Throughout history, Washington, D.C. has been the backdrop for many historic social and political protests. As President-elect Donald Trump gears up to take office, women who found his outlandish rhetoric and political views offensive plan to make their voices heard.
On Thursday, police officials in the District revealed that a permit has been issued for the Women’s March on Washington, reports The Washington Post.
The demonstration, which will reportedly be the largest protest surrounding Trump’s inauguration, is slated to take place the day after he is sworn into office on January 20. It was organized in efforts to not only bring attention to the importance of rights for women, but also other groups that were marginalized during Trump’s presidential campaign.
Organizers, including civil rights activists Janaye Ingram and Tamika D. Mallory, expect an estimated 200,000 participants. They hope to send a message to the Trump administration that it is unacceptable to infringe on women’s rights, according to the Women’s March on Washington website:
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
The effort has not come without controversy, reports The Huffington Post:
The march has more to overcome than logistical concerns, however: It’s also been denounced for a lack of inclusivity. According to a Facebook post on the event page, the people who started organizing it were “almost all white” and had little to no experience organizing. It didn’t help that within the first couple days, the demonstration’s original name ― the “Million Women March” ― was criticized for appropriating the name of the 1997 Million Women March, a historic protest led by and for black women.
That’s when Mallory, [Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour] came in. The Facebook event page for the march, created on Wednesday after the election, had gone viral by Thursday, Bland said. On Friday morning, the three veteran activists and organizers ― all women of color ― were asked to join as national co-chairs, Mallory added.
“It’s important that we make sure our communities are represented ― understanding that we also were targets of Trump’s racist rhetoric,” Perez told HuffPost. “I felt it was not only an honor to be asked, but a responsibility to my community.”
The starting point for the protest will be at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW which is located near the front of the U.S. Capitol, writes The Post.