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Millions March on Washington and Around the World
The pink-hatted crowds march in Washington D.C. Photo: Women’s March on Washington

Hundreds of thousands of women and men alike gathered in Washington on Saturday in a kind of counter-inauguration after President Trump took office on Friday. A range of speakers and performers cutting across generational lines rallied near the Capitol before marchers made their way toward the White House.

Millions more across all 50 states and cities around the globe joined in an extraordinary display of dissent against the Trump presidency, unification for reproductive rights, and voices expressing distaste in the rhetoric surrounding one of the more divisive elections in modern American history.

At the Spokane Women’s March, the police department estimated the crowd to be at 7,000 people- thousands more than expected. The Spokane Convention Center reached its filling capacity within the hour of the event’s 11 a.m start. The rally and following march, organized by the Women’s March on Spokane Action Committee, was billed as “a 100% inclusive event, welcoming all genders, races, ages, religions, abilities, and sexual orientation.”

The event began with a rally that featured several speakers, with presenters from the American Association of University for Women, the Native Community Project and Hope House. During the speeches, attendees were encouraged to visit the booths of local non-profits and organizations (including INBA) offering help, hope, and solidarity to those in need. After the rally, marchers began their 0.75 mile loop through downtown Spokane, in which police said the crowds were cooperative and there were no issues.

Check out the Spokesman-Review photo slideshow.


A critical question remains: What happens now? According to a review of rough estimates, at least 3 million people took to the streets in marches across the country. The challenge now facing the organizers is how to channel the resolve and outrage of an organic protest into action that produces political change. That goal has eluded other popular movements, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter.

Excerpt from The New York Times:

Todd Gitlin, a former president of Students for a Democratic Society and a scholar of political movements, noted that the civil rights and antiwar movements succeeded because of the organized networks that preceded and followed any single mass protest. “The march on Washington in 1963 was the culmination of years of local activism, including civil disobedience, registering voters, protecting civil rights workers and voter education movements,” he said. “Organizations need to be ready to receive the protesters when they’re ready to take the next step. You need to be a full-service movement.”

 

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