This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s sparsely-attended inauguration in Washington, DC, and the historically large nationwide protest of his administration the day after. The Women’s March drew half a million people to Washington, DC in 2017 and millions more to satellite marches in hundreds of cities around the country, and provided a springboard to a year full of activism and resistance.
With the crucial midterm elections looming later this year, organizers of the Women’s March sought to capitalize on their momentum by staging a second round of protests and rallies around the country. And while attendance is expected to fall short of 2017 levels — an estimated 4 million people attended more than 500 rallies in the United States alone — hundreds of thousands of people nevertheless turned out in New York and Dallas and Washington DC and elsewhere to continue to protest Donald Trump’s racism, sexism, and agenda of hate.
Organizers of the Women’s March weren’t the only ones to protest Donald Trump this weekend, either. On Friday, hundreds of Haitian Americans gathered at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and marched into Manhattan and up to Trump Tower to protest Donald Trump’s racist remark last week wherein he referred to Haiti — as well as African countries — as a “shithole.”
“We have a President in power who knows no history and seems to have no education, who just disrespects any and everybody in the world,” Marie Timothee, a social worker born in Haiti and raised in Brooklyn, told the New York Daily News.
“We bring a lot to this country, and he needs to be fair to us,” added Sully Guillaume-Sam, a priest in attendance at Friday’s rally. “He needs to be a leader with heart, not the kind of racist leader he has been showing us he is.”
In Philadelphia, organizers of the city’s 2018 Women’s March faced criticism from activists for agreeing to work closely with the local police. Women of color and transgender supporters voiced their concern over heightened police presence and reports that attendees would be subjected to random police searches. Several took to Facebook and other social media platforms to encourage other women not to attend Saturday’s march.
Nevertheless, reports from Saturday’s protests suggest that crowds in Philadelphia and elsewhere were substantial. The city was preparing for an even larger crowd than the 50,000 people who showed up to protest in Philly last year. In Chicago, organizers said Saturday’s attendance was comparable to, if not larger than, last year’s crowd of 250,000. In New York City, hundreds of thousands of protesters flooded the streets in a line that stretched for over a mile. And in the nation’s capital, where the city issued a permit for an expected crowd of just 5,500, many thousand more turned up to the Lincoln Memorial to protest and hear from a lineup of speakers.