Pink pussy hats and police were out in force Saturday for New York City’s Women’s March. Any concerns about diminished fervor for activism after a year of the Trump administration were quickly put to rest as the crowd stretched more than 20 blocks from the main stage near Columbus Circle and even spilled over to onto parallel streets.
The crowd was noisy but peaceful, full of kids and strollers and dogs and, of course, creative homemade signs. Capitalism was also alive and well with street vendors offering $10 t-shirts with slogans such as “Power to the Polls” and references to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements regarding sexual assault and harassment. The battle to renew the DACA program affecting children of undocumented immigrants and the CHIP children’s healthcare legislation were also well represented on signs and T-shirts and in impromptu chants.
Trump’s alleged remark about “s—hole countries” inspired many a protest sign. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Education Secretary Besty DeVos, and Vice President Mike Pence also came in for a drubbing. References to the importance of women voting in this year’s midterm elections — “Grab ‘Em By the Midterms” was a popular sentiment — were everywhere.
“IKEA has smarter cabinets,” read one sign.
“Let’s talk about the elephant in the womb,” read another, with an image of the GOP pachyderm. “This is what a stable genius looks like” read another, alongside an image of President Barack Obama.
One woman took the opportunity to voice her concern about the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules.
“I don’t think the government should regulate the Internet,” said Sally Beckett of Westchester County, who held a handmade sign that declared “Support Net Neutrality” in red and blue letters. “I think it’s dangerous territory.”
Wonder Woman, not surprisingly, was a source of inspiration for many marchers. Colin Kaepernick football jerseys were seen in the crowd. The phrase “Get Out” was superimposed on an image of the White House on a few signs, a nod to Jordan Peele’s hit horror movie. Oprah Winfrey could have easily recruited dozens foot soldiers for her rumored presidential run in the crowd, were she so inclined.
Faith Altman of Harlem had a sign with a message that resonated with Netflix subscribers: “This Episode of Black Mirror Sucks.” Altman said she’s a big fan of the spooky British anthology drama. She went to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. this time last year following Trump’s inauguration. She wasn’t going to let the one-year anniversary pass without exercising her lungs.
“I’m out here because we have a President who is a sex offender living in the White House,” Altman said. “I’m out here for solidarity. The D.C. Women’s March was one of the most powerful things that I have ever been a part of. We need to show that we are still just as angry and even more more frustrated with the situation after a year.”
Bunny Harvey, an artist who splits her time between Rhode Island, Vermont and Manhattan, brought the simple “Resist” sign that she made last year when she took part in many protests.
“Everything that’s wrong needs to be pointed to,” Harvey said. “It’s really important that we participate. It’s a way to explain to the world why we’re furious.”