On January 21st, five million people worldwide gathered to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, a protest against the election of president Donald Trump. Although it’s title implies it was only held in Washington, this march took place in cities all across America, as well as in foreign countries around the world. This march was created in an attempt to encourage progressive values, such as women’s rights, in response to Trump’s presidency which threatens many feminist values. Many marchers also protested environmental issues, LGBTQ rights, promoted the importance of healthcare, and the right to choose.
The march was very peaceful; there were no arrests in any of the major cities where protests were held, such as D.C. or Los Angeles. Protesters marched with their signs, chanting things such as “My body my choice” and “Together united we’ll never be divided”. In LA the turnout was much bigger than expected, at around half a million, so marchers could not march the designated path because the entire path was filled with protesters. The city ended up having to close off more streets than expected.The march in D.C. also had over a million participants; the Washington metro system had the second busiest day in history, right behind Barack Obama’s inauguration day in 2008. It is estimated that about three times the amount of people attended the march in D.C. than attended Trump’s inauguration. The creators of this march named it the March on Washington in reference to The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Creators and supporters of this movement take issue with Trump’s policies and character, deeming him a harmful political figure because of his sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and otherwise inappropriate rhetoric. This march attempted to inspire action for future resistance.
Santa Barbara had its own protest, comprised of a few thousand people who marched from De La Guerra Plaza down State Street. As with the other marches across the country, Santa Barbara’s was a peaceful march featuring signs and chanting.
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The organizers of the Women’s March did not intend for this march to be the only form of resistance. After the march on January 21, they introduced their “10 Actions 100 Days” plan, where they intend to introduce new ways to encourage progressive legislation and resistance during Trumps’ presidency. The first action is to write letters to Senators on issues of importance, and further actions will be encouraged throughout the duration of his presidency. The creators of this march hope to inspire people to become active in their communities in fighting against Trump, who supporters of this movement see as an unfit and sexist leader. There is also a movement being started for a Scientists March on D.C., which would be a similar anti-Trump march, but focused on environmental concerns such as climate change, clean water, and respecting the earth.