There’s no estimate for the number of people who took to the streets to march for women’s rights on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2016. Only one day after the Women’s March on Washington, the number in everyone’s mouth is million. At least one in the United States, but more than two million across the world; the Washington D.C. Metro system reports almost twice as much travel on Saturday than during Trump’s inauguration. There was even a protest in Antarctica. Across the U.S., in twenty-one major cities, only four people were arrested during the marches, and none in Washington, D.C., which speaks to the incredible successfulness of peaceful protest.
In New Orleans, an estimated ten thousand to fifteen thousand people marched, starting from Washington Square Park and spanned blocks of downtown. Pink pussyhatters, dogs, babies, and a group dressed in black that travelled with a jazz band and called themselves “The Jazz Funeral for Democracy” lent an atmosphere of celebration, playfulness, and hope to the march, but perhaps the best part was the disappearance of social barriers. Every age group, sexuality, race, and gender was well represented, chanting and singing things like “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the hate!” and “We don’t want your tiny hands anywhere near our underpants!” The vibe through the crowd was supportive and peaceful, but above all, exciting.
The Women’s Marches are a phenomenon that has rekindled the hope for change for many, many people across the globe. At this point, it is easy to say that anyone who does not believe in the power of protest has probably never been to one.