Before the sun rose Saturday over Washington, pink hats and poster-board signs already were emerging around world.
The second iteration of the Women's March began in cities such as Rome, where crowds raucously rallied on a clear, sunny morning. From Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Denver to Dallas, from California to the Carolinas, hundreds of thousands of activists once again took to the streets to protest the policies and presidency of Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday tweeted that it was a "perfect day" for women to march to celebrate the "economic success and wealth creation" that's happened during his first year in office -- while women across the nation rallied against him and his policies.
"Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months," the Republican wrote. "Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!"
Saturday's march made clear how a movement that began as a protest has evolved. A year of the Trump presidency, coupled with the galvanizing experience of the #MeToo movement, has made activists eager to leave a mark on the country's political system. A key component of Saturday's demonstrations was an effort to harness the enthusiasm behind the Women's March and translate that into political sway at the polls this fall.
"Last year it was about hope. This year it's about strength," said Diane Costello, 67, a retired teacher and member of Moms Against Violence, a group that advocates for gun control, said as she marched through Manhattan.
"2018 is going to be a great year to get more progressive people elected," said Julie Biel-Claussen, 59, executive director of the McHenry Housing Authority in northwest Illinois, as she marched through a chilly Chicago morning.
Outside Washington, one of the biggest demonstrations unfolded in New York.
Hundreds of protesters streamed out of the subway stop at Broadway and West 72nd Street, heading toward the march route along Central Park West. The atmosphere was festive, with people chanting, "This is what democracy looks like!" Hawkers sold knitted pink hats with cat ears, #metoo buttons and American flags.
Deanna Santana, 60, of Hamden, Conn., a veteran and retired professional in children's services, said she attended this year's march to voice her support for immigrants and the right to health care.
"My family is half Mexican and half Puerto Rican, and I recently lost my husband to cancer," she said. "I'm doing this for him."
Although many protesters were returning for a second year, many were at the New York for the first time.
Madeleine Greenberg, an 18-year-old from Newport Beach, Calif., went to the march with her three roommates from New York University. She couldn't make it last year because she had high school exams. She said that as excited as she was to join the march, she's just as excited to vote in November.
"It's really important for people to recognize that every election matters, not just the big presidential election," Greenberg said. "I wasn't able to vote in the last election, so this will be the first election I'll be able to vote."
Across the river in Morristown, N.J., a line of charter tour buses unloaded marchers behind City Hall, an overflow crowd that Police Chief Peter Demnitz estimated had reached 15,000 by 11:30 a.m., along with some counterprotesters.
New Jersey's new first lady told the crowd there that she was a victim of sexual violence while attending college.
Tammy Murphy, the wife of Democrat Phil Murphy, said the attack occurred while she was a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She said she was walking along a path when a man grabbed her and pulled her into some bushes. She said the man tried to take her clothes off and put a crab apple in her mouth to silence her but she bit his hand and fled half-dressed to a nearby fraternity house, where students called police.
By late morning, crowds in Chicago stretched from Jackson Street two blocks south to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park as well as clogged Congress Parkway to Michigan Avenue. Organizers claimed to have eclipsed the 250,000 marchers from last year, despite only 40,000 signing up online.
For some young people, the march was less about politics and more about the normalization of sexual harassment and the mistreatment of women during the Trump presidency.
Jane Bailey, a 15-year-old from the suburb of Indian Head Park, was marching because she said her rights have been threatened. She and her friends said that since Trump was elected, boys at their high school have become more emboldened to bully girls online. "It really made me angry and want to fight," she said.
Members of the group Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Seattle burned sage and chanted in front of Seattle's rainy march.
The march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday took on the feel of a political rally when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans' agenda.
"We march, we run, we vote, we win," Pelosi said, to applause.
Tens of thousands of them marched in cities up and down the West Coast. Actress Viola Davis addressed members of the Los Angeles crowd, many of whom carried signs like "Real news, fake president." In Park City, Utah, where the annual Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, actress Jane Fonda and nationally known attorney Gloria Allred joined the women's march.
Information for this article was contributed by Vera Haller, Mark Guarino, Brady Dennis, Diana Crandall and Pamela Babcock of The Washington Post; and by Verena Dobnik and Tamara Lush of The Associated Press.
A Section on 01/21/2018
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