In a historic show of unity, more than 5 million people around the world took to the streets on January 21st, in peaceful demonstrations on all seven continents, launching a new movement for human rights, women’s rights and justice. Inspired by the Women’s March on Washington, which early estimates say more than 1 million attended, a wave of Sister Marches took shape last Saturday across times zones and oceans, and on every continent.
In the United States, Women’s Marches in hundreds of cities and small towns drew veteran organizers, first-time activists, mother-daughter pairs, and communities of all races, religions, genders and abilities in what was the largest day of peaceful demonstration in American history.
The march in Denver, Colorado originally expected around 40,000 supporters, but at last estimate was over 100,000. The Denver march attracted a diverse and generational crowd that rallied around the downtown Denver area closing several streets.
“This coordinated day of global action surpassed all of our expectations,” said Women’s March on Washington co-founder & co-chair Bob Bland. “Together, we demonstrated the capacity of women working together in unity to create transformational change.”
Bland also announced a 100-day action plan to catalyze the movement around important issues, from civil rights, to healthcare to environmental justice.
The “10 Actions for the First 100 Days” campaign will transform this diverse, organic movement into a powerful force for equality and justice, with practical goals. The campaign will announce the actions in rolling fashion and will include a range of timely and strategic activities — everything from helping participants build local action networks, to protecting the most vulnerable to working toward specific state and federal legislative agendas.
In Boston and Chicago, crowds were estimated at well over 200,000 each. In Los Angeles, there were 750,000 and approximately 600,000 in New York City; Seattle, 130,000 and 100,000 in Portland, Ore. and Madison, Wisc. Outside the U.S., tens of thousands marched in London, Sydney, Tokyo and places as remote as Antarctica.
Crowd estimates were submitted by the more than 673 Sister March organizers around the world to the Women’s March team.
“This is a new and important movement that wants to change the status quo,” said Sister March spokeswoman Yordanos Eyoel. “Not just for women, but for marginalized people everywhere.”