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Women’s March Focuses on Gender Equality & Minority Rights

NEW YORK, Jan 21 2018 (IPS) - The one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington was commemorated in mid-town Manhattan yesterday where thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of New York protesting the policies of the Trump administration—focusing specifically on gender empowerment, women’s rights, diversity, migrants, people of color, and gay and lesbian rights, in what is described as an increasingly polarized American society.

The slogans, which captured the political mood of the demonstrators, were strikingly feminist: “God is Coming & She is Pissed off”, “Equal Rights are Human Rights,” “Nasty Women Unite”, and “I will not Go Quietly”.

The marchers, spread over 20-25 blocks, were noisy but not unruly as hundreds of New York City police officers provided security, with demonstrators gathering at Central Park West. The march was organized by the Women’s March Alliance.

Katherine Siemionko, the founder of the Alliance and lead organizer of the New York City march, said: “Our goal is to unite people all over the world in the fight for human rights. Women’s March Alliance is honored to be one of the leaders in this effort and we’re excited – but not surprised – that New Yorkers have already come out and committed themselves to leading the effort”.

She said there will be marches happening all over the world on January 20th and 21st – and there will surely be another record-setting #weekendofwomen.”

Rosie Perez, actress and feminist activist, told the crowd: “We are going to keep the pressure on. Thank you to the women who came forward…who called out Mr. Weinstein and brought him down. We need to do the same for Trump.”

Last year’s protests were triggered by the election of Donald Trump as the 45th US President and took place on Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration. This year’s “weekend of women” is expected to include about 250 similar marches worldwide.

This is the second Women’s March in NYC. The first march last year drew an estimated 400,000 people.

The Alliance, which is independent from the Women’s March group in Washington D.C. march, is a nonprofit created in January 2017 and “whose mission is to raise women’s voices through education and activism.”  Besides the march, the group hosts educational workshops, training sessions, nonpartisan events, and festivals.

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