Women's March on Washington Drew More People Than Trump's Inauguration, Say Crowd Scientists
"We have to fight harder than we've ever fought before," Jalila Bell, a women's march attendee, told DiversityInc.
The Women's March on Washington, a grassroots women-led movement that rallied protesters of all genders and backgrounds on Saturday, attracted three times more people to the city than the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Crowd scientists Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still of Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain estimated 160,000 people were in the National Mall and vicinity in the hour leading up to Trump's speech on Friday.
Altenburg and Still also estimated that at about 2 p.m. Saturday, at least 470,000 people were at the women's march in Washington in the areas on and near the mall.
According to The New York Times, the scientists chose a period of time, 1:30-2:15 p.m., when the crowd was moving the least.
"Using aerial footage and photographs from various angles, the analysts isolated areas with an average density of 2.5 people per square meter, the same method used at Mr. Trump's inauguration the day before," the Times reports.
Though the estimates are not comprehensive counts, Altenburg and Still's findings are similar to reports by the Associated Press stating approximately 500,000 people attended the Women's March on Washington.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) tweeted Sunday that more than 1 million people rode the Metrorail on Saturday:
Metrorail ridership for Sat, Jan 21 = 1,001,616 #wmata
— Metro (@wmata) January 22, 2017
WMATA had its second-busiest traffic day, ever. Its busiest day was in 2009 — the inauguration day of former President Barack Obama — when ridership reached 1.1 million.
"The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." — George Orwell
Trump said of his inauguration crowd, "It looked honestly like a million and a half people, whatever it was, it was, but it went all the way back to the Washington Monument."
Late Saturday afternoon, in his first statement as Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer rebuked the news media for trying to "lessen the enthusiasm" for Trump's inauguration by reporting attendance numbers were lower than Obama's first inauguration. Spicer described the crowd for Trump as "the largest ever."
On Sunday Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, said Spicer gave "alternative facts" when discussing the crowd size.
Taking a stand on social justice and human rights issues ranging from race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration and health care was the platform of the women's march in Washington, and in cities across the country and across the globe. It's estimated that a total of more than 1 million people participated on Saturday.
#WhyIMarch: Women's March announced the list of speakers including Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem and Mothers of the Movement. Performers scheduled include Janelle Monáe and Maxwell.
Speakers in Washington included activists Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem.
"We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages," Davis said.
"Remember, the Constitution doesn't begin with, 'I, the president.' It begins with, 'We, the people,'" Steinem said.
Celebrity speakers included America Ferrera.
"If we — the millions of Americans who believe in common decency, in the greater good, in justice for all — if we fall into the trap by separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight and we will lose. But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance of saving the soul of our country," said Ferrera, who also chaired the event's Artists' Table.
The majority of attendees wore knitted, pink cat-eared "pussy" hats in support of the Pussyhat Project, protesting Trump's infamous 2005-recorded comments regarding women.
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Women's March released a list of 10 actions to complete in the next 100 days, in order to support the movement.
Attorney Jalila Bell, who is African American, came to Washington from New York to participate in the march.
"The next step for women is to continue to rise together, we have to unite and we have to fight," Bell told DiversityInc. "We have to fight harder than we've ever fought before."
New Yorker Blanka Redelick, an immigrant from Bolivia, said, "Right after this [women's march] I will continue in my community in spreading unity, more than anything."
See footage from the Women's March on Washington, and hear more about why Bell and Redelick decided to march:
Citizens "continue to suffer significant, and profoundly unequal, limitations on their ability to vote," said Catherine E. Lhamon, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights warns that voting rights for minorities around the country are in danger. The federal government isn't doing anything to counteract it, especially since Republicans have most to lose in key midterm elections.
A report, released on Wednesday, cited strict voter ID laws; closing polling places; cutting early voting; and voting roll purges and challenges to eligibility are all impacting minority-voting rights.
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