On Saturday, January 20, and Sunday, January 21, massive demonstrations took place in New York and some 200 other cities, marking the first anniversary of the “women’s marches” the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated President in 2017. The largest was in Los Angeles, with an estimated 500,000 people protesting Trump’s misogyny and the Republicans’ anti-immigrant, antiworker agenda. The New York march on Jan. 20 drew an eclectic group of perhaps 120,000 protesters, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray. Union participation was obvious, with large contingents from the United Federation of Teachers, the International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees, the Communications Workers of America, and 1199SEIU. While the march was inspired by outrage at Trump’s attitude and behavior toward women—many people carried signs with the #MeToo hashtag of the movement against sexual harassment—immigrant rights were also a major theme, with signs of “Equal Rights are Human Rights” and supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The We Make America artist collective, which counts feminist artist Joyce Kozloff among its leaders, created elaborate tableaux of blue waves and “Pussy Gate” signs. “The blue wave motif was very omnipresent and new to this year’s march,” Kozloff told LaborPress. “The idea is representing the power of Democratic voters.” Many carried signs urging people to vote Democratic in this November’s midterm elections, to throw out the Republican majorities in Congress that have enabled Trump’s agenda.
With such an outpouring, will our representatives in the state capital and Washington get the message that people power counts? And will the midterm elections see many more women elected to office?