NYC Women's March Expected to Draw Over 65,000 Participants

Thousands of people are expected to troop through the streets of New York City for the Women's March on Saturday.

Organizers say they expect more than 65,000 people in a peaceful march in support of women's equality and human rights Saturday morning.

The Women's March on NYC is scheduled to start with a 10:30 a.m. rally at One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. Several speakers are expected to address protesters, including Sue Doster, co-president of InterPride, an international organizer for LGBTQI events, and Democratic New York state senator Liz Krueger, who represents Manhattan's 28th district.

The HERmonics, an informal women's choral group, will be led by actress Lindsay Fisher, with performances to open and close the rally.

Following the rally, an all-female drumline will lead the procession from the United Nations headquarters near 42nd Street and FDR Drive to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.

A Women's March will also take place in Washington D.C. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Hundreds of New Yorkers are expected to depart from Jackson Heights, Queens at 5 a.m. to participate in the demonstration near the U.S. Capitol building.

Protests turned violent in downtown D.C. Friday, less than two hours before President Donald Trump took office Friday. The Metropolitan Police Department said 95 protesters were arrested as riot police and hundreds of demonstrators faced off blocks away from the inaugural parade route. Police officers used tear gas to control the disturbance.

Women's March on NYC was planned for the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. (Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Kena Betancur)

Trump protests in NYC: Women’s march draws thousands of demonstrators

Thousands of people crowded Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Saturday morning as even more streamed in, ready to take part in the Women’s March on NYC.

Women and men alike held signs and milled about, waiting for the start of the march while music played, the atmosphere more festive than anything else.

Signs that said "We the people are greater than fear," and "Women's rights are human rights" colored the square.
Organizers said the Women’s March on NYC is for anyone unable to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, also planned for Saturday, a day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.

“New York City will proudly join the international community to march in support of equality and promote civil rights for every human,” organizers wrote on the event’s Facebook page.

More than 70,000 people have said they are planning to attend the event and another 52,000 are interested, according to the Facebook page.

Astoria resident Johanna Valentine, 29, proudly sported her "nasty women" shirt. Valentine, a family nurse practitioner who came to the march with her mom, said the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and women's reproductive rights were especially important to her.

"It's very inspiring," she said, looking around at the crowd. "It’s great to see so many generations here today."
Sheri Steinmetz, 56, took the train down from Woodbridge, Connecticut, for the march. Her kids, she said, were marching in D.C.

"It's empowerment. We're excited to be here," said Steinmetz, a lawyer, adding she felt it was important to march for the simple fact that "we're Americans and Trump is our president. That's the best thing I can say without swear words."

A lead organizer for the march, Katherine Siemionko, said she is expecting 100,000 people to participate.
She said the march is a big, moving tent “for people to see they are not alone, there is hope, and they have power.” And, regardless of the reasons others may have for attending, she said the march, “is not anti-Trump. It’s pro-equality. We have marchers who voted for Trump who want to support equality."

Women’s March on Washington (and Elsewhere)

• Crowds have gathered on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, a kind of counter-inauguration after President Donald J. Trump took office on Friday. But all people are invited.

• The event is an attempt to unify protesters around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights, but it has also encountered divisions.

• Protesters have already started convening around the world, but the main event, in Washington, has begun with a rally featuring speakers like Gloria Steinem and performers like Janelle Monáe near the Capitol. Afterward, participants will march down the National Mall.

• The Times has journalists covering the marches in Washington; New York; Boston; Atlanta; Denver; Los Angeles; Phoenix; St. Paul, Minn.; and Key West, Fla.

Here are the highlights from the rally in Washington:

• The actress and activist America Ferrera appeared early on.

“It’s been a heartrending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country. Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday,” she said.

“But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay.”

Pink hats are on the move

Location: Washington

Time: 8:30 a.m.

The Dupont Metro station was a sea of pink hats at 8:30 a.m. It was a festive atmosphere with people singing and chanting.

The third from last car was packed, with crowds of women cramming in next to one another.

“Move in all you nasty women,” said Meg Ables, a comedy writer from New York as she pushed her way into the car.

Sabrina Tavernise


A wave of New Yorkers get ready to go to Washington

Location: New York City

Time: 5 a.m.

Notable Sign: “Hey Little Man, We’re America.”

Overheard: A young man was on a bus with a group of high schoolers leaving for Washington. “At least I can be confident knowing that my first presidential vote will be to vote Donald Trump out of office,” he said.

It was still dark outside early Saturday as women started to gather on a Brooklyn corner to board buses to the march in Washington. They arrived at 4:30 a.m., holding coffee cups and posters and bundled in layers — part of a wave of thousands of New Yorkers traveling there.

A line of women stretched in front of a row of brownstones on 9th Street in the liberal enclave of Park Slope. There was excitement over being part of history and anguish over the election of Mr. Trump.

“I thought it would be a good mother-daughter feminist type thing,” said Penelope Duus, 22, a student at Vassar College who wore a pink hat with “Not my president” written in black marker.

Her mother, Margaret Heilbrun, 59, wore a President Obama pin on her vest. “Rather than sit around in despair we need to start trying to do something,” she said. “Just the act of getting up and joining this is a start.”

Barbara Telfair, 71, persuaded her 19-year-old granddaughter Shyanne Cady to accompany her. Ms. Telfair said she marched in civil rights protests in the 1960s. This was Shyanne’s first protest.

“We’re terrified, and his treatment of women is horrible,” Ms. Telfair said. “He doesn’t value women. His agenda is going to show that.”

Three buses were filled with marchers, but it soon became clear that not everyone would make it to Washington. Sighs erupted as organizers announced that some of the scheduled buses were not coming after all.

Emma G. Fitzsimmons


Who’s going? What do participants care about?

The “guiding vision” for the march is almost as extensive, and as jargon-laden, as any platform thought up by the Democratic or Republican parties. In addition to reproductive rights, the topics covered include racial justice, L.G.B.T.Q. rights, the environment, wage equity, gender equity and immigrant rights.

The march, which evolved from a call to protest posted on Facebook after the election, has brought out some of the fissures in the women’s movement, between generations and among women of different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, and the organizers say they have tried to bridge those.

In its early stages, the march was criticized for being spearheaded by white women. They were seen as harking back to feminism’s roots in the self-actualization of white middle-class women, who were bored with domestic life and asserted their desire to work outside the home and compete with men.

But younger women took a more expansive view of feminism.


What is Mr. Trump’s role in all of this?

Many participants believed Mr. Trump expressed misogynistic views during the presidential campaign, with remarks about Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton. After a 2005 recording surfaced in which he said that he could use his celebrity status to make sexual advances toward women, several women came forward to accuse Mr. Trump of inappropriate sexual conduct. He dismissed the recording as “locker room banter” and assailed his accusers.

Demonstrators are challenging the Trump administration on a number of policies, as well. In his inaugural speech on Friday, President Trump did not specifically reach out to women.

“Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag,” he said.


Are there security concerns?

Crowd estimates can sometimes be contentious, but the Facebook event for the march has received more than 200,000 “going” R.S.V.P.s. Organizers say that security precautions will be extensive, including private security, and have posted safety recommendations in an online FAQ. Scattered violence broke out in Washington on Friday, with more than 200 people arrested, and the police in riot gear used crowd-dispersing sprays.

Responding to concerns that violence might also disrupt the women’s march, organizers issued a statement on Twitter affirming their commitment to nonviolence: “Any action that harms people or destroys property which can be attributed — even falsely — to our movements will empower Trump and the forces of hate and fear while weakening our resistance.”

Cassady Fendlay, a spokeswoman for the march, said on Friday that the march would deploy “hundreds if not thousands of marshals trained in crowd control,” adding, “We have no reason to be concerned.”


What about those “pussyhats” I’ve heard about?

Forecasts are calling for balmy weather in Washington, but that will not stop thousands of women from wearing hand-knit hats in various shades of pink and shaped like cat ears. The hats are described in as a way to “make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.”


Meet a family with three generations of marchers

Who She Is Virginia Wilcox, 73, of Newtown, Pa.

Backstory Raised two daughters as a single mother without a high school diploma. After decades of working, retired after starting her own events planning company.

“I remember during the Nixon administration my mother going to demonstrations in Washington from the Philadelphia area. I remember her having arguments with my father who was on the other side of the fence about politics. … My father was a Republican, and his comments would be that Roosevelt ruined the world. … They would shout from room to room saying, ‘You’re wrong.’ It wasn’t just a kitchen table discussion.”

“I’m going to have a great-grandchild in July, and I’m really, really concerned about the place in which he or she is going to live and how he or she is going to make his or her way in the world. We need justice. We need a planet.”


Who She Is Katharine Clark, 56, of Stow, Mass., is Ms. Wilcox’s daughter.

Backstory Works as an administrator at a church.

“My mom found herself in a situation, with me, and she totally took responsibility for it and she totally worked hard given that she had to make it the best that she could make it. And I think that’s something that we all have to do. We have to look at where we are, where we stand, what we have at hand, what’s happening around us and make it better.”

“I don’t want a country run as a business. I want the country run as a family, meaning we take care of each other. We learn. We listen. Sometimes we take the knocks sometimes somebody else in the family takes the knocks.”


Who She Is Brianna Clark, 34, of Maynard, Mass., is Ms. Wilcox’s granddaughter.

Backstory Works as a manager at a grocery store.

“I have people that I have started with at the same exact time who are maybe not white, maybe not college educated, maybe don’t speak English as their first language, and I think a lot about how I walk into a space and walk into a room and I naturally speak like I expect people to listen to me. And I recognize that that is not everyone’s experiences and how I have been rewarded by that confidence. I’ve been allowed and encouraged to have that. I recognize how a lot of things are not fair.”


Here’s a brief look at one of the issues demonstrators care about: Abortion

(We’ll spotlight others throughout the day.)

Activists who support abortion rights believe legal access to the procedure is under greater threat today than it has been in decades, while abortion opponents sense an opportunity to finally strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established those rights.

Mr. Trump has said that he hopes to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a justice who would help reverse the decision, and in that way return the issue to the states. And with two liberal justices already well over the age of 75, he may have further opportunity to shape the court during his presidency.

That opposition to abortion rights is shared by many of his top associates, too, including his vice president, Mike Pence. Last summer, Mr. Pence, a longtime abortion opponent, said he hopes to see Roe v. Wade “consigned to the ash heap of history.” And, next week, Kellyanne Conway, the strategist who led Mr. Trump to victory and an outspoken abortion opponent herself, plans to address a major anti-abortion march in Washington, which would make her the first sitting White House official to do so in person.

As a result, anti-abortion activists are energized and hopeful for passage of policies including a permanent prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortions and a national ban on the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which Mr. Trump reportedly supports.

Mr. Trump’s victory has left supporters of abortion rights deeply concerned, contributing to a surge in donations and interest in groups supporting abortion rights, like the Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro-Choice America, both of which are involved in the march.

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