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    Published On : Sat, Jan 21st, 2017

    Why over a million women will march in Washington D.C. today? And why will millions round the world join them?


    Washington:
    Indian born Aarthi Muthukrishnan, who moved to the US less than 2 decades ago, will be one of the 2 million women- and men – who will march in Washington D.C. today for the rights of women in U.S. and world over.

    As she writes in her facebook blog:

    “I am going to wake up at 2 am and prepare to board a bus to DC to march among thousands of like minded men and women in this country. I never imagined doing this especially in a country that I wasn’t born into. And I can only think of one person who inspired me on this journey. Thank you President Obama. Your legacy is more than what you achieved during the 8 years in office. The seeds that you sowed will become little shoots that will thrive in the next four years. Hope and Change. It is what we will be thriving on.”

    Aarthi is not alone. Flights full of women are marking their way to the national capital for the Women’s March on Washington.

    On social media Friday, many people tweeted photos of airplanes predominantly filled with women on their way to D.C.

    Why this ‘Women’s march’ today?
    The Women’s march will take to the streets of DC this weekend to call on the American people to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights.”

    With more than 200,000 people expected to attend, it’s set to be the largest US presidential inauguration demonstration in history. That’s larger than both Vietnam War-related protests at Richard Nixon’s inaugurations in the 1969 and 1973.

    Official Women’s March “Unity Principles” include ending violence and ensuring reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice. Feminist icon Gloria Steinem and singer Harry Belafonte, both honorary co-chairs of the event, will be present at the DC march.

    But the rallying cry that “women’s rights are human rights,” coined by Hillary Clinton in the 1990s, won’t just be heard throughout the streets of the nation’s capital this weekend. The Women’s March has gone global.

    As the organizers talk about their objectives for the march:

    “Our liberation is bound in each other’s. The Women’s March on Washington includes leaders of organizations and communities that have been building the foundation for social progress for generations. We welcome vibrant collaboration and honor the legacy of the movements before us – the suffragists and abolitionists, the Civil Rights Movement, the feminist movement, the American Indian Movement, Occupy Wall Street, Marriage Equality, Black Lives Matter, and more – by employing a decentralized, leader-full structure and focusing on an ambitious, fundamental and comprehensive agenda.

    March planned on November 9th
    Organizers initiated plans for the march on November 9, 2016, the day after Election Day when Trump emerged winner. Founders organized the march in reaction to Trump’s rhetoric during his campaigns, which they found divisive, racist, and misogynistic.

    Teresa Shook of Hawaii created a Facebook event and invited 40 of her friends to march on Washington to protest Trump’s election. Similar Facebook pages created by other women like Evvie Harmon, Fontaine Pearson, Breanne Butler, and others quickly led to thousands of women signing up to march.

    When and where ?
    The rally before the march starts at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, and it is planned to end at 1:15 p.m.

    The rally will start at Third Street and Independent Avenue Southwest in Washington, not far from Capitol Hill, the U.S. Botanic garden and the National museum of the American Indian. The nearest Metro station is Federal Center, which is on the system’s Blue, Orange and Silver lines.


    Many buses are going to be coloured pink to bring women to the march.

    Many artists, writers, actors will address the large gathering or perform. Some of the speakers are :

    Cecile Richards, Erika Andiola, Ilyasah Shabazz, J. Bob Alotta, Janet Mock, LaDonna Harris, Maryum Ali, Melanie Campbell, Rabbi Sharon Brous, Rhea Suh, Sister Simone Campbell, Sophie Cruz, and Zahra Billoo, America Ferrera, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa Harris-Perry and Michael Moore.

    Who is going to perform?
    Singer Janelle Monáe, fresh from her role in the hit movie Hidden Figures;, Maxwell,Angelique Kidjo, Toshi Reagon, Samantha Ronson, Emily Wells, DJ Rekha, MC Lyte, St. Beauty, Beverly Bond, Alia Sharrief, DJ Rimarkable, Amber Coffman, the Indigo Girls, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Climbing PoeTree.

    What they say about Trump?
    Honorary co-chair Gloria Steinmein, well known feminist and author commented, “Our constitution does not begin with ‘I, the President.’ It begins with, ‘We, the People.’ I am proud to be one of thousands who have come to Washington to make clear that we will keep working for a democracy in which we are linked as human beings, not ranked by race or gender or class or any other label.

    Michael Moore , award winning American Documentary maker,who plans to attend the event, said: “It’s important that everybody go there. This will have an effect. We have to throw everything at this. This man is slightly unhinged, if I can say that, and he’s a malignant narcissist. He’s going to be very upset if there’s a lot of people there.”

    Sister marches round the world
    Thousands of protesters in Australia and New Zealand today joined the first of hundreds of womens’ marches organised around the world in a show of disapproval of US President Donald Trump as he began his first day in office.

    There are going to be similar protests all across the globe – in Europe, Asia, middle east everywhere!

    As of this moment, there are some 600 sister marches scheduled to happen in more than 75 countries around the world this weekend — with some already underway. Activists will march in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, South Korea, Colombia, Iceland and elsewhere. There are well over 2 million people predicted to participate.

     

    —Sunita Mudaliar (Associate Editor)


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