U.S. Marches For Women’s Rights, Slam Trump, Encourage Voting - Higher Education
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U.S. Marches For Women’s Rights, Slam Trump, Encourage Voting

by Associated Press

LOS ANGELES: Demonstrators from Los Angeles to New York marched in support of female empowerment and denounced President Donald Trump’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights and women’s rights on Saturday, the anniversary of his inauguration.

People marched in Casper, Wyo., and Cambridge, Mass., and in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Houston. In Park City, Utah, where the annual Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, actress Jane Fonda and nationally known attorney Gloria Allred joined the women’s march.

The march in Cleveland on an unseasonably warm and sunny winter day appeared largely united in opposition to Trump and the policies he’s pursued during his first year in the White House.

And about 10,000 people gathered for a rally in downtown Cincinnati, according to estimates by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

In Morristown, N.J., that state’s new first lady told a crowd she was a victim of sexual violence while attending college.

Tammy Murphy, the wife of Democrat Phil Murphy, said the attack occurred while she was a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She said she was walking along a path when a man grabbed her and pulled her into some bushes. She said the man tried to take her clothes off and put a crab apple in her mouth to silence her but she bit his hand and fled half-dressed to a nearby fraternity house, where students called police.

In Los Angeles, Eva Longoria, Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, Scarlett Johansson, Constance Wu, Adam Scott and Rob Reiner were among the celebrities who addressed a crowd of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.

Longoria, who starred in TV’s Desperate Housewives, told marchers their presence matters, “especially when those in power seem to have turned their backs on reason and justice.”

Woodard urged everyone to register and vote, saying, “the 2018 midterms start now.”

The 2017 rally in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of similar marches created solidarity for those opposing Trump’s views, words and actions. Millions of people around the world marched during last year’s rallies, and many on Saturday talked about the news avalanche of politics and gender issues in the past year.

Critics of the weekend’s marches said they were really a protest against Trump. More rallies were planned at other cities on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday tweeted that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” that’s happened during his first year in office.

“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,” the Republican wrote. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

Trump’s main opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said the Women’s March last year was “a beacon of hope and defiance.”

“In 2018, it is a testament to the power and resilience of women everywhere,” she tweeted, urging people to show that power at the voting booth this year.

Demonstrators on Saturday denounced Trump’s views with colorful signs and even saltier language.

Oklahoma City protesters chanted, “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” One woman donned a T-shirt with the likeness of social justice icon Woody Guthrie, who wrote “This Land Is Your Land.”

In Palm Beach, Fla., home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, several hundred people gathered carrying anti-Trump signs before marching. 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.

The march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday took on the feel of a political rally when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.

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