Protesters pack cities across North America
(Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of women, supported by a smaller number of men, gathered in cities across North America on Saturday to march in opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump the day after the maverick Republican took office.
Here is a look at how the crowds of protesters, many wearing the marches’ signature pink hats, shaped up in some of the largest cities in North America:
Organizers of the march in the nation’s capital had told police they expected 200,000 people to attend, but reporters covering the event said it appeared bigger than that, with a dense crowd stretching for about a mile (1.6 km) through the heart of the capital.
Crowds pushed the Metro subway system to its limits, with some end-of-line stations temporarily turning away riders when parking lots filled and platforms became too crowded.
Speakers included the feminist writer Gloria Steinem and some of the country’s biggest celebrities were in attendance, including actress Scarlett Johansson and pop singer Madonna. John Kerry, who served as Barack Obama’s secretary of state until this week, walked his dog alongside marchers on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Los Angeles police told the L.A. Times that the crowd might have been around 500,000, which would make it the city’s largest protest in a decade. People packed into six blocks running up to City Hall and an overflow crowd spilled onto other streets in downtown L.A.
Singer Miley Cyrus and Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the dozens of Hollywood celebrities and dignitaries, many of whom marched behind a vanguard of women motorcyclists clad in black leather.
“I’m here because I believe the future of our country demands participation at a level we have let slide for too long,” said Kristy Peterson, a 37-year-old educational consultant who wore an American flag like a cape and a pink hat knitted by her mother.
NEW YORK CITY
Tens of thousands of people filled midtown Manhattan, marching from the United Nations headquarters along 42nd Street and up Fifth Avenue to Trump Tower, the president’s residence and business headquarters before he moved to the White House. Police declined to estimate the crowd size.
“I’m heartened by the turnout and all the sister marches across the world,” Megan Schulz, a 42-year-old director of communications from Brooklyn, said. “I think it’s a beautiful thing.”
Police said between 125,000 and 150,000 marchers gathered on an unseasonably warm day in Grant Park, the site of Barack Obama’s victory rally in 2008 after he won the presidential election that year. Speakers included Muslim leaders and activists for immigrant and transgender rights. Officials closed access to the park once it became full and organizers suspended a planned march through the city’s downtown area because of the crowd’s size, though some marched on anyway.
“We just can’t stand by and let him work his negative ways on this county,” Constance Cameron, a 68-year-old high-school English teacher, said.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the best-known figures of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing, joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Senator Edward Markey at Boston Common.
“We are here, we will not be silent, we will not play dead, we will fight for what we believe in,” Warren told a crowd estimated at 120,000 to 125,000 people, according to CNN, which cited a senior police official.
A peaceful crowd of marchers headed to City Hall of the Canadian city and onwards to the U.S. consulate building, with a police supervisor estimating that between 10,000 and 13,000 people were in attendance. An all-female list of speakers included a city councilor, union representative and indigenous elders and activists, while an effigy of Trump was left in battered shape by a group of school-age girls.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York, Alastair Sharp in Toronto, Timothy McLaughlin in Chicago, Lisa Girion in Los Angeles, Emily Stephenson in Washington; Editing by Frank McGurty and Mary Milliken)