New York City joined cities around the country and world on January 21 in the Women's March for “liberty and justice for all” the organizers said in their guiding vision document. “We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. This is the basic and original tenet from which all our values stem,” says the organization’s document.
That document named a number of revolutionary women leaders who paved the way for this Women's March, including Native and indigenous women leaders like LaDonna Harris, Winona LaDuke, Wilma Mankiller, and Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores. The document also discusses the importance of gender, racial and economic justice.
“We must create a society in which all women—including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments,” it says.
Organizers of the New York City arm of the Women’s March expected around 100,000 people to attend. The event started at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, which has a capacity of 8,000, so they sent registered participants staggered start times based on last names. According to a Mayor de Blasio’s office, that number actually reached more than 400,000 marchers by the end of the night.
“The turnout is extraordinary,” 88-year-old Helen Evarts, a lifelong resident of the Upper East Side, told DNAInfo.com. “I’ve lived here all my life. I protested against the Vietnam War and it was nothing like this.”
The mood throughout the day at the Women's March was happy. Parents brought their children to march along with them. There were bands playing while marching along the route and protesters dancing while chanting things like “Love Trumps Hate.” In other chants, women said “My body, my choice,” and men replied “her body, her choice.”