Women's March on Washington set to be one of America's biggest protests

It began as a spontaneous feminist rallying cry via social media. It has morphed into what is expected to be one of the largest demonstrations in American history – a boisterous march about a smorgasbord of progressive issues, and an extraordinary display of dissent on a president’s first day in office peppered with knit pink hats.

Before the bunting and barriers are even  away from Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands are likely to attend the Women’s  March on Washington the following day, 21 January.

“A march of this magnitude, across this diversity of issues has never happened before,” said Kaylin Whittingham, president of the association of black women attorneys. “We all have to stand together as a force no one can ignore.”

The Women’s March now has almost 200 progressive groups, large and small, signing on as supporting partners. The issues they represent are as varied as the environment, legal abortion, prisoners’ rights, voting rights, a free press, affordable healthcare, gun safety, racial and gender equality and a higher minimum wage. Men are invited.

More than 300 simultaneous local protests will also occur, across all 50 states, and support marches are planned in 30 other countries, organizer Linda Sarsour said.

“We have no choice. We need to stand up against an administration that threatens everything we believe in, in what we hope will become one of the largest grassroots, progressive movements ever seen,” said Sarsour.

June Barrett, a domestic worker in Florida, was spurred to travel from Miami to Washington by Trump’s leaked audio tape in which he boasted of accosting women and “grabbing them by the pussy”.

She had been sexually assaulted by an elderly man in her professional care who grabbed her genitals, she said.

“When that tape came out, I went into a bit of a depression. And I’ve had to walk away from my Baptist church after they were strongly guiding us to vote for Trump and Mike Pence. It’s shaken my whole faith. I have to march against this hate,” said Barrett.

She moved to Florida from Jamaica in 2001.

“I’m a black woman, I’m queer, I’m an immigrant and everything that’s going to happen under Trump and Pence is going to affect me, perhaps adversely. It breaks my heart that so many women voted for them,” she said, referring to results that showed, among other things, that a majority of white women voted for the Republican ticket. . . .

Read the full article on the Guardian website.