On January 21, millions of men and women united around the world to take place in the Women’s March on Washington, the largest protest in United States history.
The March, originally intended to draw crowds to Washington DC, spurred hundreds of sister marches’ in cities not only across the country, but around the world. According to ABC News, 673 marches were planned in total, spanning 50 US states and more than 60 countries across all seven continents.
“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country,” declares the Women's March mission statement, a declaration echoed in the million of protesters who participated.
The Women’s March on Washington began as a Facebook post in response to the election of new US President Donald Trump; estimates of participants in DC alone reach 597,000, according to CNN. Atlanta totaled around 63,000 participants according to the same data, while the total for the US fell near 2 million and the global total estimated between 3.2-4.2 million, according to U.S. Uncut. These numbers have been the basis of comparisons with Trump’s inauguration crowd, the marches dwarfing Trump’s festivities.
The DC March attracted dozens of high profile celebrities and activists; Zendaya, Melissa Benoist, Lena Dunham, Madonna, Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Michael Moore, Christine Teigen, Gina Rodriguez, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Obama's Secretary of State John Kerry are just a few of the many that attended.
“I march today because I am not afraid anymore and I hope I can be an example of fearlessness and resilience. I will not let anyone suppress me, silence me or clip my wings,” Katy Perry wrote. “For a long time I misunderstood the true definition of being a feminist, but now that I know, I am empowered! I am indisputably a feminist.”
Atlanta’s March was marked by the appearance of U.S. Representative of Georgia's 5th congressional district and civil rights activist, John Lewis. Lewis, recently accused by Trump as being all “talk, talk, talk- no action or results,” parted the crowd at Saturday's march to the sound of the chant, “We love John Lewis! We love John Lewis!” Fellow protesters pushed one another to shake his hand as he delivered a speech to the buzzing crowd, delivering his trademark catchphrase, “let's go get in good trouble.”
The March served as a platform for dozens of different causes. Signs touting support for Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, Obamacare, reproductive rights, and immigrant rights were common. Chants flowed through the air to the tune of a full band: “My body my choice! Her body her choice!” “Hey hey, oh oh, Trump has got to go!” “Women's rights are human rights!” “Black lives matter!” “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Donald Trump go away!”“What was so amazing about the March was that it unified so many different people and causes. Whether you were gay, straight, a person of color, Muslim, Jewish, trans, rich, or poor, you were welcome,” said Roswell junior Adam Hawkins, who attended the Atlanta March. “Everyone was so kind. It stunned me. At one point, I turned to my friend and said that I was hungry, and out of nowhere a stranger behind me offered me his sandwich. That's the magic of the movement!”