NEW YORK – Striking huge success to engage hundreds of thousands in American and worldwide marches, the Women’s March organizers are planning new steps to turn the march into a movement that supports freedom rights against hate and fascism.
“There are already things happening right after the march,” explains Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Organization of New York, and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, PRI reported on Monday, January 23.
Hundreds of thousands of people poured into cities across different American cities to march in opposition to President Donald Trump, a day after the Republican took office, as sister demonstrations took place in cities across Africa, Asia and Europe.
Protesters held signs like “Women’s rights are human rights”, “Break down walls, don’t build them”, and “Hell hath no fury as a nasty woman scorned”, referencing the time Trump called his opponent, Hillary Clinton, a “nasty woman” during a debate.
Although authorities in Washington, DC, do not release crowd counts, organizers told AFP news agency they estimated turnout at one million – quadrupling initial expectations – with huge crowds joining sister marches around the country.
More than half a million people also took to the streets of Los Angeles, according to police there, and a similar number gathered in New York. Other marches took place in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Denver, St Louis and elsewhere.
Demonstrations against Trump’s discriminatory rhetoric were also held in Australia, the UK, Germany, Japan and France, and others.
Capitalizing on the march’s success, organizers have already kicked out several events.
On Sunday, about 500 women in the DC area attended “Ready to Run,” a training event for women who wish to run for political office.
To make it happen, organizers partnered with groups that reflected the inclusive ethos of the march: EMILY’s List, the Latino Victory Fund, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, The New American Leaders Project, Higher Heights for America, the Asian American Action Fund and Emerge America.
On its official website, march organizers are keeping things moving with their newly launched “10 Actions/100 Days” program, a plan to sustain the activism sparked by the marches.
“Now is not the time to hang up our marching shoes,” reads the website.
“It’s time to get our friends, family and community together and make history.”
Every 10 days, Women’s March organizers will share an “action” for people to keep the global movement alive.
“Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you, and how you’re going to continue to fight for it in the days, weeks and months ahead. You can go it alone, or consider inviting some friends, neighbors and fellow marchers over for a drink or dinner sometime in the next ten days to talk about your experience and fill out your postcards,” the website reads.
Sarsour explained the reason behind the teach-ins for DC marchers who stuck around the city on Sunday.
“It matters to me more what happens after the marches,” she said.
“What we hope happens is that people are so inspired and so moved that they go back to their local communities and find causes to be a part of. We have no choice. We can no longer be complacent in this country. We can’t be apathetic. We cannot stay unengaged.”
Sarsour stressed the importance of translating the energy of the march back to communities.
“The whole world is watching us. We hope that we make our own citizenry proud, we hope that we make our whole country proud. I hope we make our children proud. We will not allow our country to fall to fascism. It’s really a time for urgency. The time is now.”