Saturday, January 21, 2017

In Solidarity with the National Women's March


It is always BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING to see the great masses of citizens actively fighting back against tyranny and oppression, and on behalf of freedom, justice, equality, and self determination. This massive national demonstration of the collective will of the people to directly and fiercely oppose the rising tide of white supremacy, male supremacy and misogyny, homophobia, as well as global capitalism, militarism, and imperialism not only here in the U.S. but throughout the world is the key to understanding what needs to be done to actually change this society and the general direction of the world.
The sterling and extremely necessary example that millions of women of every nationality as well as religious, secular, and ethnic and sexual identity have set for all the rest of us is a new template and strong foundation for the kind of major national social/political movements and massive networks of organizations, coalitions, and radical agendas that we’re all going to need to consistently contribute to and be an integral part of in this ongoing battle against the ferocious rightwing forces that are currently aligned against democracy and justice in this country.
Remember that the politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality are inextricably connected and mutually dependent on each other and always have been. and always will be. We especially need to make these connections known and an essential part of our political activity in fighting the billionaire sociopath and his neofascist administration’s programs and policies. This will require constant vigilance, discipline, and principled solidarity on our part so that this fundamental message is not forgotten or obscured as we make our demands and desires known.
So I am not merely "encouraged" by what the extraordinary leadership of women in this movement has accomplished in this nation over the past 36 hours. I am ENERGIZED by what is now possible as we proudly face the harrowing future without fear, cynicism, fatalism, or crippling self doubt.
So let's celebrate the fact that THE RESISTANCE has begun and remember always as the late, great Malcolm X often said "they can't stop it because they didn't start it"...

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win...


Defiant Voices Flood U.S. Cities as Women Rally for Rights

Three Generations of Women, Marching on Washington

For Amber Coleman-Mortley, the Women’s March on Washington was a family affair.
by BRENT McDONALD and BEN C. SOLOMON on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video 

WASHINGTON — The day after what many had assumed would be the inauguration of the first female president, hundreds of thousands of women flooded the streets of Washington, and many more marched in cities across the country, in defiant, jubilant rallies against the man who defeated her.
Protesters jammed the streets near the Capitol for the main demonstration, packed so tightly at times that they could barely move. In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the official march that was scheduled to follow was canceled for safety, though many paraded through downtown, anyway.
In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a tide of signs and symbolic pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, shouts of “love trumps hate” echoed along a one-mile route leading to City Hall, with many demonstrators spilling over into adjacent streets in a huge, festival-like atmosphere.
The marches were the kickoff for what their leaders hope will be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized nation, riven by an election that raised unsettling questions about American values, out-of-touch elites and barriers to women’s ambitions.


Women March Around the U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of women came out to march in Washington, D.C. There were also hundreds of solidarity marches held around the nation and the world.
by NEETI UPADHYE on Publish Date January 21, 2017. Photo by Hilary Swift for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

On successive days, two parallel and separate Americas were on display in virtually the same location. First there was President Trump’s inauguration, his message of an ailing society he would restore to greatness aimed at the triumphant supporters who thronged Washington on Friday.

Then on Saturday, in what amounted to a counterinauguration, the speakers, performers and marchers proclaimed allegiance to a profoundly different vision of the nation. They voiced determination to protect an array of rights that they believe Mr. Trump threatens, and that they thought only recently were secure.
“Thank you for understanding that sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are,” Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon and an honorary chairwoman of the march, told those gathered in Washington. “Pressing ‘send’ is not enough.”
To mobilize a progressive movement reeling from Hillary Clinton’s defeat, organizers broadened the platform beyond longstanding women’s issues such as abortion, equal pay and sexual assault to include immigrant rights, police brutality, mass incarceration, voter suppression and environmental protections

Protesters at the women’s march in Paris on Saturday. Credit Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

But the march’s origins were in the outrage and despair of many women after an election that placed gender in the spotlight as never before.
Mrs. Clinton assertively claimed the mantle of history, offering herself as the champion of women and families, and calling out her opponent for boasting of forcing himself on women in a recording that prompted a national conversation about sexual assault. In a sly allusion to the crude remarks Mr. Trump made on the tape, many marchers, women and men alike, wore pink “pussy hats” sporting cat ears.
In Washington, demonstrators old and young pushed strollers and hoisted children onto their shoulders or guided elderly parents through the milling crowds. They waved handmade signs: “Hate Does Not Make America Great,” “I Will Not Go Back Quietly to the 1950s” and “I’m 17 — Fear Me!” They chanted, “This is what democracy looks like.’”
Emma Wendt, 13, came with a large group of family members and schoolmates from Kensington, Md., for a simple reason: “being part of history.”

Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington. 

OPEN Photographs

The marchers were confronting a president who has appointed just a handful of women to his cabinet and inner circle, and who has pledged to nominate a Supreme Court justice who opposes abortion rights and to dismantle a health care act that covers contraception. His appointees have track records of voting to cut funding for anti-domestic violence programs, opposing increases in the minimum wage and restructuring Medicaid — moves that disproportionately affect women and minorities.
Crowd estimates were not available in some locations, but a city official in Washington said that participation there likely surpassed half a million, according to The Associated Press. Added to the more than 400,000 that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said had marched in New York City, hundreds of thousands more in Chicago and Los Angeles, and those who showed up at many other marches nationwide, the total attendance easily surpassed one million in the United States. Marches also took place in a number of cities abroad, including Berlin, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Cape Town.
In Boston, where the crowd swelled to 175,000, Senator Elizabeth Warren looked out at the admiring throngs and conjured up the image of Mr. Trump’s being sworn in the day before.
“The sight is now burned into my eyes forever,” Ms. Warren said, adding, “We will use that vision to fight harder.”

Estimates by crowd scientists of attendance at events on Friday and Saturday and how they calculated it. 
OPEN Graphic

Yet women did not protest — or vote — as a bloc. About 53 percent of white women voted for Mr. Trump, according to exit polls, and many said his demeaning comments about women mattered less to them than their belief that he had the independence and business experience to bring about change, restore well-paying jobs and protect America’s borders.
“The women’s march clearly doesn’t represent all women,” Alex Smith, the national chairwoman of the College Republicans, said in an email. She noted the exclusion of anti-abortion women’s groups from the event. “It is precisely this type of dogmatic intransigence that voters rejected.”
The marches came a day after confrontations between anti-Trump protesters and the police led to more than 200 arrests in Washington. But Saturday’s demonstrations were peaceful, and counterprotests were few. In St. Paul, one man was arrested after marchers reported he had “sprayed irritants” into the crowd, the police said.
Though the Washington march ended within sight of the White House, and some demonstrators passed by his recently opened hotel, Mr. Trump did not cross paths with the crowd. But on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump acknowledged the demonstrations on Twitter, questioning whether the protesters had voted.

A little later, Sunday, Mr. Trump added on Twitter that he supported the right of peaceable assembly.

Among those celebrity performers, were some who had appeared at campaign events for Mrs. Clinton, including Madonna, who gave a speech, said toward the end of of the march. “I have thought a lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this will not change anything,” she said. (The Secret Service declined to comment on the remark, though an investigation seemed unlikely.)

A woman wore a United States flag as a hijab during a protest in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Credit Gregor Fischer/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After attending the inauguration on Friday, Mrs. Clinton herself was not seen at the march. She did, however, acknowledge the moment on Twitter.
“Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch,” she wrote.

The marches captured the potential and the perils for the progressive movement — whether it can frame its message to appeal to new generations and whether it can translate protests into action locally and nationally.

In a sly allusion to crude remarks made by Mr. Trump about sexual assault, many marchers wore hats sporting cat ears. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Plans for Saturday’s march in Washington began as Facebook posts just after the election by a retired lawyer in Hawaii and a fashion designer in New York, both of whom are white and had no experience organizing protests. Soon, protests flooded the feeds urging them to diversify. In the end, a triumvirate of African-American, Latina and Muslim women joined the leadership team.
The march’s initial struggles echoed broader debates in the movement about whether the courting of new demographic groups alienated the white working-class voters who had carried Mr. Trump to victory, or whether white women had betrayed gender solidarity by voting for him. Yet on Saturday, these tensions did not deter a multiracial, multigenerational turnout. Mothers marched with daughters and granddaughters; whole families, including husbands and sons, marched arm in arm.
Mikhael Tara Garver, 37, of Brooklyn, who marched with her mother, recalled how her family had reacted after the election: “We were all calling my great-aunts because we all knew how important Hillary was to them and how important surviving to see that moment was for them.”
Another family came from Baltimore. “We have to get away from fear,” said Lureen Grace Wiggins, 49. Her daughter, Eden, 17, was exhilarated by the size of the crowd: “When you’re out here and people see you, they know you care.”
The march was rich in historical allusions — most deliberately, the 1963 march led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But it echoed many other marches, including those in the 1970s that brought hundreds of thousands of women to the streets championing an Equal Rights Amendment that was ultimately defeated, and those from the late 1990s and on for abortion rights, culminating in a 2004 March for Women’s Lives that organizers said drew more than one million to the capital.
Saturday’s march happened to come just six days before quite a different one: the annual March for Life by opponents of abortion.
But perhaps the most apt analogy, said Ellen Fitzpatrick, the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling,” was to the 1913 suffragists’ march on Washington, timed to coincide with the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Led by the renowned suffragist Alice Paul, it featured a lawyer, Inez Milholland, riding a white horse down Pennsylvania Avenue, with 24 floats, nine marching bands and luminaries like Helen Keller. The women were hooted and jeered at and roughed up by the police, prompting congressional hearings and generating public sympathy. They won the vote seven years later.
Faye Wattleton, the former president of Planned Parenthood, said that women have always had to regroup, even after they thought battles were won. “This is not new,” she said. “We have to go back to the battlefield and re-fight the wars against women.”

Correction: January 21, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of the author of “The Highest Glass Ceiling.” It is Fitzpatrick, not Fitzgerald.