Women’s Marches Planned for all 50 States and More Than 40 Other Global Cities Grassroots Efforts from Sydney to Atlanta Could Top 1 Million Participants Organizing for Freedom and Democracy for All
BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2017 – The Women’s March on Washington has inspired nearly 300 other ‘sister marches’ to take place on Jan. 21. All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march on that day, as well as 55 global cities on six continents, from Tokyo to Sydney, Kenya to Paris to Bogotá.
“This is an unprecedented, organic and viral grassroots global movement that is growing everyday. More than 500,000 people have already committed to march all over the country and the world in just a matter of weeks,” said Boston-based national sister march spokeswoman Yordanos Eyoel, who became a U.S. citizen last fall. “The aggregate turnout has the potential to exceed 1 million marchers. What makes this movement even more special is that people who have never been politically active before are now mobilizing.”
While each person may have their own reasons for marching, the mission is to bring people together to take a stand on issues that deeply impact all of us. The marches will seek to reaffirm the core American values of freedom and democracy for all at a time when many fear that their voices will be lost, specifically related to women’s rights, immigrant rights, worker rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, environmental rights, rights for all races, and religious freedom.
Spearheaded by first time-organizers and seasoned activists, the marches are bringing together people of all backgrounds, races, religions, gender identities, ages and abilities, as well as communities of immigrants. While led by women, all are welcome to attend the marches. More than 300,000 people have signed up on Facebook to attend a local march, in addition to approximately 200,000 who have said they will attend the Women’s March on Washington.
Each march will have its own program, from music and speeches to a rally at a suffragist’s grave in upstate New York, to a verbal “human mosaic” of people in Napa Valley sharing their vision for the future. In Maui, the march will begin with a moment of silence followed by a Hawaiian blessing. In Birmingham, Ala., marchers will gather at the 16th Baptist Church, an iconic civil rights site. In Berlin, the march, to be held Jan. 20, will end at the Brandenburg Gate.
“We need to stand united in the fight for justice and recognition of our shared humanity,” said Little Rock, Ark.’s sister march organizer and Be the Change Alliance founder Gwendolynn Combs, who has never been politically active before now. “The Women’s March for Arkansas strives to build that momentum by uniting, educating, and empowering new activists, exposing them to new ideas, and providing direction while connecting them to advocacy organizations.”
The cities with the largest number of march registrants so far include Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, New York, Austin and Minneapolis/St. Paul. But even marches in small and non-coastal cities are gaining momentum as well, in places such as Topeka, Nashville, Des Moines, Oklahoma City, Columbus, and Phoenix.
“We’re excited that women across the nation and the world are organizing to stand together in solidarity. Our unity will send a strong and clear message that women and our allies will protect our rights, our health, our safety and our communities,” said Bob Bland, a co-chair of Women’s March on Washington. “These sister marches show a powerful and inclusive movement, which is just as crucial as the thousands who will travel to D.C.”