Women's March: 100,000 protest in London against Donald Trump

‘We’re worried about what Trump’s election says about the state of the world,’ say protesters

Siobhan Fenton
Saturday 21 January 2017 19:13 GMT
Thousands attend Women's March on London protest against Trump

Close to 100,000 protesters have marched on London to express their opposition to Donald Trump’s presidency. Women’s March On London was one of hundreds of protests taking place in major cities around the globe to mark the politician’s inauguration.

Women’s Marches took place in cities around the world to protest the inauguration of the controversial president, who has been sued for allegedly denying accommodation to African Americans while a real estate mogul and also been recorded appearing to brag about sexually assaulting women.

Mr Trump has dismissed criticism against him, insisting his comments about sexual assault were “locker room banter” which people should not take seriously.

The marches welcome protesters of all genders and say their mission statement is to take a stand against growing right-wing political sentiment in all its forms, including homophobia, transphobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, misogyny, class prejudice and racism.

Throngs of demonstrators at the London event marched from Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, past the US embassy and onto Trafalgar Square. Many bore placards highlighting Mr Trump’s misogynistic comments, allegations of racism or his refutation of climate change.

One woman carried her infant daughter in one arm and a placard in the other. It read: “So she will never question her self worth – why I’m marching”.

Another woman among the crowd wielding a sign reading “Keep your tiny hands off women’s rights” told The Independent: “When I heard the march was [happening] I couldn’t not come out today and join it. I don’t want to look back on Trump’s presidency in years to come and think I’d not done what I could do resist it.”

A pair of protesters carrying placards in support of Black Lives Matter, the anti-racism movement which originated in the US in response to police brutality against African Americans, said: “We’re worried about what Trump’s election says about the state of the world – about the state of poorphobia, misogyny and racism.”

Thousands attend Women's March on London protest against Trump

The crowds shouted slogans against the politician, including calling for impeachment and vowing that women would “fight back” against any attempt to further reduce their rights under his administration.

Marches were held in cities around the world from Dublin to Cape Town, Budapest to Kolkata.

The largest Women’s March took place in Washington DC, the same site as Mr Trump’s inauguration, where an estimated half a million people took to the streets. Unconfirmed reports suggested more protesters attended the Washington Women’s March than supporters who attended the inauguration itself.

The business mogul turned politician has some of the lowest approval ratings among the American public at this stage in his presidency. Just 37 per cent of citizens say they approve of him, compared to the 80 per cent support which Obama enjoyed at this stage in his own presidency in 2009.

While Mr Trump won the electoral college vote, he failed to win majority support among voters- with the majority instead going to his rival Hillary Clinton.

The initial reaction for many feminists upon Mr Trump's election in November 9 as results trickled in, was one of stunned silence and shock. However, it appears their frustration has now boiled over into angry and a vocal desire for change, which will now form an unignorable back drop to the next four years of Mr Trump's presidency.

As London protesters arrived at Trafalgar square, politicians and activists addressed the crowds, after which music and dancing broke out before the crowds dispersed. As they left, protesters tucked their banners into the railings around Trafalgar Square, creating the appearance of an anti-Trump shrine through hundreds of placards, balloons and posters.

It is yet to be seen what specific actions will form part of a Trump presidency, including whether the concerns about potential attacks on minority rights are justified. However, the strong show of support through the marches across the globe suggest the world will be watching over the next four years.

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