If you think political protests are mere haphazardly hatched small affairs coordinated by a bunch of hippies and virtually over before they’ve begun, the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday is going to change that mindset. Like, FULL-ON change.
Hundreds of thousands of people (estimates are over 200,000 already) are expected to rally in Washington DC on Saturday, 24 hours after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, and the protest event is looking bigger than the inauguration itself.
Guest speakers and participants who will cut a swath across such issues as racial injustice, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQI rights and eco issues include Cher, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, Chelsea Handler, America Ferrera, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Michael Moore and Maryum Ali – to name just a few.
Support for the event is already being backed big-time by some of the world’s biggest known artistic names including Madonna and Beyoncé while actually performing at the event will be Janelle Monáe, Maxwell, Angelique Kidjo, Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
In a personal Facebook post yesterday, Beyoncé encouraged women all over the world to “raise our voices” and make them heard. “Together with Chime for Change [a global campaign to empower women and young girls], we raise our voices as mothers, as artists, and as activists. As #GlobalCitizens, we can make our voices heard and turn awareness into meaningful action and positive change. #WomensMarch,” she wrote.
To give you an idea of how much more serious an event this is being perceived as compared to Trump’s inauguration, here are a couple of stats in numbers, thanks to Rolling Stone magazine:
26: The number of groups that, as of early January, had applied for permits to protest the inauguration.
200: The number of buses that have applied for Trump inauguration parking permits, compared to 3,000 for Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
1,200: The number of buses that have applied for parking permits for the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.
200,000: The number of demonstrators who are expected to attend the Washington women’s march. Joined by many thousands of others at hundreds of sister marches worldwide, it’s expected to be the biggest protest tied to an inauguration in U.S. history.
65 and counting: The number of Congress members who are boycotting the inauguration.
$110 million: The amount of tax-payer money that will be spent to cover the inauguration event’s full $200 million price tag.
$1 million: The cost of the most expensive inaugural ticket package, which includes access to the swearing in, an inaugural ball, a concert, a fireworks show, a parade and “an intimate dinner with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Mrs. Karen Pence”.
44 percent: Trump’s favourability rating among American voters going into the inauguration – the lowest on record.
Trump and his lackies may today be scoffing down Maine lobster and Gulf shrimp, Virginia beef and chocolate soufflé (doused with expensive champagne, no doubt), but tomorrow they’re sure to be sensing more than a little hungover and queasy over where the genuine popularity lies. Antonino Tati
The Women’s March on Washington will commence at 1:15 pm (US time) this Saturday at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Southwest Third Street, Washington, DC (that’s right near the US Capitol).