For the third year in a row, demonstrators are marching in the nation’s capital and cities around the country for the Woman’s March.
In Washington, D.C., crowds of women wearing pink hats are marching from Freedom Plaza, advocating for women, immigrants and LGBTQ people. They’re taking to the streets just weeks after a record number of women was sworn into Congress.
Marches are taking place nation-wide from New York to San Francisco, to Dallas, Philadelphia and Portland, Maine. Crowds in Montpelier, Vt., are braving temperatures well below freezing. In Seneca Falls, N.Y., the seat of the first women’s convention in the 19th century, marchers in big coats are trudging through falling snow.
The protest movement, which began in 2017, still embodies many of the same ideas. But the message this year has been somewhat diluted by controversy among the leaders of the march.
Ties between Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the march, and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, have caused disagreement in the top ranks of the organization because of Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism. The Nation of Islam is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Women’s March has denounced anti-Semitism.
The Democratic National Committee dropped its sponsorship of the march, as did the National Organization for Women, NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben reports from Freedom Plaza in D.C. And the controversy has led some women to stay home.
Marchers in D.C. gathered in Freedom Plaza, unlike the previous two marches, which had taken place on the National Mall. But the march resembles previous years, as demonstrators raise signs about LGBTQ rights, #BlackLivesMatter and immigration, as well as a myriad of posters referencing President Trump.
— Sarah McCammon (@sarahmccammon) January 19, 2019
Representative Lucy McBath, recently elected in Georgia, is the only lawmaker expected to speak at the march in Washington.