching for our values today. Onward! ✊✊????✊????✨ #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/02lOuXRHuz— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 21, 2017
Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we're always Stronger Together.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 21, 2017
'Hope Not Fear'Indeed. And what a beautiful piece by Louisa Cannell. #womensmarch ????????????????????????????✨ pic.twitter.com/7h3Bzx79nB— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 21, 2017