After a year of seismic shocks comes the protest and fightback. At least that is what activists plan with the first major demonstration of the year – the women’s march – planned for 30 cities around the world on 21 January, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the US.
The women’s march on Washington has been given permission by state authorities to go ahead. Tens of thousands of women (and men, who are also welcome to join it) have already pledged to take part and plans for a sister rally in London are gaining support from writers, musicians and politicians.
Organisers say the US election proved a “catalyst for a grassroots movement of women to assert the positive values that the politics of fear denies”.
In the UK the Women’s Equality party has thrown its weight behind the march. “I am a dual national and voted for Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin,” said the party co-founder, Catherine Mayer.
“I will march with my father, a US citizen, who during his time as a conscript in the US army came under investigation by Senator Joseph McCarthy for supposed un-American activities. In fact he was and remains a US patriot who will march to promote the values essential to the US: democracy and the human rights of the whole population,” she said.
“For me the march is also important because it recognises how interconnected our world is. What happens in America impacts all of us. The rights of women and of minority populations and vulnerable and low-income people are under threat and we must do everything we can to protect these rights and fight for true equality.”
Musician Pixie Geldof, writer Stella Duffy, activist Jack Monroe and US rock musician Thurston Moore are supporting the London march, while in the US organisers claim that many of the musicians who have refused to play at Trump’s inauguration will join them.
“I’m supporting this march because I don’t want to be a bystander to the politics of fear, division and aggression that defined crucial votes in the UK and the US in 2016,” said Geldof.
She added: “I believe that kindness, love and unity are stronger than hate. I believe that we are stronger together. Together we can show that no matter who you are, you have a voice, and it’s a voice worth being heard.”
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