Millions of women from across the globe came together this past weekend to rally against new US President, Donald Trump, and, more specifically, the women’s rights they believe to be under threat from his presidency.
Over three million people, both women and men, took to the streets across 500 US cities on 21 January, in what has been described as the largest protest in US history.
An estimated 600 sister marches flooded the streets across the globe, including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Cape Town, and even Antarctica.
On top of being the largest organised demonstration that the US, and arguably the world, has ever seen, these protests were governed entirely by peace and unity, promoting love and rebuking the oppression of rights. From gender equality and the rights of minorities and immigrants to the recognition of global warming and the precarious state of the natural environment, the world made clear the issues that are important to the people.
It may not come as a surprise that President Trump made no remark on the pink hats and witty posters that overshadowed his first day in office. While people far and wide proclaimed their allegiance, Trump kicked off his presidency by signing an executive order that will essentially start the ball rolling on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
This executive order instructs his subordinates to:
“…exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
Political adversary, Hillary Clinton, described the marches as “awe-inspiring” and tweeted her support to protesters saying, “[t]hanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always Stronger Together [sic]”.
Former Secretary of State, John Kerry, even joined in the march alongside trusty canine companion, Benjamin Franklin, affectionately known as DiploMutt!
Other famous supporters included Scarlett Johansson, Ian McKellen, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Katy Perry, Seth Rogen, Michael Moore, Olivia Wilde, and scores more.
Pop icon, Madonna, made an impromptu speech on a protest stage in Washington D.C., saying, “[w]elcome to the revolution of love…To the rebellion. To our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny”.
It’s hard to believe that this historic event was brought to life by Hawaii-based grandmother and retired lawyer, Teresa Shook. After the election results, she expressed her frustration on Facebook and called on forty of her D.C. friends to march in protest. Little did she know that, just short of 24 hours later, approximately 10,000 people would have joined the mission – and that was only the beginning.