Women’s March, Like Many Before It, Struggles for Unity
Two Weeks out.
For those who believe Donald Trump’s election has further legitimized hatred and even violence, a “Women’s March on Washington” scheduled for January 21 offers an outlet to demonstrate mass solidarity across lines of race, religion, age, gender, national identity, and sexual orientation.
The idea of such a march first ricocheted across social media just hours after the TV networks called the election for Trump, when a grandmother in Hawaii suggested it to fellow Facebook friends on the private, pro-Hillary Clinton group page known as Pantsuit Nation. Millions of postings later, the D.C. march has mushroomed to include parallel events in 41 states and 21 cities outside the United States. An independent national organizing committee has stepped in to articulate a clear mission and take over logistics. And thousands of local organizations, many of them formed just in the last month, have already chartered buses to bring demonstrators to the National Mall region, where the march is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Independence Avenue and 3rd Street SW.
Despite its “Women’s March” moniker, the national organizing committee’s striking diversity signals an increasing emphasis on defending “human rights, dignity, and justice,” as the event’s official website states, by unifying across difference. The organizing committee includes four national co-chairwomen—Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, and Bob Bland—who are African American, Latina, Palestinian American, and white, and who all have extensive backgrounds as social justice organizers and professionals with local, national, and global experience.