New York – The shouts, “Follow the pussygates!” came up from a crowd, raising its voice again to demand equality for all humans, trying to make its way from Broadway to the official route of the 2018 women’s march along Central Park West in New York City on Saturday.
The pussygates in question were cutout gates decorated with images of cats, held aloft by marchers in a whimsical take on President Trump’s comments on the Access Hollywood tape released in 2016. Other marchers carried cutout eagles bearing the names of women running for office, like Veronica Escobar, running for Congress in Texas’s 16th district, and Audri Scott Williams, running in Alabama’s 2nd district. The signs were created by a group of artists called We Make America, said Tatjana Meyerowitz, who was helping to hold up one of the gates as it moved toward the march route.
Over the past year, basic rights for women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, the religious and nonreligious, people of color and even Mother Earth have struggled to survive under the weight of the current administration. America’s First Amendment has been challenged and healthcare for millions has been threatened. We must stand together to demand and defend our rights. Let your voice echo from the streets of New York City to the capital city. Show the world that red, white and blue are colors of tolerance.
The main entrance point was between at 72nd & Central Park West. The rally (starting at 11:30 A.M. EST) was at Central Park West & 61st/62nd street. The full block in front of the stage (61st to 62nd on Central Park West) was reserved for those with disabilities. The march (starting around 12:30 P.M. EST) going past Columbus Circle, East on 59th Street, and South on 6th Avenue with exits at 45th/44th/43rd streets. There were many after march activities (indoors) to choose from.
A huge crowd of about 400,000 people flooded Manhattan streets for the rally and march last year, which took place during the weekend of President Trump’s inauguration. Like last year’s march, people of all ages and genders came out, bearing signs ranging in tone from funny to informative to angry; popular topics included the #MeToo movement, the current government shutdown, Trump’s rumored fear of sharks, his “shithole” comment, and DACA. I passed a couple impromptu dance parties to Beyonce and Robyn songs along the route, as well as a few people in Handmaid costumes and a few elaborate pussy-inspired sculptures; the ubiquitous pink pussy hats also made a return, with many marchers sporting them. Check out pictures of the NYC Women’s March in the gallery above.
Besides NYC, Women’s Marches are also happening throughout the world this weekend. The main event this year, Women’s March Anniversary: Power To The Polls happens in Las Vegas, NV on Sunday (1/21), and it’s streaming live. Participants in the Las Vegas event include Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, and executive director of MoveOn.org Anna Galland.
For many present, marching on Saturday was a way to reënergize and to find strength and fortitude in the strength and fortitude of others, to let them hold me up now with the hope that someday, The New Yorker wrote. Feelings of solidarity aren’t inconsequential or fruitless. To minimize the power of that experience—to reduce protest to its quantifiable returns—feels both irresponsible and naïve. They started the March feeling hopeless and ended it feeling tougher, more present.
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