Protesters around the world march against Trump and sexual harassment
Actress and director Asia Argento addressed a rally in Rome as part of the #MeToo movement.
Protesters around the world are marking the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration by marching against his policies, and also in support of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.
A protest in New York is among more than 200 such activities planned for the weekend around the world.
By mid-morning, dozens of people had gathered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Raleigh, North Carolina. In Philadelphia, many marchers wore pink cat-ear hats as a show of solidarity, while others carried signs stating opposition to Mr Trump and his policies.
Earlier, activists gathered in Rome to denounce violence against women and express support for the #MeToo movement. They were joined by Italian actress and director Asia Argento, who made headlines after alleging in 2017 she had been sexually assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in the 1990s.
The 2017 rally in Washington, DC, and hundreds of similar marches were held denouncing Mr Trump’s views on abortion, immigration, LGBT rights and more. Millions of people around the world marched during last year’s rallies.
In New York, scheduled speakers included Ashley Bennett, a Democrat who was elected Atlantic County, New Jersey, last November.
Ms Bennett defeated the Republican incumbent John Carman, who had mocked the 2017 women’s march in Washington, DC, with a Facebook post asking whether the women would be home in time to cook dinner.
One of the goals of this year’s march is to prompt more Democrats to run for public office and bolstering voter registration.
In Rome, the 42-year-old Argento addressed the criticism she received after she had spoken up about the abuse she suffered.
She told the rally: “Women are scared to speak, and because I was vilified by everything I said, I was called a prostitute for being raped.
“I wonder how women who received such violence would find the courage to come out as I did, when they saw what happened to me, so I am here to assess the necessity of women to speak out and change things.”
"I think when women see visible women's leadership, bold and fierce, going up against a very racist, sexist, misogynist administration, it gives you a different level of courage that you may not have felt you had"https://t.co/Z4Zxv1IhOt— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) January 20, 2018
Argento was strongly criticised by many Italian media and Italian women for not speaking out earlier and was hounded on Twitter with accusations that she had sought trouble.
Last year’s march in Washington sparked debate over inclusion, with some transgender minority women complaining that the event seemed designed for white women born female. Some anti-abortion activists said the event did not welcome them.
Organisers for the Sunday rally are striving for greater inclusion this year, with Latina and transgender female speakers, said Carmen Perez, another co-chair of the 2017 Washington march. Women in the US illegally, sex workers and those formerly incarcerated are also welcome, she said.
Linda Sarsour, one of the four organisers of last year’s Washington march, said Las Vegas had been pinpointed for a major rally because it is a strategic swing state that gave Hillary Clinton a narrow win in the 2016 presidential election and will have one of the most competitive Senate races in 2018.