In Washington and around the country, Women’s March targets 2018 elections
Women's March 2018 participants at the National Mall in Washington. | AP

In Washington, tens of thousands of women—and more than a few men—marched from the Lincoln Memorial to opposite the White House on Jan. 20 in a demonstration that was both hugely pro-woman and hugely anti-Donald Trump. The same traits defined sister marches that were held across the country over the weekend.

“My body, my choice,” was a frequent chant of the marchers in D.C., who jammed the streets around the Mall just a day after the self-styled Right to Life marchers took to those same streets. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence addressed that group. If traffic jams, crowded buses, and subways are any measure, there were certainly more women’s rights marchers.

Columbus, Ohio. | John Bachtell / PW

While many women’s rights marchers carried printed signs furnished by organizations, such as the National Organization for Women, the National Abortion Rights Action League, and Planned Parenthood, the hand-made signs and banners were more colorful and creative.

“Get back in your s—hole tower, you a—hole,” read one of those directed at or denouncing Trump. “Twidiot…Buffoon,” read another, citing Trump’s obsessive tweets.

Still other signs declared it was time for women to take over, with a big theme of doing so through political activism.

Columbus, Ohio. | John Bachtell / PW

“No to Arpaio, yes to DACA, TPS, and paths to change,” read one, referring to the Latino-hating former GOP sheriff of Phoenix, who’s now running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, and to two programs for keeping immigrants and the undocumented in the U.S. Trump is killing both.

“A woman’s place is in charge…in the courtroom, the boardroom, the operating room, the classroom, and the Situation Room,” read yet another sign, referring to the White House basement room set up to handle crises.

Marchers interviewed sounded the same themes, as did a parade of speakers to the podium emphasizing political activism, registering to vote, and turning out for the 2018 balloting, in both primaries and the November general election. “Enough is enough. We are the majority and should act and vote like it,” one woman speaker said.

Members of the Communist Party participate in the Women’s March in Houston. | Bernard Sampson / PW

“Listen to your constituents, not to the special interest groups, and especially not the NRA,” warned Allison Lantero of Hinsdale, Ill., referring to the notorious and powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association. She described the country as “fractured.”

“I hope we’ll impeach this president,” said Darcy Richardson, a registered nurse from El Cerrito, Calif., who often serves overseas. “He’s unfit to serve and mentally unstable.”

“But I also hope people would get engaged in our democracy,” she added.


CONTRIBUTOR

Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.

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