From coast to coast and around the world, more than 1 million people gathered Saturday in support of women's rights. Times columnist Nicole Brodeur was in Washington, D.C., and we had staff stationed across Seattle. Here's how the day unfolded:
What you need to know:
- Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington received a permit for at least 200,000 people to rally in D.C. the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the nation’s 45th president. Here’s why they’re gathering.
- Cities across the world are hosting simultaneous marches Saturday, including in Seattle. The movement is on track to mark the largest demonstration related to a presidential inauguration in U.S. history.
- Organizers of the Seattle event opted to spell “women” with a “x” to acknowledge the impact of discrimination based not only on gender identity but also race, sexual orientation, nationality, faith, class and disability.
- The local event began with a rally at Judkins Park, followed by a march of about 3.6 miles to Seattle Center.
- Local organizers, who originally anticipated crowds of about 50,000 people, estimate the march topped 100,000. That would surpass the WTO protests in 1999 as one of the largest political demonstrations in the city’s history.
This feed of updates from women’s marches throughout the day is now closed. Read the full stories:
Update, 4:00 p.m.
From New York to London, more than one million people joined marches around the country Saturday to send President Donald Trump an emphatic message of resistance on his first full day as president, the Associated Press reports.
Organizers of the Womxn’s March on Seattle estimated a crowd of more than 100,000.
Many Seattle women also traveled to Washington D.C., to be part of the main women’s march there. They included Melissa Braddock, 52, of West Seattle, who started making plans to travel there shortly after election night, when she said she and her friends watched the results of Trump’s presidential win stream in at a bar.
“I couldn’t believe it. We stepped outside to get some air,” she said. “And I said, ‘We’re going to have to go march and get active.'”
Braddock is CFO of Eden Labs, joined a Seattle group with a friend who was making the trip. On her Friday afternoon flight out of Seattle, she said roughly 30 people — both men and women — on board were sporting pink ‘pussy’ hats.
The group arrived to the National Mall Saturday morning, where the march began, and tried to maneuver through the massive crowd to get close to speakers.
“It was just insane,” Braddock said. “Every single person had a smile on their face.”
Beyond women’s rights, she cited health care coverage as an issue of her concern under Trump’s administration.
After marching all day, Braddock said the Seattle group took time in the evening to check out the news coverage of how the day unfolded elsewhere.
“There is a movement that is going to take place; it’s taking place,” she said. “A lot of people are not happy.”
Update, 3:30 p.m.
The Womxn’s March on Seattle is winding down.
Marchers are leaving the Seattle Center area, while the back of the crowd makes its way downtown.
King County Metro Transit says all routes previously impacted by the march have resumed regular service, though commuters should prepare for delays.
Update, 2:23 p.m.
USA Today has estimated more than 2 million people across the globe joined in Women’s Marches to protest the first full day of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House.
Stealing a favorite term from the new president, the Washington Post described the leading march in the nation’s capital as “huge” and shared details of the “packed Metro stations and trains, long waits at intersections and crowded bridges” that greeted participants on their way home.
The Seattle Department of Transportation already warned of traffic delays getting in and out of downtown, but recent escalator malfunctions at light-rail stations could cause even more frustration: The Washington Post reported a broken escalator at a popular Metro station in D.C. added to headaches as thousands of Women’s March participants rushed to leave downtown.
“Beyond the turnstiles, dozens were packed trying make their way down one functioning escalator to the platform, waiting as much as 10 minutes,” the Post reported. “Some couldn’t even swipe past the turnstile because there was no rooms One group of friends started singing “Yellow Submarine” to lighten the mood.
“An exasperated Metro police officer, barely audible from the din upstairs, shouted directions to manage the flow of hundreds of newbies.”
Update, 1:46 p.m.
As tens of thousands of people continued walking through central and downtown Seattle, Nasrin Rousta reflected on her move to the U.S.
Rousta, originally from Iran, came to the country as a student in 1977. She sought political asylum because it wasn’t safe in Iran for an educated woman.
She said she valued the U.S. because it was open to people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
“It alarms me that someone can show such disrespect and hostility to whoever is not an American-born white male and still be elected president,” said Rousta, a Mercer Island psychotherapist.
Organizers recently updated their estimate of the size of the Womxn’s March on Seattle to more than 100,000. Seattle Police have said they won’t do crowd estimates.
King County Metro, meanwhile, asked for patience with delays getting in and out of downtown Saturday afternoon.
“Enjoy the city as the #WomxnsMarchSeattle continues,” the transit agency posted on Twitter.
At one point, a pair of bald eagles flew over the march and elicited gasps from onlookers.
The birds struck Shauna Adams as ironic, reminding her of when Donald Trump agreed to pose with a bald eagle and barely escaped with his limbs in tact.
“I’ve lived in Seattle seven years and (have) never seen a bald eagle,” Adams said.
Update, 1:03 p.m.
Local organizers have pegged the size of the Seattle crowd at about 100,000 people, with marchers filling a 10-block radius. Organizers had anticipated about 50,000.
Although just an estimate, that would put the Womxn’s March on Seattle above the WTO protests in 1999 as one of the largest political demonstrations in the city’s history.
In Olympia, an estimated 10,000 people gathered at the Capitol campus to march, sing and hear speakers.
On the front lawn of the Capitol campus, Karen Johnson of the Black Alliance of Thurston County led the crowd through a rendition of the song “This Little Light of Mine.”
State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, promised those gathered that a Trump administration wouldn’t stop gains made on civil rights over the years.
“We will not go backwards on the gains we made, we will go forward,” Jinkins said, to cheers and hollers.
The crowd then struck out for a march that headed into downtown Olympia before snaking back to the Capitol. At one point, as the long march line headed simultaneously in both directions, cheering rally-goers encircled several city blocks.
Neither pink pussyhats nor hand-held slogans were in short supply. Rally-goers sported signs such as “Girls rule/predators drool,” “When they go low we resist,” and “Fraud.”
One woman was pushed along in a wheelchair behind a banner that read “87 yo. I WILL BE HEARD!”
Returning to the Capitol, marchers spilled into the courtyard between the Temple of Justice, which houses the state Supreme Court, and the Capitol building. There, more speakers brought thundering cheers from those gathered, including a Muslim speaker who urged unity.
“As a Muslim, I believe we all come from one God,” said Heather Mary, who does outreach for the Islamic Center of Olympia, adding later: “We are all one.”
Update, 12:21 p.m.
The Seattle Police are now suggesting the Womxn’s March on Seattle could stretch as long as three miles once people arrive at the destination point of Seattle Center.
No crowd estimate has been released.
Update, 12:11 p.m.
The Womxn’s March on Seattle, which organizers hoped would walk in a powerful, silent mass from Judkins Park and Playground in the Central District to Seattle Center, turned out to be not so silent.
Chants of “Whose lives matter? Black lives matter,” drumbeats and even a roaring dinosaur added to the cacophony of the crowds as they still streamed out of Judkins Park.
With Native American women at the lead, the Seattle Department of Transportation reported the head of the march reached 4th Avenue and South Jackson Street and stretched more than a mile long as participants waited to leave at Judkins Park. The crowd there remained at a standstill just after noon.
Gwen Howard, of Port Townsend, stopped near the intersection of South Dearborn Street and 20th Avenue South sporting a pussyhat. It was the first item she ever knitted.
“It’s important to back a democracy by your physical presence,” the 78-year-old said. “I hope most of the people out here voted. It’s important to vote.”
In Olympia, marchers near the state Capitol even pulled out musical instruments to celebrate women’s rights.
The crowd there was estimated at 10,000 people.
Update, 11:25 a.m.
Kyli Crawford, a hairdresser from Mill Creek, said over the past few months, she’s made an effort to talk about bullying with her kids, ages four and seven, because of what they heard on TV and elsewhere about the Trump campaign. “We teach them to use compassion,” she said.
Saturday was their first demonstration of the kind, Crawford said, saying she hopes the march furthers the teaching lesson. Wearing a super-woman cape and mask, 4-year-old Ellie held a sign saying, “The Future is Female.” Seven-year-old Jack’s sign said “I support” women.
Ron McGaha, 73, from Renton said he showed up with the Washington Alliance of Retired Americans to raise awareness for protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicare. “Under the current administration, we’re fearful that’s going to go away,” he said.
Many larger than life puppets made by march organizers and local artists depicting famous historical women including Rosa Parks and Helen Keller. Meridee Kortan, who worked on the Rosa Parks puppet, said organizers hope to build on the momentum of the march to resist the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and “obviously anti-women.”
The crowds started slowly moving out of Judkins Park about 11 a.m., leading toward South Jackson Street.
Jan Monti, a volunteer with the Womxn’s March, said a labor union representing bar bouncers planned to disrupt anything “if it gets crazy.”
Update, 11 a.m.
A massive turnout at the Women’s March on Washington has forced a change of plans. With the entire planned route filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters, organizers can’t lead a formal march toward the White House.
That’s according to a District of Columbia official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to speak for the march.
The official says that shortly before 1 p.m., people were standing along the entire march route.
While there will be no formal march led from the protest stage near the Capitol, the crowd is still expected to move toward the Ellipse, an area of the National Mall in front of the White House.
— Ben Nuckols, The Associated Press
Aerial images show a much larger crowd for the Women’s March than for Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday:
Update, 10:55 a.m.
Kenmore resident Cindy Duryee, 67, is no stranger to activism; she marched to protest the Vietnam War decades ago.
On Saturday she brought a poster of Melania Trump wearing a pussyhat. That’s the name for the bright pink, knitted caps that participants in the local Womxn’s March on Seattle and those at “sister marches” across the country and globe have donned to rally in support of women’s rights and against the inauguration of Donald Trump.
“I just felt that Melania should be here because all women should be against misogyny,” Duryee said. “I know Melania would be here in spirit.”
Duryee said she was very hopeful about the march.
“I feel a lot of seriousness, but not negativity I hope,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for us to talk about what’s really important in this country.”
Update, 10:29 a.m.
Lyft and Uber estimated a less than 3-mile ride from Denny Way and Boren Avenue North, for example, would cost nearly $70 due to increased demand.
The official rally at Judkins Park begins at 10:30 a.m., with the 3.6-mile march to the Seattle Center starting about 11 a.m.
As a security precaution, organizers would not reveal the exact route until shortly before the event.
However, organizers said the route will be accessible to people who use motorized and nonmotorized mobility vehicles, as well as strollers. All people who believe that women’s rights are human rights are invited to participate, organizers say.
Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur met more Seattle residents who joined the Women’s March on Washington, as other women continued to gather across the globe — and even near its southern-most tip.
— linda zunas (@lindazunas) January 21, 2017
Update, 9:56 a.m.
Crowds gathered outside the state Capitol, with many people wearing pink, pointy-eared pussyhats to mock the new president and other carrying signs that read “Equal Rights 4 All” and “Hear our voice.”
At Judkins Park, people arrived early carrying signs that read “Love not hate makes America great!” and “Love for women of color.” Masses heavy in pink also continued to protest in Boston, Chicago, Denver, the National Mall and even Trafalgar Square in London.
Meanwhile, heavy traffic caused delays on the Bainbridge-to-Seattle ferry. The Washington State Department of Transportation issued a travel alert that departures were 15 minutes behind schedule.
Update, 9:22 a.m.
Participants have started traveling to and gathering for the Womxn’s March on Seattle and in Olympia.
Nancy Page, who joined the charter bus, said this is the first time she has ever been politically active and participated in a march.
“Maybe we are in a bubble, but I don’t think it’s an echo chamber,” she said. “Maybe (the march) is big enough, diverse enough. I don’t feel it’s futile anymore. I feel empowered by it, and how diverse it is.”
King County Metro issued several alerts Saturday morning, warning of multiple transit service reroutes because of the march. A Tacoma resident posted on Twitter that shuttle buses from 5th Avenue and South Jackson Street downtown to the event are all packed.
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., columnist Nicole Brodeur found Nicole Vandenberg, of Seattle, responding to one man chanting his love for Donald Trump.
“We’re not going to fight,” Vandenberg replied. “We love love.”
Another resident of Seattle, Kate Bayley, flew to join the march and told Brodeur that “our president is a meathead.”
Brodeur also reported that “waves of cheers” swept the crowd in D.C. as feminist leader Gloria Steinem took the stage. Later, fellow feminist icon Gloria Allred and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards joined the D.C. crowd.
Update, 8:56 a.m.
From Australia and New Zealand to London and Japan, participants outside the U.S. have joined rallies to march in solidarity with American women and stand up for the rights of women in their own countries, according to the New York Times.
Al-Jazeera is reporting that thousands of people gathered in Syndey, Australia to march through the city, with organizers saying the demonstration was more than just about Donald Trump.
“We’re doing this because we don’t want to stand by and let the bigotry rhetoric of Donald Trump prevail,” Ayebatonye Abrasaka told Al Jazeera.
The New York Times built a map of women’s marches around the world, including events in Cape Town, South Africa; Erbil, Iraq; Rio de Janeira, Brazil; and many more.
Saturday’s marches around the world, and in Seattle, are on track to mark the largest demonstration related to an American president’s inauguration in U.S. history.
Update, 8:19 a.m.
Jessamine Jarris Anderson, a student at the University of Washington, traveled from Seattle to attend the Women’s March on Washington.
She told The Seattle Times that she decided to participate for many reasons, but human rights was the most pressing one. That includes, Anderson said, women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, voting rights — “and so much more.”
“The Women’s March on Washington isn’t just about women marching for women’s rights,” Anderson said. “It’s about women and their allies marching for the rights of all…Everyday citizens have the power to influence the trajectory of our country, and attending marches and rallies is just one of the ways to harness this power.
“I am marching for all the people around the world who are facing discrimination and oppression with the hope that the small efforts of thousands of individuals can truly better the world.”
Meanwhile, individuals with disabilities preventing them from joining the demonstration arranged a digital “march” in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people expected to rally in D.C.
Newly inaugurated President Donald Trump offended many disabled individuals and their families when he appeared to mock a disabled reporter during his campaign.
Meredith Mitchell, a 45-year-old disabled mother of three, posted on DisabilityMarch.com that she wishes she could take her 12-year-old daughter to the march “to show her women’s solidarity in action.”
Multiple sclerosis “has taken my legs but not my spirit,” Mitchell wrote.
Update, 7:41 a.m.
Seattle Times reader Jerry Chen witnessed Donald Trump’s inauguration in person Friday and planned to stay in Washington, D.C., through the weekend to participate in the Women’s March.
He said earlier in the week that he looked forward to possibly being one of the few people to attend both events.
“I want to partake in the peaceful transfer of executive power and witness a longstanding democratic tradition up-close,” Chen said. “My hope is that all Americans will come together eventually, and I don’t see how that can happen unless at least some people make the effort to reach out to the other side or offer a gesture of goodwill.”
He added, “I am also planning on joining the Women’s March…to show my support for gender equality and demonstrate that it is possible to care about both the people and the government.”
Update, 7:08 a.m.
Sen. Patty Murray has joined the protest in Washington, D.C., tweeting support “for women across the country who no longer have to pay more for health care just for being a woman — and want it to stay that way.”
Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, also tweeted her support for equal pay for equal work. Last October, the senator joined five U.S. Women’s National Soccer players in a fight against pay disparities.
Update, 5:58 a.m.
People have begun streaming into Washington, D.C., many wearing bright pink pussyhats and wielding signs with messages such as “The future is female” and “Less fear more love.”
Rena Wilson, of Charlotte, North Carolina, said she hopes the women can send Trump a message that they’re “not going anywhere.”
Joy Rodriguez, of Miami, arrived with her husband, William, and their two daughters, ages 12 and 10.
“I want to make sure their rights are not infringed on in these years coming up,” Joy Rodriguez said.
Update, 5:33 a.m.
The Guardian is reporting that a group of Canadians and French citizens trying to join the Women’s March on Washington were denied entry into the United States from Quebec after telling border agents of their plans to protest.
Joe Kroese, a United Kingdom national, told the Guardian that border agents held him, a Canadian and two Americans for three hours Thursday at a border crossing connecting St. Bernard de Lacolle in Quebec with Champlain, New York.
“After being questioned, fingerprinted and photographed,” the Guardian reports, “Kroese and his Canadian companion were refused entry because they were planning to attend what the border agent called a ‘potentially violent rally,’ he said. The pair was advised not to travel to the United States for a few months, and Kroese was told he would now need a visa to enter the U.S.”
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