Wednesday 20 February 2019

Trump hails ‘perfect day’ for women’s demo as protesters march against him

Thousands of people are taking part in marches across the world.

Texas Handmaids lead a women’s march to the Texas State Capitol (AP)
Texas Handmaids lead a women’s march to the Texas State Capitol (AP)

By Verena Dobnik and Tamara Lush

US president Donald Trump tweeted that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” of his first year in office — while women across America rallied against him and his policies.

Mr Trump wrote: “Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

However, people participating in rallies and marches in the US and around the world denounced Mr Trump’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights, women’s rights and more.

Protesters take part in the Women’s March at the Lincoln Memorial (AP)

The march in Washington, DC, on Saturday had the feel of a political rally when US senator Kirsten Gillibrand and US congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Mr Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.

“We march, we run, we vote, we win,” Ms Pelosi said, to applause.

Thousands of people turned out for the rally at Lincoln Memorial and a march from the National Mall to Lafayette Park. It was one of many around the US and the world in support of female empowerment.

Thousands of people gathered in Cleveland, Richmond, Virginia, Philadelphia, New York, Austin, Texas, and elsewhere.

In Palm Beach, Florida, home to Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, several hundred people gathered carrying anti-Trump signs as they prepared to march.

Across the globe, people hit the streets on the anniversary of Mr Trump’s inauguration, marching against his policies and in support of the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment.

In Palm Beach, a group of women wearing red cloaks and white hats like the characters in the book and TV show The Handmaid’s Tale marched in formation, their heads bowed.

In Los Angeles, organisers predicted thousands of people, including state officials and celebrities, would march to City Hall.

Activists in New York said the march was important because basic rights for women, immigrants and others are under attack.

In Chicago, thousands of people gathered in Grant Park. Fawzia Mirza drew cheers from the crowd as she kicked off the event with a reference to the partial government shutdown, which began hours earlier.

“When the government shuts down, women still march,” she said.

Marchers hit the streets in Cincinatti (AP)

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. She spoke up about the criticism she received after revealing her own experiences of abuse.

The 2017 rally in Washington, DC, and hundreds of similar marches created solidarity for those denouncing Trump’s views on abortion, immigration, LGBT rights and more. Millions of people around the world marched during last year’s rallies, and many on Saturday thought about all that has happened in the past year.

The Republican president delivered new support to the anti-abortion movement he once opposed, speaking by video to thousands of activists at the annual March for Life on Friday.

Among the goals of this year’s march are getting more Democrats to run for public office and bolstering voter registration.

Press Association

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