Over 200,000 people are expected to gather in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for the Women's March on Washington, while more than a million people will be marching in cities around the world in a display of unity.
For those who can't make it to Washington, Sister Marches are being organized in every state throughout the country, as well as internationally. There are marches scheduled in multiple South American, European, Asian and African countries, and even some in the Middle East.
Some protests were already underway Friday, as Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. According to AFP, police arrested more than 90 people involved in protests against the inauguration.
Despite the protests and planned marches, President Trump called for unity during his first speech as president, saying, "We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable."
On Saturday, plenty of people indeed plan to broadcast their disagreements through the marches, which began as a grassroots movement for a D.C.-based event in the wake of Trump's election. The idea has since become viral.
"A lot of us will not be able make it to D.C. but we can march in our communities, cities and towns in in solidarity with communities most affected by the hate, intolerance and acts of violence being perpetrated throughout the nation," Sister March spokesperson Yordanos Eyoel, an associate partner at venture philanthropy fund New Profit and the founder of Immigrants for America, told Seeker.
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Eyoel describes the Women's March and the Sister Marches as a tool for defending vulnerable communities.
"The sister marches are making this [solidarity] possible and creating space for everyone, especially those who have been politically disconnected, to have a platform and a community," she said.
The Women's March on Washington has a diverse lineup of speakers, including feminist Gloria Steinem and activist actors like America Ferrera and Scarlett Johansen, as well as Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Immigrant Rights Activist Sophie Cruz, and Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin.
Each Sister March has its own agenda of speakers who will address equality-in-taiwan-gay-pride-parade-2070253936.html">human rights and equality on a local level and will discuss the crucial issues affecting the communities in their city.
In San Francisco, Maria de Lourdes Reboyoso, a grassroots fundraising coordinator for Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) will speak about maintaining the rights of the city's diverse immigrant communities.
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In Chicago, Eva Lewis, Maxine Aguilar, Maxine Wint, and Yahair Tarr of Youth For Black Lives will address the importance of reducing officer-involved shootings in the city and police accountability.
Eyoel and all of the Sister March organizers are hoping to get the attention of U.S. leaders.
"We aim to send a bold message to our leaders, both at the local and national levels, that the United States of America stands for values of human decency, equal rights and freedom from discrimination," she said. "[We want to] amplify our message of unity, solidarity, and inclusivity."
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