At 12:00 on Saturday 21st January 470,000 men, women and children protested in protection of women’s rights and equality but it wasn’t just a protest that mattered to women but to everyone else as well.
It wasn’t just in Washington that marches took place, in Los Angeles over a half a million people took to the streets to peacefully stand by and stand up for equality and the equal rights of women the world over.
This wasn’t just an American only movement however; across Europe and Africa marches took place in a call for equality and protection of women’s rights and equality for both genders. One-hundred thousand people marched to Trafalgar Square in London, with similar figures reported in France and Germany too as people of all nationalities and backgrounds took the streets in the name of equality and disgust at America’s latest President. A President whose staff were already twisting the truth as it stared the rest of us in the face…
Sean Spicer is the new Press Secretary and in his first encounter with the world’s press, he gave a briefing that wouldn’t look out of place in Pyongyang. Spicer claimed that photographs of the inauguration were placed at angles that misrepresented the number of attendees compared to Obama’s Inauguration.
Never before though has the media had to deal with such an eviscerating attack by a new administration and never before has it been faced with a Populist President and Administration that seem so brittle and reactionary to criticism.
Never before however has a march, started by just a dozen women who met each other online a few months ago captured the imagination of all as this one has. Never before has a protest march been enacted, almost simultaneously, on three continents in one day for one reason, to protect the equal rights of women at the start of an era where they will be challenged.
American politics and American society finds itself on a strange journey of which the end destination is far from clear, making it even harder for journalists, who are trying to calculate and react to an outcome, what ever that may be and even harder for the average person try to live a life in an ever challenging society and climate.
That is why movements like the Women’s March this weekend are so important. They remind us that the world isn’t going to stay the same and rights aren’t guaranteed, they remind us that there is still many ways we can improve society and nothing is secure. If you do not fight, stand and march for those rights and liberties, they can quite easily vanish into history.
However, it also reminds us that it is people and the power of the people coming together as one that in-acts change. Although some may see Donald Trumps ascendence as a negative, take solace in the fact that this weekend has proved that the beating heart of the people is still very much alive.