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Hundreds of Thousands Join Women's Marches Across the Country

Protesters at the Women's March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. (Clara Romeo / Truthdig)

On the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration, Americans have made their feelings about gender and equality known by taking to the streets as part of the 2018 Women’s March. Scroll down to see Truthdig’s live multimedia updates from Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and beyond.

While 2017’s Women’s March saw record-breaking turnouts, the numbers for this year’s marches don’t look too shabby:

● The New York City mayor’s office reported that over 120,000 people were out protesting.

● In Washington, D.C., the number of protesters (while not as large as 2017) swelled to the thousands, according to The New York Times.

● Over 300,000 people showed up in Chicago, organizers said, exceeding the number who marched in the city’s event last year.

● The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reports that 300,000 people turned out for the city’s Women’s March, although Mayor Eric Garcetti estimates double that amount.

The speakers at various events across the country acknowledged crucial cultural and political shifts that highlight why gender is still a key focus in politics. Movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up have sprung up since the last Women’s March, and organizers of this year’s event zeroed in on the 2018 midterm elections.

Many protesters also focused on the government shutdown, lambasting the Trump administration’s political inefficiency. The shutdown did not affect the march, as the park service planned ahead to protect First Amendment-related activities in the event of a government shutdown.

President Trump commented briefly on the day’s marches via Twitter, noting (either with sarcasm or misunderstanding), “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

Today’s marches are only the beginning. On Sunday in Las Vegas, the Women’s March organization will hold a “Power to the Polls” convention to kick off the next phase of the movement. They aim to begin “a national voter registration and mobilization tour targeting swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness our collective energy to advocate for policies and candidates that reflect our values and collaborate with our partners to elect more women and progressives candidates to office.”

–Posted by Emma Niles.

12:31 p.m. PST: Some final shots from Truthdig’s Clara Romeo of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday:

Meanwhile, the marches on the West Coast are ramping up. Here are some shots from the Women’s March in Seattle, sent in by activist Carol Butterfield, who says indigenous activists are leading the march:

And thousands are now gathered in Los Angeles to hear speakers such as actors Viola Davis, Scarlett Johansson and Connie Britton.

Activist Trina March, who is at the march in Los Angeles, tells Truthdig that columnist Melina Abdullah also spoke at the Los Angeles rally. “White folks,” she told the crowd, “it’s on you to fix this… We are winning because of black women.”

She has a point.

See more from the Los Angeles Women’s March below:

“Time’s up on the female condition,” Scarlett Johansson told the crowd, referencing the Time’s Up movement. “Gender equality can’t just exist outside of ourselves. It must exist within. We must take responsibility not just for our actions, but for ourselves.”

11:16 a.m. PST: President Trump has chimed in about the marches happening across the country:

But many of those participating in the Women’s March are protesting against Trump and his administration’s policies toward women—prompting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reply:

11:09 a.m. PST: Just as last year, homemade signs are a popular way for Women’s March participants to show their creativity. Check out some shots of the crowd from the streets of New York City, captured by activist Kira Erickson and sent to Truthdig:

Activist Judy Silk shares this shot from the Los Angeles Women’s March:

And in Chicago, protesters are also focusing on how the government shutdown has affected President Trump’s weekend plans (photo from activist Alec Silver):

10:27 a.m. PST: Here are more dispatches from Truthdig’s East Coast correspondents. Copy editor Anita Salzberg shares glimpses of the crowd in New York City, where tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected:

And this photo from correspondent Clara Romeo shows how the crowd has swelled in Washington, D.C.:

Romeo also captured this video of demonstrators chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!”

The crowd is growing in Chicago, where demonstrators are already marching through the usually crowded city streets. Activist Alec Silver shares these photos with Truthdig:

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, marchers are assembling in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego:

9:43 a.m. PST: The crowd in Washington continues to grow—and with the surge of protesters comes an influx of new signs:

Photos and videos being shared to Twitter show the scenes as marches in other cities around the U.S. get underway:

9:02 a.m. PST: Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., speaks to the crowd in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. “This is where Americans come to redress,” he says, “to right wrongs.”

8:57 a.m. PST: As the rally in Washington gains steam, protesters in other parts of the country are coming together. Here’s a look at what’s happening in other cities and countries:

8:44 a.m. PST: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s pick for vice president during her 2016 presidential campaign, speaks to the crowd in Washington:

8:32 a.m. PST: In Washington, speakers have begun to take the stage. Clara Romeo reports that sexual harassment, the #MeToo movement and the importance of voting in the midterm elections are key topics.

8:14 a.m. PST: Truthdig correspondent Clara Romeo is on the ground in Washington, D.C., where demonstrators have begun to gather at the Lincoln Memorial:

With Friday, Jan. 19, marking the annual “March for Life,” Romeo reports that there are anti-abortion-rights protesters at the Lincoln Memorial today as well, but that pro-choice protesters peacefully blocked them from view:

Meanwhile, in New York City, the subways are packed with people, as Truthdig copy editor Anita Salzberg can attest. Pink “pussy” hats, made popular during last year’s march, seem to be back in style:

Earlier: Exactly one year ago, millions of people demonstrated in hundreds of cities around the world in the first-ever Women’s March—and this year, demonstrators are ready to take to the streets again.

Last year, Truthdig followed along, providing live updates from Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City and beyond. Stay tuned as we bring you original multimedia and the latest news from this year’s Women’s March, for which a high turnout is expected.

While last year’s main march took place in Washington, this year’s will be held in Las Vegas, and the organizers are putting a focus on a specific issue: bringing power to the polls. The Women’s March website states:

This next stage of the movement will channel the energy and activism of the Women’s March into tangible strategies and concrete wins in 2018.

The national voter registration tour will target swing states to register new voters, engage impacted communities, harness our collective energy to advocate for policies and candidates that reflect our values, and collaborate with our partners to elect more women and progressive candidates to office. The coordinated campaign will build upon Women’s March’s ongoing work uplifting the voices and campaigns of the nation’s most marginalized communities to create transformative social and political change.

“In Alabama, Black women delivered as they always do,” said Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March. “In addition to being willing to follow and support Black women, we all must commit to fighting the systemic voter suppression laws that inhibit so many of our communities from voting. This campaign will mobilize a new group of activists to create accessible power to our voting polls.”

While this is the official goal of the march’s organizers, many demonstrators are likely to be showing up to protest President Trump and his administration’s effect on women. This year’s march is particularly timely, considering the current focus on gender and culture, as signified by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

Stay tuned for multimedia updates from across the United States.

–Posted by Emma Niles.

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