This Friday, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the President of the United States. On his first day in office, protestors have planned one of the largest demonstrations in US history, known collectively as “The Women’s March on Washington.”
In its mission statement, the Women’s March refers to the rhetoric and tone of politics in the last election cycle, stating that it “insulted, demonised and threatened many of us.” Trump’s election leaves many questioning how their livelihoods will be affected under a Trump Presidency. “We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear,” continues the mission statement.
The Women’s March is a protest about a range of progressive issues including the environment, legal abortion, voting rights, prison’s rights, freedom of the press, affordable healthcare, gun safety, racial and gender equality, and a higher minimum wage. People of all genders, political affiliations and backgrounds have been encouraged to participate in the march.
As initially reported in The Guardian, such a demonstration is unprecedented. “A march of this magnitude, across this diversity of issues has never happened before,” said Kaylin Whittingham, president of the association of black women attorneys. “We all have to stand together as a force no one can ignore.”
The idea behind the protest was formed by retired lawyer, Teresa Shook. Shook went to social media after Trump’s shock win in November, suggesting a protest around the time of inauguration. Support for the movement grew, and now the March now has almost 200 groups, large and small, who have signed on as supporting partners.
Joining Shook as part of the leadership team are Tamika Mallory, a gun control campaigner; Carmen Perez, a civil rights worker; civil rights activist Linda Sarsour, and female New York fashion designer Bob Bland. According to their protest permit and social media response, organisers are expecting the protestors to number around 200,000 people.