“I hate crowds, but I hate Trump more”: Such placards summed up how young and old, male and female felt about Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, at Saturday’s Women’s March on London.
From the American Embassy, along Hyde Park, over to Trafalgar Square an estimated 100,000 people marched singing, cheering, often to Cindy Lauper’s “Girls just want to have Fun” – or as many marchers put it, fundamental rights.
Started by Teresa Shook in Washington D.C. after Donald Trump’s election, the feminist movement quickly morphed into a global protest with about 600 sister marches around the planet.
“This is a question of fundamentally who we are as a civilization, not just as a western democracy, but as individuals inside a world that we have helped create”
This is the first time there have been protests on this scale at the inauguration of a new president, especially outside America. People at the London March said they were “shocked and disgusted” at the election results and that it seems like “a massive step backwards for the whole world”, declaring this an issue of the world.
Marchers stood true to the feminist cause of the march, seeing it as “the global sisterhood rising together finally” and believing that “it is time that we just talked about women” as a response to Trump slandering women.
Akeela Ahmed from She Speaks, We Hear said in her opening speech: “Remember that women have a long history of being at the forefront of fighting for equality and justice as we are the ones who suffer the worst consequences of irresponsible men in power,” as she encouraged crowds to stay strong and to keep fighting for what women deserve.
Others took this march as an opportunity to stand up against everything Trump represented for many people throughout his campaign: fear and division. A mother who was marching with her family said: “This is a question of fundamentally who we are as a civilization, not just as a western democracy, but as individuals inside a world that we have helped create”.
While the march was mostly civil, inclusive and positive, an individual interrupted one of the opening speeches with chants of “Dump Trump”, “wall against misogyny “ and “we are fighting back”. The host had to interrupt the speech and told the chanter that what they were doing was “an operation of power” and the crowd booed the chanter out.
While a lot of outrage was founded on this sociological level, quite a few people were worried about political repercussions.
A member of the Left Unity Party stated that Trump was part of “anti-immigrant, xenophobic politics, which is sweeping the world”. In these politics he included the recent Brexit result, claiming that it’s “basically the same”. He was handing out signs saying, “Brexit and Trump, Sound the Alarm.”
A marcher from the US went even a step further saying that Trump was just “Putin’s Puppet”, a slogan which was stuck on the back of her paper mâché Trump figurine. She claimed that “His (Trump’s) interests aren’t America’s best interests, if you follow the money trail, it’s very, very scary”, (i.e to Russia).
Trump’s political choices were even described as “nihilistic” by another participant of the march noting his appointment of Scott Pruitt, someone known to be in favor of fracking and question global warming. The marcher, who did not want to be named, said: “He has picked people in each department who are perfectly suited to destroy that department”.
Others marched against Trump’s attacks on Obamacare. An oversees student from the US told us that “if it weren’t for Obamacare I wouldn’t have gotten my birth control”.