Million Women March in NYC

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Yoon Seok-Hee – The AsiaN Correspondent

On January 21st, millions of women marched in cities across the United States. In step with the main march in DC, millions of women and men marched in protest of president Donald Trump in Chicago, New York, and much more. This reporter marched with what seemed to be at least half a million people in Midtown Manhattan.

The subway was full of protesters, and by the time I got to Midtown, the cars were filled with women, men, and children holding signs. The streets were filled with women wearing pink, shouting “Hey hey ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” or “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? We stand up fight back!”” and carrying their signs.

The signs ranged from large banners to recycled pizza boxes, and most were humorous. Abortion rights, environmental rights, LGBT rights, and immigrant rights were some of their demands. Several women held up signs that said “Hillary is a Hero,” in support of their defeated champion. A group of Democratic Socialists, many of them perhaps inspired by Sanders, carried their banner across the march.

The NYPD closed two avenues and 42ndstreet to traffic, and the crowd, which had gathered in front of the United Nations Plaza, was going to march to Trump Tower on 5th Avenue. The huge crowd jammed the official path soon, and traffic pushed people to New York’s favorite civil disobedience—traffic violations.

On this Saturday, most cars on the street in Midtown Manhattan were service cars, cabs, and trucks. Some rolled up their windows to wait out the crowd and others parked in the street to join the protest. Trucks blew their horns in solidarity. Cab drivers jumped on top of the cab to wave flags. For a few hours, the city belonged to the people.

After the March

On the return train home, I talked to a couple with two children coming back from the march. The 40-something father from Brooklyn spoke both ofhopesandfears that this march wont change anything. Micah White, one of the original architects of Occupy Wall Street, aired similar concerns for the ““Guardian””.

She argues that ““right now, in America, there is no pro-democracy anti-establishment party that is capable of stepping forward, seizing power and governing.”” Despite its impressive size, without an objective, the protest movement can only serve as a barometer.

While the protest was taking over the streets, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held the first press conference of the new administration and informed the press corps that President Trump’s inauguration ““was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration.””

When CNN called this claim false (Reagan’s had higher TV ratings, and Obama’s had a larger crowd) Kellyanne Conway, a Trump counselor, called them ““alternative facts.””Furthermore, she threatened CNN to stop calling out the Press Secretary on this, or that she would have to ““rethink”” their relationship.

January 24th, Trump signed executive orders approving the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone Access Pipeline. Trump’s path to destroying the environment and silencing the press continues in spite of the demonstrations. On October 5th, 1789, a women’s march started the French Revolution. Whether an American political movement led by women can stop President Trump will decide next four years.

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