To say it's been a whirlwind weekend would be an understatement. Donald Trump officially became the 45th president of the United States, and almost three million people turned out for 600-plus women's marches globally. I think it's safe to say that the Women's March overshadowed Trump's inauguration.
The Trump administration, however, seems to forget that we live in the information age and can easily fact check statements like the one Saturday, Jan. 21 from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer who said: "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe."
It's clear from photos, and data collected from the Washington, D.C. Metro, that the Women's March On Washington, which drew an estimated 500,000 people, dwarfed Trump's inauguration, and that both of Barack Obama's inauguration numbers reportedly surpassed Trump's.
Trump did succeed in uniting many Americans, though not in the way he intended. Women, children, and men across America, and around the world, peacefully took to the streets Jan. 21 to express their first amendment rights in hundreds of sister marches to the Women's March On Washington. Protestors demanded an end to violence against women, preservation of women's reproductive rights, protection of rights for the LGBTQIA community, protection of women's rights in the workplace, equal civil rights for women, protection of rights for the disabled, preservation of immigrants' rights, and environmental justice.
The sheer number of protestors made it clear that many Americans do not support Trump, and the New York Times reported that three times as many people attended the Women's March On Washington than attended the inauguration. Here's seven ways the Women's March overshadowed Trump's inauguration. Well done, ladies.
It Made History
An estimated 2.9 million people attended dozens of women's marches across the country reportedly making it the single largest day of protest in U.S. history.
Estimates given to Newsweek by the U.S. Armed Forces Joint Task Force-National Capital Region and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Activities cited that the city was expecting between 700,000 and 900,000 people for Trump's inauguration, though that appears to be an ambitions estimate, and though no actual numbers have been confirmed, it's clear they fell short of those estimates.
Reports indicate that more than 500,000 people attended the Women's March On Washington, and photos of the two events clearly show significantly more people at the Women's March. An estimated 750,000 people attended the march in Los Angeles (including me), 250,000 in New York City, 150,000-250,000 in Chicago, 100,000-150,000 in Denver, 130,000 in Seattle, 150,000 in Boston and hundreds of thousands more in cities across the country.
Carrie Fisher, and her alter ego Princess Leia, have become a symbol of hope for women and people suffering from mental illness around the world. Fisher also vocally opposed Trump, and she dedicated her 2011 memoir "Shockaholic" to Barack Obama.
Thousands of women turned up at marches across the country carrying Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher-inspired signs. In Los Angeles, a friend and I dressed up like Princess Leia and proudly sported our "we are the resistance" signs, and we weren't alone. We encountered dozens of like-minded women along the protest route who all knew that Carrie herself would have been there if she could.
It Was Inclusive
The Women's March was for everyone. Women, men, children, people with disabilities, introverts, the LGBTQ community, and every race and religion. Now that the march is over, here's how you can stay active during Trump's first 100 days in office.
It Kept Its Sense of Humor
While the issues surrounding the Women's March are serious, protestors kept their sense of humor. If you got tired or overwhelmed while marching all you had to do was look in front of you, behind you, and to your right or your left to witness the beautiful and intelligent sense of humor displayed among the signs carried by your fellow protestors.
It Brought Women Together
Women from diverse backgrounds came together during the Women's March united in their fight for equality. Actress and activist America Ferrara spoke in Washington. D.C. before the march. Business Insider quotes her as saying, "Our opposition knows how to stick together. They are united in their objective to hold this country back. [...] So we too must stand united."
The World Celebrated It
The global reaction to President Trump's inauguration trended toward dissatisfaction with The Guardian writing, "Caution in China, sorrow and anger in Mexico ..."
One day later, the world stood up for women with more than 600 marches around the world, and almost three million people participating — overloading public transportation and disrupting cell phone service in many cities.
It Positively Demonstrated Democracy In Action
The punishment for the National Parks Service’s Twitter defiance was swift and merciless. https://t.co/kyf1w78cHV— s.e. smith (@realsesmith) January 21, 2017
Millions of women (and men) peacefully expressed their constitutional rights Jan. 21 during hundreds of women's marches around the world. Peaceful demonstration is a hallmark of American democracy, and Americans took to the streets to exercise their rights.