Women’s March on Washington

By Christine McKenna -- People from across the U.S. packed planes, trains and buses en route to Washington D.C. on January 21.

An estimated 500,000 people flooded the city for the Women's March on Washington.

Organizers of the event said it was a response to the election of Donald Trump, which "has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us."

Sister marches sprung up across the states and in other countries, with marches in London, Paris and Berlin.

Estimates put the total number at 673 marches worldwide, with about 5 million participants.

The D.C. event began with a rally at Independence Avenue and Third Street , not far from the U.S. Capitol.

March organizers, activists and celebrities energized the crowd. Performances and speeches featured many themes from the presidential race.

Ashley Judd gave an animated performance of a poem. "Our pussies ain’t for grabbing," she said. "Our pussies are for our pleasure. They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women."

Quite a few men marched as well.

Women's rights and civil rights were foremost on the agenda.

"We are the people," feminist icon Gloria Steinem told the crowd. "Just this march in Washington today required 1,000 more buses than the entire Inauguration."

Steinem said that she had spoken with a sister march in Berlin. "They asked me to send a special message: 'We in Berlin know that walls don't work.'"

Planned Parenthood was a partner organization. Its president, Cecile Richards, said that the organization could face cuts in funding but that "our doors stay open."

Madonna sang "Express Yourself" and did so herself. "It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f**k up," Madonna said. "It seems as though we all slipped into a false sense of comfort, that justice would prevail and that good would prevail in the end. Well, good did not win this election. But good will win in the end."

"I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim-American, unapologetically Palestinian-American, unapologetically from Brooklyn, New York," said march co-chair Linda Sarsour. "Sisters and brothers, you are what democracy looks like. Sisters and brothers, you are my hope for my community."

One participant had a slightly different message than most and provoked some marchers into arguments over reproductive rights.

Michael Moore referred to President Trump's inaugural address. "We are here to vow to end the Trump carnage!" he said. "The majority of Americans didn’t want Donald J. Trump in the White House and we’re here today as their representatives."

"To those of you who, for the first time, have felt the pain that my people have felt since they were brought with chains shackled to our legs, I say to you, 'Welcome to my world, welcome to our world'" said march National Co-chair Tamika D. Mallory.

Her fellow co-chair, Carmen Perez said, "Si no nos dejan soñar, no los vamos a dejar dormir. If they don't let us dream, we will not let you sleep."

Some marched for environmental causes. The Natural Resources Defense Council was also a partner organization.

“It’s been a heart-rending time to be both a woman and an immigrant in this country, " said actress America Ferrera, a daughter of Honduran immigrants. "But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin was a reoccurring theme.

Pink pussy hats were de rigueur at the march.

After the march, some protesters headed to the White House. While they were not able to get too close, many laid their signs against the barricades.

Others left their signs outside the Trump International Hotel.

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