Women's March on Washington overshadows Trump's first full day in office
While women marched around the world, press secretary Sean Spicer berated the media for ‘minimising the enormous support’ at Trump’s inauguration
Hundreds of thousands of women turned Washington’s National Mall into a sea of pink on Saturday, sending the first concerted message of grassroots opposition to Donald Trump since he moved into the White House.
Women's March events take place in Washington and around the world – as it happened
Live updates on marches in the United States and around the world as more than 20 countries see protests on the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency ..Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/live/2017/jan/21/womens-march-on-washington-and-other-anti-trump-protests-around-the-world-live-coverage
“Minority president”, “Women roar” and “I’m afraid” were among the signs waved by a crowd which was made up mostly of women but also comprised some men and which far exceeded turnout for Friday’s inauguration. Many wore pink handknit “pussy hats” – a rebuke to the billionaire businessman once caught on tape bragging about his ability to “grab” women “by the pussy”. Organisers estimated that more than a million people attended.
Later, in a blistering press room debut, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer accused the press of “minimising the enormous support” that had turned out for Trump the day before.
He first accused some media of “deliberately false reporting”, citing a “particularly egregious example” of a reporter tweeting that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr had been removed from the Oval Office. “This was irresponsible and reckless,” he said. The night before, he had tweeted “apology accepted” to the reporter, who had apologised for the mistake.
On Saturday Spicer went on to say that photographs of the inauguration “were intentionally framed in a way in one particular tweet to minimise the enormous support that gathered on the National Mall.”
Almost shouting, Spicer continued: “Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. By the way, this applies to any attempt to count the number of protesters today in the same fashion.”
Trump’s press secretary slams ‘dishonest’ media over inauguration crowd size: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/jan/21/donald-trump-inauguration-crowd-size-media
Then, although he had just said that no one had numbers, Spicer claimed: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period … These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
An Associated Press combination of photos shows a view of the crowd on the National Mall at the inaugurations of President Barack Obama, top, on 20 January 2009, and President Donald Trump, bottom, on 20 January 2017. The Associated Press said both were shot shortly before noon from the top of the Washington Monument. Photograph: AP (Picture below )
A PBS Newshour timelapse video of crowd levels from the morning and through Trump’s inauguration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdantUf5tXg
Spicer took no questions, and vaguely said the administration would “hold the press accountable”. Only a few hours earlier, President Trump had addressed CIA employees at the agency’s Virginia headquarters, where he mused at length on what he claimed to be the record crowd that witnessed it.
The Washington protest march was not the only one held in the US, however. From Atlanta to Phoenix, from Boston to Sacramento, “sister marches” staged a show of defiance by ordinary citizens determined to rebuke Trump’s values. An estimated 175,000 took to the streets of Chicago, the adopted home of former president Barack Obama.
The large crowd sent a clear signal to a man notorious for his thin skin and prone to boasting about the size of his crowds.
In the White House press room, Spicer also described a warm reception for Trump at the CIA, saying the president was given a standing ovation when he spoke there earlier in the afternoon. He blamed Senate Democrats for blocking the appointment of Mike Pompeo as director of the agency.
“That’s what you guys should be writing and covering instead of sowing division about tweets and false narratives,” Spicer admonished the press. “The president is committed to unifying our country and that was the focus of his inaugural address. This kind of dishonesty in the media, the challenging the bringing our nation together, is making it more difficult.”
Spicer also confirmed that the president would meet British prime minister Theresa May in Washington on Friday. Trump spoke on Saturday with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, and has a possible meeting with the latter on 31 January.
The noise of popular protest and angry administration statements contrasted sharply with the solemn mood on Saturday morning at the Washington National Cathedral, where Trump, first lady Melania and other family members attended a multi-faith prayer service.
The new president then headed to the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, Virginia. He has been critical of America’s intelligence agencies in a way that no incoming commander-in-chief has before, over their belief that Russia sought to influence the election on his behalf.
But he used Saturday’s platform to promise the eradication of “evil” radical Islamic terrorism and lambast the “dishonest media” for its reporting of the size of his inauguration crowd. He made no mention of Saturday’s massive protests.
It capped 36 hours that began with Trump’s angry call to arms in a blistering inaugural address, an executive order on healthcare and a much-mocked dance with his wife to Frank Sinatra’s My Way at an inaugural ball.
As the Obama era receded, Washington remained gripped by uncertainty. Trump’s first week in office could lay siege to Obama’s legacy on numerous fronts and set alarm bells ringing in foreign capitals.
When he meets May, trade in the post-Brexit era and the future of Nato, which Trump has questioned, are likely to be high on the agenda.
In Washington on Saturday, organisers of the women’s march in Washington first estimated turnout at half a million, which would have been double the number that marched on the city for civil rights in 1963 and were addressed by Martin Luther King.
Such estimates only increased. Thousands came by bus, train and plane, cramming Washington’s underground Metro to capacity. John Kerry, the former secretary of state, took to the streets along with his dog. Trump’s defeated election opponent, Hillary Clinton, was not present, but tweeted:
Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we're always Stronger Together.
January 21, 2017
There were speeches by politicians and activists and performances from artists including Madonna. “The revolution starts here,” the singer said. “The fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal.
“Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step know that we are not afraid, that we are not alone, that we will not back down, that there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.”
Madonna, Alicia Keys and Scarlett Johansson among Women’s March speakers: https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2017/jan/22/madonna-alicia-keys-and-scarlett-johansson-among-womens-march-speakers-video
Actor and activist America Ferrera spoke about her background as a child of immigrants and argued that Trump was elected on a platform of hate.
“We are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say: ‘Mr Trump, we refuse,” she said. “ We won’t build walls and we won’t see the worst in each other.”
Feminist Gloria Steinem said: “This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy that I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity and remember the constitution does not begin with ‘I the president’, it begins with ‘we the people’.”
Voices from the march on Washington: 'You better pay attention to us now'...Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/21/voices-from-the-march-on-washington
Film-maker Michael Moore said: “We’re in day two now of the Trump tragedy. Who wants to be in my next movie? We are here to vow to end the Trump carnage. I want you to call Congress every single day. Every single day.”
Moore called for change in the defeated political opposition to Trump. “We have to take over the Democratic party,” he said.
The scale of the crowd caught even organisers by surprise but thousands pressed ahead with the march while others headed home. There was a steady flow past the White House, where secret service officers stood guard. Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off by steel barriers.
Voices from the Women’s March on Washington: <iframe src="https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/world/video/2017/jan/21/voices-from-womens-march-washington-video
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Among the marchers was Kathleen Prugsawan, 52, from Washington. She said: “This is the most peaceful gathering of people unhappy with the current administration. The message that I hope he gets: you better fucking pay attention to us now.”
Women and other groups were demonstrating in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Oakland and Seattle. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers marched as close as possible to Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.
There were protests across the world. Organisers in London said 80,000 had taken part in an event there. In Prague, hundreds gathered in Wenceslas Square, waving portraits of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin and holding banners that read “This is just the beginning”, “Kindness” and “Love”.
But Trump’s stunning ascent, a repudiation of Democrats and many Republicans, have given succour to rightwing populists abroad. French far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen joined fellow nationalists on Saturday at a conference in Germany, declaring that 2017 will be the “year of the awakening of the people of continental Europe”.
Meanwhile the Department of Justice announced that federal anti-nepotism laws do not prevent Trump from appointing his son-in-law to his administration. It released a memo to the White House counsel, concluding that the president’s “special hiring authority” allowed him to make the appointment.
This cleared the way for Jared Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, to take a post as a senior adviser. Kushner became one of Trump’s closest aides during the election campaign and has been an influential figure in the transition.
Jared Kushner cleared for Trump job, breaking with decades of legal advice: Read more..https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/21/jared-kushner-donald-trump-job-white-house-nepotism
On Friday, Trump was sworn in and delivered a dark speech that differed little from his campaign rhetoric, vowing to stop “American carnage” in an address widely condemned as divisive. The former TV celebrity raised a clenched fist and eviscerated members of the political establishment gathered around him on the steps of the US Capitol.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” he said. “From this moment on, it’s going to be only America first.”
There was an instant overhaul of the White House website, with Obama administration priorities such as climate change and LGBT rights abruptly disappearing.
Protesters set fires and hurled bricks in a series of clashes that led to more than 200 arrests. Police used pepper spray and stun grenades to prevent the violence from spilling into Trump’s formal procession and evening balls. Police said six officers suffered minor injuries.
After an inaugural parade where he faced boos and heckling from protesters, Trump settled into the Oval Office. He sat at its famous desk as he signed the order that chief of staff Reince Priebus said was aimed at “minimising the economic burden” of the Affordable Care Act. The order notes that Trump intended to seek the “prompt repeal” of the law.
Already the Oval Office had been fitted with gold curtains and a reinstalled a bust of Winston Churchill, seen as a hint that America’s “special relationship” with Britain is high on his foreign policy agenda.
Moments later, vice-president Mike Pence administered the oath of office to defense secretary James Mattis and homeland security secretary John Kelly, the first members of Trump’s cabinet to clear Senate confirmation.
Trump and Melania, who was wearing an ivory off-the-shoulder column gown, danced at three inaugural balls. At the first they danced to My Way along with Pence and his wife, Susan, and Trump family members.
Trump told guests: “People that weren’t so nice to me were saying that we did a really good job today. It’s like God was looking down on us.”
At the second ball, Trump asked guests whether he should “keep the Twitter going?” The crowd roared in apparent approval. Trump said his regular tweeting to more than 20 million followers is “a way of bypassing dishonest media”.
At the third ball Trump and Melania danced to I Will Always Love You with members of the armed services.
Early on Sunday, the president tweeted:
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
A fantastic day and evening in Washington D.C.Thank you to @FoxNews and so many other news outlets for the GREAT reviews of the speech!
January 21, 2017
Obama, who flew out of Washington shortly after the inauguration ceremony, bound for Palm Springs, California, posted on Twitter:
Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we’ll get back to work.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 20, 2017
*****************Women’s marches: More than one million protesters vow to resist President Trump
By Perry Stein, Steve Hendrix and Abigail Hauslohner January 21 at 8:20 PM
More than 1 million people gathered in Washington and in cities around the country and the world Saturday to mount a roaring rejoinder to the inauguration of President Trump. What started as a Facebook post by a Hawaii retiree became an unprecedented international rebuke of a new president that packed cities large and small — from London to Los Angeles, Paris to Park City, Utah, Miami to Melbourne, Australia.
The organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, who originally sought a permit for a gathering of 200,000, said Saturday that as many as half a million people participated.
Many in the nation’s capital and other cities said they were inspired to join because of Trump’s divisive campaign and his disparagement of women, minorities and immigrants. In signs and shouts, they mocked what they characterized as Trump’s lewd language and sexist demeanor.
The marches provided a balm for those eager to immerse themselves in a like-minded sea of citizens who shared their anxiety and disappointment after Democrat Hillary Clinton’s historic bid for the presidency ended in defeat.
“We just want to make sure that we’re heard,” said Mona Osuchukwu, 27, a D.C. native. “I want her to know that she has a voice,” she said of her 3-year-old daughter, Chioma, who was with her at the march. “No matter what anyone tells her, especially as a black woman in America.”
Women’s March events underway across the country: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/01/21/womens-march-events-underway-across-the-country/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.947f9794f46e
The Washington demonstration was amplified by gatherings around the world, with march organizers listing more than 670 events nationwide and overseas in cities including Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Mexico City, Berlin and Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where the temperature was 6 degrees below zero.
In Chicago, the demonstration was overwhelmed by its own size, after 150,000 demonstrators swamped downtown blocks. It forced officials to curtail their planned march, although thousand of protesters still paraded around the Loop. In Boston, police estimated a gathering of 125,000. In Los Angeles, officials temporarily closed some side streets to accommodate the crowds.
“We are doing our best to facilitate, because they are squeezing into every street right now,” said Capt. Andrew Neiman of the Los Angeles Police Department.
New York, Miami, Denver and Seattle also had huge gatherings.
In Juneau, Alaska, one man marveled that the crowd was the biggest he had ever seen on the state Capitol’s steps. In Philadelphia, marchers filled city bridges. In Lexington, Ky., they shut down streets. In New Orleans, participants played brass instruments.
The fear — and anger — about Trump’s rise to the most powerful position in the United States reverberated at renowned protest sites around the world, from the Trocadero in Paris to Trafalgar Square in London.
Marina Knight, a 43-year-old executive assistant, and her 9-year-old daughter were two of the tens of thousands marching in London.
“This is her first march,” Knight said, referring to her daughter. “It’s the first time we felt it was vital to march. I feel the rights we take for granted could go backward, and we owe it to our daughters and the next generation to fix this somehow.”
In the United States, the crowds marched in weather ranging from balmy to snowy. But common to every gathering was fiery rhetoric, pink knit hats and repeated references to the boast that offended so many women: Trump’s infamous taped comments in 2005 about groping women’s genitals.
Among the thousands of signs that marchers dumped at the end of the day in front of the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from his new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.: “P---y Power” and “This P---y Bites Back.” Protesters got as close as they could to the presidential mansion, crowding metal barriers less than a block away as police and Secret Service personnel watched closely.
Demonstrators came to Washington from around the country, sometimes sleeping on the couches of people they had never met. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Metro had recorded more than 597,000 trips, a weekend ridership record. By comparison, as of 4 p.m. on Inauguration Day, there were 368,000 trips. The city issued about 1,800 bus parking permits for the march, and Amtrak added extra trains in and out of Union Station.
The huge crowd delighted iconic feminist Gloria Steinem, 82, who was among the first speakers. “This is the upside of the downside,” she exulted. “This is an outpouring of democracy like I’ve never seen in my very long life.”
Clinton did not attend the march but tweeted her gratitude: “Thanks for standing, speaking & marching for our values @womensmarch. Important as ever. I truly believe we’re always stronger together.”
The size of the gathering proved challenging. The audio from sound system did not reach everyone in the massive crowd, and far more portable toilets were needed.
When the toilets behind the stage broke down, security instructed women to use cups and ushered them into a box truck for privacy.
“I’m afraid to shake anyone’s hand,” one woman joked.
Although the marchers were mostly female and white, men and people of color also joined the throngs.
John Fischer, a 34-year-old locksmith from Grand Rapids, Mich., drove more than nine hours with his wife, Kara Eagle.
I’m here to support my wife,” Fischer said. “I don’t care who you are, women impact your life, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have the same rights as men.”
Cynthia English, a 61-year-old Jamaican American who lives in Florida, said she wants the new president to know that women will be fighting during his presidency to ensure that the country and laws treat them equally. She was with her daughter and marching for her two granddaughters in the hope that no future president feels comfortable making lewd comments about women.
“I don’t want this to happen to them 20 years from now, so I am making my mark now,” said English, who wondered, “Why are we the ones that bring people into this world, and we are treated the worst? We should be treated with respect.”
The crowd was buoyant, even joyous. Many held up signs — “I Am Very Upset!” and “Love Trumps Hate” and “Bridges Not Walls” — while others took videos of the experience on their cellphones. Every few minutes, a rolling roar swept over them.
D.C. police said they had made no march-related arrests, compared with more than 200 Friday when protesters created chaos in downtown Washington.
March organizers briefly considered suspending the formal march to the Ellipse out of concern that the crowd had grown too large to safely navigate the route to the White House. But speakers soon told the marchers to set out.
Lorraine LaHuta, 66, who came to the march from New York City, said that at times she wasn’t sure where to go, but that it never felt chaotic. “It was organized disorganization that worked very well,” she said.
Judith Snyder-Wagner, a 67-year-old former fundraising consultant, came because she sensed a shift in the rural, blue-collar community near Canton, Ohio, where she lives with her wife, Joy. A neighbor mowed a piece of grass along their property line and put up a Trump sign facing their home. Someone recently drove through the neighborhood flying a Confederate flag.
“We’ve been afraid,” she said, her voice quavering. She was limping up the sidewalk on Independence Avenue. She has had both her knee and hip replaced, and she held a cane in one hand and a poster in the other. “We just feel like we’re going to lose our civil rights.”
The couple boarded a bus at 1 a.m. Saturday in Ohio and would head home less than 24 hours later. “We needed to feel inspired,” Joy Snyder-Wagner said, looking around. “And we do.”
Trump’s election was the wake-up call that progressives needed, said Erin Edlow, 28, the membership director of the Virginia Beach Young Democrats. She was in town with her sister to demonstrate her support for the rights of immigrants and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” Edlow said.
The march turned into a star-studded event, with celebrities such as Madonna, Janelle Monáe, Scarlett Johansson and Ashley Judd making appearances. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) introduced herself as a proud “chick mayor” and implored the Republican majority in Congress to stop meddling in the District’s local lawmaking.
Activist filmmaker Michael Moore ripped a copy of The Washington Post in half, noting the headline “Trump takes power” and declaring, “I don’t think so.” Actress America Ferrera said that “our new president is waging a war” on the values that define the country with “a credo of hate fear and suspicion of one another.”
“It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant,” said Ferrera, whose parents are from Honduras. “Our dignity, our character, our rights have been under attack.”
“But the president is not America,” she said. “We are America.”
As the march grew in prominence, it highlighted long-existing racial and political rifts in the feminist movement. The initial organizers were white women — a group that narrowly voted for Trump in November — although they quickly handed its leadership over to a diverse group of longtime organizers from New York.
They have embraced an imperiled liberal agenda, in sharp contrast to much of what Trump laid out for his presidency. The march platform focused on issues such as workers’ rights, reproductive rights, environmental justice, immigrant rights, ending violence against women and more.
But a group of women who oppose abortion also came, beseeching the larger march to recognize their variety of feminism. Whether to include the conservative viewpoint sparked controversy in the days before the event. Antiabortion activists said they were excluded.
Siobhan Rooney, 32, drove from Philadelphia on Saturday morning to march for women’s rights. For her, that includes the rights of fetuses.
“We are in the same page on so many issues. It’s just this one issue,” she said.
Teresa Shook, who is in her 60s, was on hand to marvel at what emerged from her original proposal for a march in a November post on Facebook. The grandmother of four from outside Honolulu accepted hug and after hug as the crowd surged around her.
“This is the woman who came up with the idea for today’s march,” one woman said. “Thank you!” shouted another.
“I’m so blown away,” Shook said.
****************Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times as Many People as Trump’s Inauguration
By TIM WALLACE and ALICIA PARLAPIANO
JAN. 22, 2017
The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said Saturday.
Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still, crowd scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain, analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated that there were about 160,000 people in those areas in the hour leading up to Mr. Trump’s speech Friday.
They estimated that at least 470,000 people were at the women’s march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.
The estimates are not comprehensive counts and were necessarily limited by the availability of photographs and video that covered the areas of interest. But their estimate was in line with one given by a city official who said that march participation likely surpassed half a million, according to The Associated Press.
The scientists had better images for the analysis of Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd, which was concentrated on the mall. But the women’s march was more sprawling and fluid, so the actual number of people at the women’s march could be larger.
It is likely that the timing and location of the march — on a weekend, in a Democratic city in a Democratic region — helped drive the significant turnout.
In addition to wide-angle images, the scientists made use of news images that provided closer views of the crowds, which allowed them to calculate the density of specific areas more precisely.
For the women’s march, they chose a period in time when the crowd was moving the least, from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Using aerial footage and photographs from various angles, the analysts isolated areas with an average density of 2.5 people per square meter, the same method used at Mr. Trump’s inauguration the day before.
But Mr. Trump was clearly upset with what he felt were undercounts of his own event the day before. In a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency on Saturday, Mr. Trump falsely accused the media of lying about the size of the crowds at his inauguration, saying that when he looked out from his podium, “it looked like a million, a million and a half people,” and that the area “all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.”
Later in the day, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, claimed that Friday’s event was “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration,” even though “no one had numbers” to confirm it because the Park Service does not issue crowd estimates.
The Park Service said in 2009 that it “firmly” believed that Barack Obama had drawn the largest crowd ever to the National Mall. The location could have also been a contributing factor for the crowds that year; about half of Washington’s population is black, and more than 92 percent of the city voted Democratic.
Mr. Spicer said that the area between the platform where Mr. Trump was sworn in and the Washington Monument could hold 720,000 people, and claimed that “all of this space was full when the president took the oath of office.”
The images below, captured 45 minutes before the respective oaths of office, show areas that were crowded with people at Mr. Obama’s inauguration that were clearly empty during Mr. Trump’s.
“There is a scientific explanation why the crowd size must have appeared to Trump in 2017 similar or even larger than to Obama in 2009,” said Mr. Altenburg, one of the crowd scientists.
The scientists said Mr. Trump would only have seen the tightly packed front third of the crowd, but not the back two-thirds, from his position at the podium. To make their estimates, they monitored seven live feeds all day, including those from perspectives that someone at the podium would not have been able to perceive.
***************Pictures From Women’s: Marches on Every Continent
Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world gathered Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.
JAN. 21, 2017
Click to view: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/21/world/womens-march-pictures.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news