After US marches, European women join call for change

Published 6:59 am Monday, January 22, 2018

LONDON — Thousands of people on two continents picked up the baton from the United States and rallied Sunday in solidarity with women demanding equality, justice and an end to sexual harassment.

Demonstrations in London, Paris, Sydney and other European and Australian cities followed much larger women’s marches held Saturday across the U.S. to mark the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as well as the protests it inspired.

In the British capital, demonstrators carried placards reading “We Are Powerful” and “Time’s Up” and chanted outside Prime Minister Theresa May’s office as they raised grievances ranging from workplace inequities to misogynistic abuse on social media.

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“Today is a call for action to bring about change,” London protest co-organizer Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said. “This is so much more than Trump.”

The London event drew thousands of people despite sleet and snow. Heavy rain fell on the protesters near the Eiffel Tower.

The international events come at a time of reckoning for many men in Hollywood, the media and other industries as women speak out about sexual misconduct and inequity in general. More were scheduled to take place in the United States on Sunday.

They will culminate in a Las Vegas rally that will launch an effort to register 1 million voters and target swing states in the U.S. midterm elections later this year, which could shift control of Congress.

Trump dismissed the suggestion that his presidency has been bad for women. He tweeted Saturday that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” of his first year in office.

“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!”

In Palm Beach, Florida, home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, several hundred people marched Saturday carrying anti-Trump signs. On Saturday, Oklahoma City protesters chanted, “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!”

The march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Nancy Pelosi  urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.