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Protest Marches

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, January 22nd, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: activism, feminism, International, us politics - Tags: , ,

The Sister Marches have been a huge success worldwide.

For a selection of images see this piece on Vox:

Women from across the country have converged on Washington, DC, on Saturday for a massive rally to protest Donald Trump’s election and promote women’s rights. At the same time, there have been rallies organized in major — and not so major — cities across the country.

Aerial photos and videos show massive crowds gathering all over the United States. Two of the biggest rallies so far have been in Boston and Chicago. There have also been sizable crowds in cities from Ithaca, New York, to Park City, Utah, where the Sundance Film Festival is taking place. Here’s a roundup of some of the dramatic aerial photographs. …

And of course Twitter…




60 comments on “Protest Marches”

  1. Andre 1

    Quite a few articles about the marches on Vox right now. Including this one comparing crowd sizes to the inauguration yesterday.


  2. rsbandit 2

    These protests Just boost Trump’s popularity. If you want to hurt him, you starve him of attention. Like Winston, negative attention from those who dislike him only boosts his popularity with those who do.

    People really don’t think these things through, sometimes. Change the strategy, we’re making fools of ourselves and the right is running rings around us.

    • weka 2.1

      Strategy – ignore the racist, misogynist, fascist now holding the most powerful position in one of the biggest countries in the world, and his popularity will decline and thus no more problem.

      Too late. Women are rising. From Genter’s tweet (in the post if you didn’t actually read it) “This is not a protest against Trump. It’s a movement for justice & equality.”

      • Sabine 2.1.1


      • rsbandit 2.1.2

        And there we have it.

        The people protesting against him don’t vote for him and never will. They are convincing no-one but themselves and merely entrenching Trumps support. The election should have told you that, but clearly you’ve understood nothing.

        Be as idealistic and self-righteous as you like, this protest strategy plays right into the hands of Trump.

        “Too late. Women are rising”

        Too late, they elected Trump. If you carry on like this, it will be eight years. People want an alternative, not whining.

        • weka

          It really has nothing to do with the election and who voted for who. It’s a political movement designed to protect women’s rights and by extension human rights.

          I think you are trying to argue that somehow the people who voted in Trump will vote him in again because women are standing up for their rights. It’s ok, we know that sexism was part of the election. We also know that racism was too. And class. If you pay attention you will see that the marches today are intersectional, which means that they are fighting for the rights of all people, even people who also voted Trump.

          You also appear to be arguing that women should shut the fuck up and let the good people of Trumpville get on with things. Which is another good reason to oppose fascism wherever it appears.

          “Too late, they elected Trump. If you carry on like this, it will be eight years.”

          Nasty. But it’s not like feminists haven’t seen this shit before, it’s nothing new, and it didn’t arrive with Trump. You can try and blame feminists (or whoever stands up for their rights), but all I can see you doing is supporting fascism as you do it.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.2

      Right principle: wrong focus.

      Trump’s abuse and “nasty women” attacks have given global oxygen to rights of women and marginalised/abused groups.

      These protests have united women (and some men) around the world, as one movement- unprecedented.

  3. red-blooded 3

    I went to the Dunedin event yesterday and was thrilled to see a large number of young women I have taught throughout the years. My favourite signs were two embroidered “Nasty Woman” labels being worn proudly by two women in their twenties, and one which was wreathed in actual roses and said something like “Keep fighting for your rights” on the front and “Be kind, be kind, be kind” on the back.

    And, BTW rsbandit, your comments about Winston might be reasonable, and in the early stages of the selection process they would have been good advice in the States. (On the whole, it was media frenzy rather than targeting by Dem spokespeople, at that stage, though, so not really all the helpful.) At this point, though, Trump is president. There was all the pomp and pageantry of the swearing in yesterday. Democrats handed over power and stood on the stage while he lambasted them. It’s fair enough for people who feel attacked and believe (for good reason) that their rights are threatened to speak up and show solidarity with each other. Long may it continue. Women have sat quietly and waited patiently for long enough.

    Plus, I firmly believe that misogyny was a significant factor in this election. If Clinton had different genitals, she wouldn’t have been seen as “nasty”/smug/frail/cold… all the other labels that got thrown at her. It happens to all female politicians, to some extent, and it’s time it stopped happening.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      “Plus, I firmly believe that misogyny was a significant factor in this election. If Clinton had different genitals, she wouldn’t have been seen as “nasty”/smug/frail/cold… all the other labels that got thrown at her. It happens to all female politicians, to some extent, and it’s time it stopped happening.”

      I would beg to differ on that.

      She failed to get the votes required because she wasn’t Bernie Sanders.

      Voters wanted to hear a different message and she failed to deliver this.


      The night of the election a friend was at an international conference in NZ and dined with attendees from the US. Intelligent, educated scientific types.

      Relived, they were, that Hilary lost.

      Gutted, they were, than Trump won.

      This will happen here in Godzone unless Labour/Greens capture the minds and hearts of those of us desperate for change.

      We will simply not vote unless the so called left up their game.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.1

        Relived, they were, that Hilary lost.

        Gutted, they were, than Trump won.

        I would have thought “intelligent, educated scientific types” would be able to spot the dependency between those two events, and their relationship to it.

        We will simply not vote unless the so called left up their game.

        Correction: you will simply ensure that NZ remains governed by National, in some kind of bizarre “the perfect is the enemy of the good” fit of pique.

      • korero pono 3.1.2

        +1 Couldn’t agree more, people didn’t vote for Trump, they voted against the poor alternative. It was not because she was a woman that Hillary lost it was because she was not Sanders who offered what the people really wanted. The supposed left in this country have a lesson to learn from this, but I think their arrogance blinds them. Meanwhile those who want change will continue to look for an alternative to the status quo. Pity Labour haven’t figured this out yet.

        In the meantime, women’s movements will do what women’s movements have always done, they will collectivise and fight for justice, equity and equality for all.

      • weka 3.1.3

        “We will simply not vote unless the so called left up their game.”

        I will. I’ll take mediocre L/G over National any day of the whole goddam millennium (not that I think the Greens are mediocre, they’re what NZ wants them to be).

        “She failed to get the votes required because she wasn’t Bernie Sanders.”

        That doesn’t preclude there being sexism issues in the election. The US is still a sexists culture, how could a woman standing for president not involve sexism?

    • rsbandit 3.2

      No, Hilary was a compromised candidate and offered more of the same political elitism. Like many here, she didn’t understand the people she was up against.

      Sarah Palin made a big impact a few years back. Kellyanne Conway was behind Trump’s messaging. Those women know what they are doing. The mood is anti-political establishment and that’s what they tapped into.

      The mood is not anti-women. The left are misreading it, once again.

      • weka 3.2.1

        Still missing the point. The Republicans are already moving to remove women’s rights. Trump has openly stated he intends to do the same. Women are standing up and fighting back, irrespective of who votes at the next election. You seem to think this is all about who becomes president. It’s so much bigger than that.

        • Richard McGrath

          If by “women’s rights” you mean (for example) forcing taxpayers to fund abortions, those sort of rights are a claim on the freedom of some for the benefit of others. By abolishing laws that mandate opponents of abortion, such as taxpaying Catholic women, to fund abortion, you are restoring the previously violated rights of those Catholic women.

          The best solution IMHO is for women who want abortions to fund these operations themselves or through health insurance, or for supporters of legal abortion to help fund this service.

            • Richard McGrath

              There is a major problem in the U.S. when employers purchase medical insurance for employees, rather than the individual purchasing insurance him/herself. If I understand the situation correctly, Obamacare also restricted choice by making it difficult – if not impossible – for a person to purchase insurance from a company based outside the state in which they reside. Opening up the market in insurance would tend to allow people to choose which conditions they want covered and how much they wanted to spend on medical insurance. Ridiculously disproportionate jury-decided settlements in cases of medical negligence/failure have impacted negatively on insurance premiums too.

          • weka

            @Richard McGrath

            If by “women’s rights” you mean (for example) forcing taxpayers to fund abortions, those sort of rights are a claim on the freedom of some for the benefit of others. By abolishing laws that mandate opponents of abortion, such as taxpaying Catholic women, to fund abortion, you are restoring the previously violated rights of those Catholic women.

            The best solution IMHO is for women who want abortions to fund these operations themselves or through health insurance, or for supporters of legal abortion to help fund this service.

            no, I wasn’t talking about that.

            But by that argument, I have to say I’m hard pressed to see why as a left wing, progressive, feminist author I should provide a space for you to spout your misogynistic, libertarian nasty. I suggest you go start your own blog and provide your own space for such nonsense arguments, and stop infringing on the rights of others to have a space that is free of such nonsense so they get on with talking about real things.

            Thanks for pointing that out to me.

            • Richard McGrath

              “I suggest you go start your own blog and provide your own space for such nonsense arguments, and stop infringing on the rights of others to have a space that is free of such nonsense so they get on with talking about real things.”

              Sounds like the points you make in your post are not open to debate, only to me-too adulation. Interesting that you view taking out insurance, and crowdfunding, as “nonsense”. Oh well.

              • weka

                Nah, that’s just you making shit up. I’ll hazard a guess that you are trying to side step being a hypocrite by saying something smeary about me. Two things. One is that I’ve got a long history on TS of arguing with people I disagree with, so obviously I am open to debate. Two, I don’t consider insurance or crowdfunding nonsense, I consider the kind of misogynistic, libertarian nasty that you posted about women self-funding abortions to be nonsense we can do without when it comes from someone who thinks that he should have access to collective resources but not women.

          • Sabine

            you should read up on the Hyde Ammendment.
            You might not want to spread false hood about
            ‘forcing taxpayers to fund abortions”, as in the US of A they by law can not spend ‘taxpayers funds’ to provide abortions other then in the case of incest and rape, and i do hope that you have enough decency and emphasis to view women a bit higher then just their incubator status.
            n U.S. politics, the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.[1][2] The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law, but rather is a “rider” that in various forms has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976.[1] Legislation including the Hyde Amendment generally only restricts the use of funds allocated for the Department of Health and Human Services and primarily affects Medicaid.[1][2]
            The original Hyde Amendment was passed on September 30, 1976 by the House of Representatives, by a 207-167 vote. It was named for its chief sponsor, Republican Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois. The measure was the first major legislative success by the United States pro-life movement, especially the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment led by lobbyist Mark Gallagher,[3] after the striking-down of anti-abortion laws following the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Congress subsequently altered the Hyde Amendment several times. The version in force from 1981 until 1993 prohibited the use of federal funds for abortions “except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.”[4]
            On October 22, 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1994.[5] The Act contained a new version of the Hyde Amendment that expanded the category of abortions for which federal funds are available under Medicaid to include cases of rape and incest.[6]  
            The 2016 platform marked the first time the Democratic platform had an explicit call to repeal the Hyde Amendment.[7]

  4. Paaparakauta [public house] 4

    Has America *ever* elected a legitimate president ?


    Jesse Jackson

  5. weka 5

    Leigh Darnall ‏@Killingcrawdads 5h5 hours ago

    This is Nashville, TN. This is *not* a movement of coastal elites, just in case you missed the memo. #WomensMarch

  6. weka 6

    Diane Kaplan

    Largest crowd I’ve ever seen in 33 years in Anchorage and it’s 15 degrees and white out conditions.

  7. Wairua 7

    Jesse Jackson asks

    Has America Ever Elected a ‘Legitimate’ President?


  8. grumpystilskin 8

    So, whats the plan from here then?

  9. Bill 9

    I sincerely hope this isn’t going to be some great big “whoosh” followed by a sizzle. I’d sincerely hope this will broaden and deepen and give rise to new political realities.

    And I’m a wee bit hung-over and not altogether optimistic. Maybe it’s just some post alcohol blues.

    Will we look back on these marches as a short, sharp statement of defiance focused on protesting against something? Or will we be able to look back and see that they birthed an awakening of the indomitable political power we hold in common that we can yield together?

    Will people go home, and maybe years later, fondly or nostalgically remember the day they ‘stuck it to the man’? Or will people go home and ‘get ready’?

    I guess we’ll see over the coming months and years…

    • weka 9.1

      I’d guess all of those things will happen depending on the people and place.

      I don’t think it’s that useful to expect this one event to herald the birth of an wakening of the collective power. That power has been in operation for a long time and if you follow the threads backwards you find yourself in BLM and the Civil Rights movement, or LGBTQ and Stonewall, or feminism and the Suffragettes etc. In NZ we can see the anti-Tour movement and Parihaka.

      I also see it as part of a wide range of actions that have been taking place in recent months, everything from US Americans organising around how to get vulnerable people out if needs be, through to the public service geeks who spent last week saving a whole bunch of data around climate change that the Tr*mp administration is intending to delete from govt servers.

      I see what happened today as the next part of something that has been happening for a long time, and we need to not put big expectations on it or else what will happen is that in five years time the comments section on TS will be centred around how see Occupy failed, so did that anti-Trump women’s thing 😉 Let it be what it is, something strong and powerful that helps us do the next thing.

      Beyond that, there’s always the opportunity for intersectionality and to join in 🙂

      • Bill 9.1.1

        I agree those things may happen.

        As I said, I hope that’s the case. No expectation though, that would be unfair or premature and what not – so there’s hope.

        And I can’t see any “following of the threads backwards” – links between the different things you’ve mentioned. Yes, they can be explained as similar events or struggles or responses to (broadly speaking) the same thing or range of things, but that’s not the same as continuity.

      • Ad 9.1.2

        If the right can do it starting with the Tea Party marches, so can the left.

        • Carolyn_nth

          Actually, for the left I think it also goes back through the anti-globalisation marches, and Occupy. Occupy gave us 1% vs the 99%.

          The women’s marches have shown the depth of discontent at the way the US elites are going – not only in the US but internationally.

          And all of these movements have been international in scope. These are things to build on.

          The interesting thing about the Women’s Marches, is how they developed. Not some leadership from organised groups, but initiatives from small groups ow women, which just snowballed: first a couple of women in Hawaii; then in NZ 2 or 3 women US ex-pats.

          Usually demos are organised by some well established groups. That big anti-mining march in Auckland a few years back was lead by Greenpeace – and they have big networks through which to mobilise people.

          The noticeable thing about the sizable Auckland Women’s march, is that there were non of the usual factions, groups and parties with their prepared placards and banners. Just a large number of people, many with home made banners. The opposition to Trump’s agenda struck a pretty wide and deep chord internationally – across many ethnic groups, countries, ages and classes.

          If the Trump admin and others of his ilk continue with their ways (as seems to be indicated by them blatantly lie about the inauguration numbers), many people will continue to be incensed by them. However, the elites may then resort to a return to McCarthyist practices.

          Hold onto your hats.

          The lesson for the left is that the broad left needs to work together more positively. We have the numbers to mobilise a lot of people power, nationally and internationally.

          • Bill

            The ghost of McCarthy has already been unleashed by the liberals. I just hope I’m wrong in reckoning that Trump will kazump them by slamming hard on the patriot card.

  10. weka 11

    Monika Bauerlein Verified account

    If you weren’t able to march, our reporters captured what they saw for you. Read and feel the breath of history. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/womens-march-trump-updates-2

    h/t Sacha.

  11. Ad 12

    There are only two reasons to go on a march:
    1. Get some great television
    2. Catch up with people

    I only ever go for the second reason.

  12. Carolyn_nth 13

    The positivity around the Women’s (with many male participants) March is uplifting. I’m not sure what will come of it, but I will be watching to see how the aim for a collaborative, inter-party approach goes at Mt Albert by-election.

    And, I think there is something to be gained by being both international in perspective (supporting similar movements in other countries), while forging an NZ-specific approach.

    Some comments from Naomi Klein (and others), at an anti-inauguration meeting this week, have some relevance to NZ.

    “The Radical Left Has Some Advice For Democrats About Confronting Donald Trump”

    That Clinton ― weighed down by focus-tested policy positions and deep ties to Wall Street ― went on to lose to the most openly sexist and racist presidential candidate in recent U.S. history has only vindicated their conviction that Democrats should be taking cues from them, not the other way around.

    Spurn hard-core progressives again and you’ll lose them for good, Klein warned.

    “The Democratic Party needs to either be decisively wrestled from pro-corporate neoliberals or it needs to be abandoned,” she said, drawing sustained cheers and applause.

    Some of their Jacobin-reading peers’ statements may have even resonated with them, including a rejection of the idea that fighting for racial justice and economic equality are somehow at odds with one another.

    Klein made clear that there is no time for those internecine disputes.

    “Our task is to find … the common thread that connects our movements. That means, first and foremost, dropping this nonsense of pitting class against so-called identity politics and economic justice” or other progressive priorities, Klein said.

    “This ‘my issue trumps your issue’ helps one thing ― and that is Trump,” she concluded.

    Totally agree on the last point – though in NZ it just helps float the Bling.

    • weka 13.1

      Yes, let’s do some collaborative work over the next little while on NZ and what next.

      I liked this about the marches too.

      Paul Mason Verified account

      As with Iraq in 2003, media -even sympathetic- has no conventions to capture the enormity of a global mass demonstration #WomensMarch (1/3)

      (2/x) the magnitude of the experience of a mass, transformative event can only be captured by networks, conversations, folk memories …

      Paul Mason ‏@paulmasonnews 3h

      (3/3)… and then more transformative actions. On Monday we go to work & say to ppl “We reject Trump in his entirety” – let’s get started

      My emphasis. Let’s not forget we have power too and it’s nothing to do with the MSM or politicians or corporates.

      • Carolyn_nth 13.1.1

        weka quotes: the magnitude of the experience of a mass, transformative event can only be captured by networks, conversations, folk memories …

        It was hard not to be moved, by first participating in the Auckland march and rally, then seeing the snowballing global participation – from Africa, China, Eastern Europe, Sth America, Mexico… etc.

        And on TV1 News last night – so often the conservative, pro-monarchist, status quo platform – their journalist from being at the Women’s March in the US, was also moved by the enormity. And, it seemed it was with some pride that she reported some US marchers asked her to thank the marchers in Auckland….. you know, they’re always out for a positive NZ angle to stories.

        And on the march in Auckland, there was no chanting or singing. Just a friendly group walk up Queen Street. And, with the signs on display, it was very clear people watching us pass knew exactly why we were there, and generally seemed supportive.

        Yes, part of folklore now.

        • weka

          Nice one Carolyn. These stories need to be kept visible amongst the blokey rhetoric of LW politics. There was something really important that happened over the weekend, we mustn’t forget or lose sight.

  13. Red 14

    Yep got more people out walking than michele Obama did in 8 years

  14. grumpystilskin 15

    So, once again I ask.
    What next?
    Having a march is all good and I’m impressed by the turnout but what is the plan in order to make it more then just a walk up Queen street?
    Come on Weka, you can do better then “Smash the Patriarchy, obviously.”

  15. Richard McGrath 16

    Where are the photos of the “women’s rights” marches in Saudi Arabia, Mali and Pakistan?

  16. Sabine 17

    a perfect read

    View at Medium.com

    you are still not equal

    Quote” Say Thank You
    Say thank you.
    Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have “better things to do” than to march and protest and rally for your voice. So you don’t feel like a “second class citizen.” So you get to feel “equal.”
    Thank Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul for your right to vote.
    Thank Elizabeth Stanton for your right to work.
    Thank Maud Wood Park for your prenatal care and your identity outside of your husband.
    Thank Rose Schneiderman for your humane working conditions.
    Thank Eleanor Roosevelt and Molly Dewson for your ability to work in politics and affect policy.
    Thank Margaret Sanger for your legal birth control.
    Thank Carol Downer for your reproductive healthcare rights.
    Thank Sarah Muller for your equal education.
    Thank Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Shannon Turner, Gloria Steinem, Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis, Malika Saada Saar, Wagatwe Wanjuki, Ida B. Wells, Malala Yousafzai. Thank your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother who did not have half of the rights you have now.
    You can make your own choices, speak and be heard, vote, work, control your body, defend yourself, defend your family, because of the women who marched. You did nothing to earn those rights. You were born into those rights. You did nothing, but you reap the benefits of women, strong women, women who fought misogyny and pushed through patriarchy and fought for you. And you sit on your pedestal, a pedestal you are fortunate enough to have, and type. A keyboard warrior. A fighter for complacency. An acceptor of what you were given. A denier of facts. Wrapped up in your delusion of equality.
    You are not equal. Even if you feel like you are. You still make less than a man for doing the same work. You make less as a CEO, as an athlete, as an actress, as a doctor. You make less in government, in the tech industry, in healthcare.
    You still don’t have full rights over your own body. Men are still debating over your uterus. Over your prenatal care. Over your choices.
    You still have to pay taxes for your basic sanitary needs.
    You still have to carry mace when walking alone at night. You still have to prove to the court why you were drunk on the night you were raped. You still have to justify your behavior when a man forces himself on you.
    You still don’t have paid (or even unpaid) maternity leave. You still have to go back to work while your body is broken. While you silently suffer from postpartum depression.
    You still have to fight to breastfeed in public. You still have to prove to other women it’s your right to do so. You still offend others with your breasts.
    You are still objectified. You are still catcalled. You are still sexualized. You are still told you’re too skinny or you’re too fat. You’re still told you’re too old or too young. You’re applauded when you “age gracefully.” You’re still told men age “better.” You’re still told to dress like a lady. You are still judged on your outfit instead of what’s in your head. What brand bag you have still matters more than your college degree.
    You are still being abused by your husband, by your boyfriend. You’re still being murdered by your partners. Being beaten by your soulmate.
    You are still worse off if you are a woman of color, a gay woman, a transgender woman. You are still harassed, belittled, dehumanized.
    Your daughters are still told they are beautiful before they are told they are smart. Your daughters are still told to behave even though “boys will be boys.” Your daughters are still told boys pull hair or pinch them because they like them.
    You are not equal. Your daughters are not equal. You are still systemically oppressed.”Quote end.

  17. McFlock 18

    Interesting article on Cracked.com about “The 4 Worst Reactions To The Women’s March

    I’ll quote the bulk of the final entry, just because it nicely addresses the “accomplishes nothing” moan:

    We’re reminding each other that we fucking exist. Protesters aren’t a different species of human or lazy assholes with no jobs. I haven’t worked fewer than 70 hours a week since my sophomore year of college, and every single person I know who protests is similarly neurotic. We get lost in our own personal and professional shit just like everyone else, and start taking things for granted. And then something like Trump’s presidency or the loss of a friend to something stupid comes along, and we look around and say “What in the rickety handbasket of hell happened? I’m busting my ass to fuel this economy, this country, and this is the direction our captain is driving it in?” In those moments we feel like it’s just us against America. And it’s disheartening. […]

    Last Saturday I had the honor to march with some of the bravest, strongest, and smartest people I’ve ever met. They were in the streets everywhere from Los Angeles to Seattle to Olympia to Washington D.C. to Helena. And they were marching not just to remind the people in power that a sizable and powerful part of the country was upset, but to remind each other that they’re all in this together with their wit and wisdom and funny signs, and that no matter how bad things get, they’re full of love and they’re not going to let each other down.

    “What do they think they’re doing?” Motherfucker, they already did it.

    I didn’t march on saturday, because I’m lazy and busy and life and shit. But even if the marches don’t turn Trump into a card-carrying feminist for the rest of his days, like George Wallace abandoning his hate and ignorance, I still cheer the marchers. Because they insisted their existence be known.

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