- At least 2 million participating in nearly 700 women’s marches around the world inspired by Women’s March on Washington
- March on Washington expected to draw the largest gathering
- Demonstrators marching for social equality and human rights
- Organisers say protests are not “anti-Trump”
- Tens of thousands expected to attend March on London
- March on London starts outside US Embassy at noon and ends at Trafalgar square
LONDON — Over two million people are taking part in more than 600 marches around the world on Saturday, January 21, to promote human rights and equality issues, a day after Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States.
In London, tens of thousands of people plan to march starting at 12 p.m. GMT in front of the US Embassy. Our reporter Claudia Romeo will be live streaming the demonstration from the Business Insider UK Facebook page.
The London march and others are following the example of the Women’s March on Washington, which is expected to draw around 200,000 people. The event organisers — a retired attorney living in Hawaii and a Brooklyn fashion designer — say the march is pro-women as opposed to anti-Trump, according to The New Yorker. However, the rhetoric of the recent election cycle was a clear catalyst, according to the event’s mission statement. The idea came to fruition the night after Trump’s election.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” the statement reads.
The March on Washington has given rise to hundreds of “sister” marches around the world, including those in Sydney, Paris, and Tokyo. A global march tracker is being updated on The Washington March website.
Emma McNally, one of the eight organisers of the London march, told the BBC that Trump’s divisive campaign inspired the event in the English capital, but that its purpose was to raise awareness for broader social issues.
“I was feeling incredibly depressed — the news every day last year was so dark and I think there was a sense of powerlessness against fighting against the awful things happening in the world,” McNally told the BBC.
The BBC notes that British people are demonstrating on a number of issues, including the Brexit vote, the refugee crisis, and the proliferation of anti-immigrant hate groups. There are at least 14 protests planned throughout the UK.
“We will march, wherever we march, for the protection of our fundamental rights and for the safeguarding of freedoms threatened by recent political events,” the London event’s official Facebook page says.”We unite and stand together for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities.”
A Facebook page set up for the London march shows at least 33,000 people have indicated they are “going.”
The march will stretch for 2 miles from Mayfair to Trafalgar square, where it will end with a rally in the late afternoon. Visit this page for more information about logistics.