Turnout at President Trump's inauguration may have been lackluster, but the same could not be said for the Women's March on Washington and its hundreds of connected events across the world on Saturday. Millions of people, mostly women, took to the streets on every continent - including Antarctica – to protest, at least in part, Trump's hostility to women and minorities and demand recognition of these groups' rights.
Film producer and screenwriter Kerry Fleming managed to get some aerial footage of the march to show just how large the crowd was:
"Welcome to your first day, we will never go away," chanted some of the hundreds of thousands of protestors in Washington as night fell. Wearing knit pink "pussy hats" in a nod to misogynistic comments once made by President Trump, the lead event drew some 500,000 participants in the US capital alone.
Trump mum on protests
President Trump has not made a comment on the protests, though he had to drive past some of the demonstrators on his goodwill visit to CIA headquarters in northern Virginia. Despite previously comparing the intelligence agency to "Nazi Germany," he told officials there on Saturday that he was behind them "one thousand percent." He then went on to blast the media for reporting on the low turnout at his inauguration festivities.
Although no one from the Trump administration commented on the global outpouring, the son of the president's national security advisor, Michael Flynn, mockingly suggested on Twitter that the women were marching because they wanted free manicures. Michael Flynn Jr. claimed that women "already have equal rights," and inaccurately stated that they have equal pay as well.
With sister marches planned as far afield as Cape Town, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, to name just a few, no less than six solidarity events played out across Germany – in Bonn, Heidelberg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. Where German politicians either offered muted reactions or heavy criticism for President Trump during his inauguration, Germans came out in droves to show their support for Americans demanding consideration from their leaders.
Thousands came out in Frankfurt alone, where DW's Mara Bierbach reported that women were protesting for myriad reasons - partly due to Trump's approach to women and minorities - but also for how these groups are oppressed by power structures across the world.
One participant at the Frankfurt march told Bierbach that people across the world needed to be vigilant towards right-wing populism in general. Not an unfounded fear, as National Front leader Marine Le Pen is polling strongly ahead of upcoming French presidential elections, as well as Germany's nationalistic Alternative for Germany (AfD) party looking set to enter parliament for the first time in September.
The comment was especially relevant as far-right leaders from across Europe met in the German city of Koblenz on Saturday to promote, among other things, patriotism - a key feature of Trump's inaugural address.
As darkness settled over Washington, protestors refused to be deterred and continued their demonstration. According to local police, despite the massive numbers of people, the day had been a completely peaceful one. Compared to the 200 arrests made on Friday after scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police during the inauguration, no one was detained at Saturday's event.
(This article was first published by DW. You can read the original article here.)