View Original Article



The Women’s March is back. A year after millions of women took to the streets en masse to protest President Trump’s inauguration, marchers will be gathering again this weekend in hundreds of cities across the country and the world, as they try to build on a movement that has only grown in its ambition.

A deluge of revelations about powerful men abusing women, leading to the #MeToo moment, has galvanized activists to demand deeper social and political change. And in the United States, progressive women are eager to translate their enthusiasm into electoral victories in this year’s midterm elections.

Here’s what we’re watching:

• Demonstrations began on Saturday in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rome and hundreds of other cities and towns.

• The marches are dominated by women critical of President Trump.

• On Friday, anti-abortion marchers gathered on the National Mall and were thrilled to see Mr. Trump address the crowd in a live broadcast.

Sign up for the Morning Briefing for news and a daily look at what you need to know to begin your day.

New York marchers are empowered: ‘I feel like the revolution is now.’

That’s what Vanessa Medina, a 32-year-old nurse, said prompted her to participate this year, even though she didn’t march last January. Ms. Medina, of Clifton, N.J., cited the Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment and Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood as her reasons for protesting.

“I want equal pay,” her 11-year-old daughter, Xenaya, chimed in. “And equal rights.”

Ann Dee Allen of Wauwatosa, Wis., stood by a vendor table on 60th Street and Broadway, holding a T-shirt and a handful of buttons she had just bought for the demonstration.

“I feel differently about it this year,” said Ms. Allen, 61, who works in communications for a health care organization. “Last year, I just felt kind of angry and impassioned. This year, I feel like I’m in it for the long haul.”

Women filled Central Park West from 61st Street north as far as the eye could see. A D.J. spun songs. The wind kicked up.

Desiree Joy Frias, 24, of the Bronx, and her grandmother, Daisy Vanderhorst, wore red capes and curved white hoods — the telltale outfits of the enslaved child-bearers of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which was recently adapted for television from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian science fiction novel.

“We both watch the show,” said Ms. Frias, a law school graduate who said she belongs to an activist group called the “Handmaid Coalition.” “We’re a group of men and women that believe fiction should not become reality.”

Los Angeles women chanted, ‘Sí, se puede!’

In the middle of a park surrounded by gleaming downtown skyscrapers, thousands of women assembled. Some hugged strangers. Others were still coloring in their signs.

“I’m done with men feeling like they have some sort of power over women, and I’m definitely done with having a president who believes that he has the power to take things from them, to take things that are provided — like Planned Parenthood — from women, when they deserve the same sort of health care as anybody else,” said Amanda Kowalski, 28, who works in financial services.

Claudia Grubbs, a 42-year-old high school teacher, returned after marching last year, which she said spurred her into donating to organizations that support women in politics.

Women’s March participants gathered in Manhattan on Saturday. The movement has sustained a high level of energy over the past year.CreditEduardo Munoz/Reuters

“Over the last year, every day when I read the news or watch the news, I’m horrified at the things that Trump and his administration are doing, and I feel like going to the march will help re-center me, refocus me and not make me feel like I don’t know what is happening to our country,” she said. “I feel like it’ll help me gain a sense of balance and a sense of purpose, and help me pursue things that I want to pursue.”

The government shutdown became a rallying cry.

The federal government shutdown that took effect early Saturday did not dissuade marchers from taking to the streets.

One of the sticking points that led to the shutdown — disagreement over extending legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children — has become a rallying cry for organizers.

The pink hats came back out in Washington.

On the Metro headed to the Smithsonian, participants on their way to the Lincoln Memorial wore the symbolic pink hats that became popular during last year’s march.

Michelle Bloom, 52, a Washington teacher, held a sign as her daughter, Jenna, 14, repaired hers with duct tape. She had made it in her mother’s classroom Friday, tracing the handprints of her classmates who couldn’t make it to the march.

“It’s inspiring to see young and old coming together like this,” Michelle Bloom said. But, she added, “I thought there would be more.”

Women lined the frozen reflecting pool and slowly filled the grassy areas, but there was still space for kickball games around the Washington Monument. And people jogged and biked around the Mall, which would have been impossible a year ago, when the crowd of marchers was bigger.

Women gathered in Washington for the Women’s March on Saturday.CreditAndrea Bruce for The New York Times

Garrett Regunberg, 32, acknowledged that there were significantly fewer people than when he and his wife, Jessie, marched last year. But he pointed to the rallies against President Trump’s travel ban as an example of ongoing activism that has made a difference.

“There was a lot done in the first year to limit the damage that could have been done,” he said. “The resistance is alive.”

In Rome, a Harvey Weinstein accuser received a hero’s welcome.

The actress and director Asia Argento, one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, has been mostly vilified by Italian commentators. But the several hundred women who congregated in a downtown Rome piazza on Saturday morning gave her a rousing welcome.

“I’d like to see how many of you today acknowledge that you have put up with abuse, by raising your hands. And not just sexual. Abuse of power. Because we are women, because we don’t have power,” said Ms. Argento, as numerous hands timidly rose from the crowd.

The women chanted slogans in Italian and English in solidarity with a global sisterhood whose vision “is in sharp contrast with the Donalds of the world and other self-proclaimed geniuses,” said one of the keynote speakers, Loretta Bondi, of Rome’s Casa Internazionale delle Donne, or International Women’s Center.

Women also gathered in other corners of the world, including Frankfurt, Germany; Kampala, Uganda, and Osaka, Japan, where a small group chanted, “Time’s up!” in English and Japanese.

The annual March for Life drew a crowd — and a message from President Trump — a day earlier.

Thousands of anti-abortion marchers gathered on the National Mall on Friday, capping off a year in which the president has used his executive powers to curtail abortion rights.

Mr. Trump addressed the march from the White House in a live broadcast to the Mall.

“We are with you all the way,” he said from the Rose Garden.

Read more about how the anti-abortion movement has embraced the president and his policies.

Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei and Sean Piccoli in New York; Emily Cochrane in Washington; Angela Chen in Los Angeles, and Elisabetta Povoledo in Rome.