Donald Trump: Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!
A year after millions of people turned out for the Women’s March and took to the streets en masse to protest President Trump’s inauguration, demonstrators gathered on Saturday in cities across the United States, galvanized by their disdain for Mr. Trump and his administration’s policies.
A deluge of revelations about powerful men abusing women, leading to the #MeToo moment, has pushed activists to demand deeper social and political change. Progressive women are eager to build on the movement and translate their enthusiasm into electoral victories in this year’s midterm elections.
Here are some highlights:
• More than 200,000 protesters attended the march in New York on Saturday, according to a senior adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cited the figure as the official count. A spokeswoman said it was determined by officers throughout the city who are trained in estimating crowd size. Thousands also turned out in Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rome and hundreds of other cities and towns.
• Several speakers urged women to channel their energy into helping Democrats win races in the upcoming midterm elections. A rally called “Power to the Polls,” organized by the leaders of last year’s Women’s March in Washington, will be held on Sunday in Las Vegas.
• President Trump said in a tweet that it was a “perfect day for all Women to March,” while touting “unprecedented economic success and wealth creation” under his watch.
New York marchers said they felt empowered: ‘I feel like the revolution is now.’
That’s what Vanessa Medina, a 32-year-old nurse, said prompted her to participate this year, even though she didn’t march last January. Ms. Medina, of Clifton, N.J., cited the Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment and Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood as her reasons for protesting.
“I want equal pay,” her 11-year-old daughter, Xenaya, chimed in. “And equal rights.”
Ann Dee Allen of Wauwatosa, Wis., stood by a vendor table on 60th Street and Broadway, holding a T-shirt and a handful of buttons she had just bought for the demonstration.
“I feel differently about it this year,” said Ms. Allen, 61, who works in communications for a health care organization. “Last year, I just felt kind of angry and impassioned. This year, I feel like I’m in it for the long haul.”
Women filled Central Park West from 61st Street north as far as the eye could see. A D.J. spun songs. The wind kicked up.
Desiree Joy Frias, 24, of the Bronx, and her grandmother, Daisy Vanderhorst, wore red capes and curved white hoods — the telltale outfits of the enslaved child-bearers of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was recently adapted for television from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian science fiction novel.
“We both watch the show,” said Ms. Frias, a law school graduate who said she belongs to an activist group called the “Handmaid Coalition.” “We’re a group of men and women that believe fiction should not become reality.”
Los Angeles women chanted, ‘¡Sí, se puede!’
In the middle of a park surrounded by gleaming downtown skyscrapers, thousands of women assembled. Some hugged strangers. Others were still coloring in their signs.
“I’m done with men feeling like they have some sort of power over women, and I’m definitely done with having a president who believes that he has the power to take things from them, to take things that are provided — like Planned Parenthood — from women, when they deserve the same sort of health care as anybody else,” said Amanda Kowalski, 28, who works in financial services.
Claudia Grubbs, a 42-year-old high school teacher, returned after marching last year, which she said spurred her into donating to organizations that support women in politics.
“Over the last year, every day when I read the news or watch the news, I’m horrified at the things that Trump and his administration are doing, and I feel like going to the march will help re-center me, refocus me and not make me feel like I don’t know what is happening to our country,” she said. “I feel like it’ll help me gain a sense of balance and a sense of purpose, and help me pursue things that I want to pursue.”
Speakers urged women to run for office.
Ashley Bennett, a Democrat from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., unseated a longtime local Republican politician in her first campaign for office last November. She ran for Atlantic County freeholder against John L. Carman after he posted a meme on Facebook during last year’s march asking, “Will the women’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?”
Ms. Bennett told the crowd at Saturday’s march in New York that she was scared to run at first, and that she asked herself, “Am I the right person? Can I really do this? But then I realized that if you wait until you feel ready, you may never take action.”
In Washington, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, took the stage with other legislators who arrived from the Capitol. She praised the women who have already launched campaigns, many for the first time.
“They marched, and now they have run for office, and some of them have already won their office,” she said. “We want women to know their power in so many respects — by showing up not only on the day of the march, but in airports, in town halls.”
“It’s women who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times,” added Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York. “To change the system, we need to change the players and have women at the table.”
President Trump commented on the marches.
On Twitter Saturday afternoon, the president seemed to celebrate the women’s demonstrations, even though the protests across the country had a distinct anti-Trump message.
Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate for women aged 20 and older has been falling steadily since 2012, years before Mr. Trump took office.
On Friday, Mr. Trump addressed the thousands of anti-abortion protesters gathered in Washington for the March for Life.
“We are with you all the way,” he said in remarks broadcast to the National Mall. The president, who once described himself as “very pro-choice,” has used his executive powers to curtail abortion rights.
The government shutdown became a rallying cry.
The federal government shutdown that took effect early Saturday did not dissuade marchers from taking to the streets.
One of the sticking points that led to the shutdown — disagreement over extending legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children — has become a rallying cry for organizers.
The pink hats came back out in Washington.
On the Metro headed to the Smithsonian, participants on their way to the Lincoln Memorial wore the symbolic pink hats that became popular during last year’s march.
Michelle Bloom, 52, a Washington teacher, held a sign as her daughter, Jenna, 14, repaired hers with duct tape. She had made it in her mother’s classroom Friday, tracing the handprints of her classmates who couldn’t make it to the march.
“It’s inspiring to see young and old coming together like this,” Michelle Bloom said. But, she added, “I thought there would be more.”
Women lined the frozen reflecting pool and slowly filled the grassy areas, but there was still space for kickball games around the Washington Monument. And people jogged and biked around the Mall, which would have been impossible a year ago, when the crowd of marchers was bigger.
The organizers of last year’s march in Washington focused their energy this year on putting together an event Sunday in Las Vegas. The event, Power to the Polls, will serve as an opening rally for a national voter registration campaign.
While the crowds in Washington were not quite as large as they were in 2017, the Mall was still teeming with people.
Garrett Regunberg, 32, pointed to the rallies against President Trump’s travel ban as an example of ongoing activism that has made a difference.
“There was a lot done in the first year to limit the damage that could have been done,” he said. “The resistance is alive.”
Chicago marchers were urged to ‘go to the polls and flip those seats.’
Thousands of marchers packed into downtown Chicago to listen to speakers like billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer, who has urged Democrats to make the ouster of Mr. Trump a central campaign issue this year.
With midterm elections approaching, Mr. Steyer said, “We are going to have to be organized, we are going to have to be engaged and we are going to have to go to the polls and flip those seats.”
Marchers shouted anti-Trump chants and carried signs saying, “Vote” and “Immigrants Make America Great.”
“I’m an activist and an artist and I’m here to fight for women’s equality and equality for all minorities,” said Michelle Hartney, 39, of Chicago, who said she attended the Women’s March in Washington last year.
Some activists decided to sit this one out.
Some women avoided the marches on Saturday because they felt they were too focused on electing Democrats, at the expense of other issues. They wanted the movement to be more inclusive of people of color and other marginalized groups.
Nadya Agrawal, 26, joined the big rally in Washington last year. “But it just wasn’t what I thought it would be,” she said. “It felt more like a commiseration rather than the start of a lot of work.”
Gatherings like these, she added, were no substitute for more focused activism. “I hope that the women who are at this rally are also going to the next Black Lives Matter protest, or marching on behalf of DACA,” she said.
Other gatherings across the country faced similar criticism on social media and in public statements. In Cincinnati, Black Lives Matter activists said on their website, the march was not welcoming to minorities and was “a poorly veiled campaign to elect more Democrats to ‘resist Trump.’” In Philadelphia, activists criticized the rally in an open letter after they learned that the police would be on patrol. (Organizers said the security was normal for a large event and marginalized groups were well represented.)
Deandra Jefferson, 24, who helped write the letter, said in a phone interview on Saturday that the march “caters mostly toward middle class, straight white women,” and was not an effective way to dismantle oppression.
“They should stop organizing these marches until they decide what they’re going to do the other 364 days of the year,” she added.
The president didn’t make it to Palm Beach — but protesters did.
The shutdown kept the president from traveling as planned to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida this weekend.
Despite his absence, several hundred protesters gathered north of the mansion, on the beach in front of Worth Avenue. Many people waved “Impeach Trump” signs.
For a Canadian politician, speaking out was empowering.
Organizers of the second Women’s March in Ottawa shifted the focus to issues directly affecting Canadian women. Many marchers wore red scarves as a gesture of support for the large number of indigenous women whose murders or disappearances have received relatively little attention from the police.
The march, which began at the Parliament buildings, was one of about three dozen across Canada.
Among those who addressed the crowd in Ottawa was Catherine McKenna, the environment minister, who has been one of the leading international voices against President Trump’s climate policies.
Late last year, Ms. McKenna confronted a reporter from a right-wing Canadian news outlet, Rebel Media, over its repeated references to her as Climate Barbie. Earlier, a Conservative member of Parliament apologized for describing her that way on Twitter.
“I realized that when I spoke out in my small case of being called Climate Barbie — when I did it I felt better, but I also saw that so many other people stood up for me and they also felt empowered,” Ms. McKenna said in an interview outside of a concert venue at the end of the march.
Although Ms. McKenna credited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who regularly describes himself as a feminist, for encouraging women to enter politics, she said their numbers still must increase, and not just in Canada.
“I really believe that we wouldn’t have had an ambitious Paris climate agreement if we didn’t have strong women negotiators,” she said. “That’s one of the untold stories.”
In Rome, a Harvey Weinstein accuser received a hero’s welcome.
The actress and director Asia Argento, one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, has been mostly vilified by Italian commentators. But the several hundred women who congregated in a downtown Rome piazza on Saturday morning gave her a rousing welcome.
“I’d like to see how many of you today acknowledge that you have put up with abuse, by raising your hands. And not just sexual. Abuse of power. Because we are women, because we don’t have power,” said Ms. Argento, as numerous hands timidly rose from the crowd.
The women chanted slogans in Italian and English in solidarity with a global sisterhood whose vision “is in sharp contrast with the Donalds of the world and other self-proclaimed geniuses,” said one of the keynote speakers, Loretta Bondi, of Rome’s Casa Internazionale delle Donne, or International Women’s Center.
Women also gathered in other corners of the world, including Frankfurt, Germany; Kampala, Uganda; and Osaka, Japan, where a small group chanted “Time’s up!” in English and Japanese.