Over the past weekend, millions of protesters took to the streets of cities in the United States and around the world to rally against the new US President Donald Trump.
Larger numbers of demonstrators than expected turned out for the more than 600 rallies that were held worldwide. The aim was principally to highlight omen’s rights, which activists believe to be under threat from the new administration.
The biggest rally held in the US was in the capital Washington, where city officials estimated that more than 500,000 people attended the protest. This figure far exceeded the 200,000 that had been originally expected by organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. By most estimates, it also surpassed the crowd at Friday’s presidential inauguration. The protesters in the nation’s capital heard speeches from actresses Scarlet Johansson, America Ferrera, as well as from Ashley Judd, Gloria Steinem and Michale Moore, amongst others. A planned march to the White House proved impossible as the entire route was filled with demonstrators.
Large crowds were also reported at other US protests. So many turned out in Chicago – some 150,000 – that a planned march had to called off and the event declared a rally. Streets were also overflowing in Los Angeles. Huge crowds were also reported in New York, Seattle, Boston and Miami, some of the venues for about 300 nationwide protests.
Globally, protests were also held. Organizers of a London rally stated that between 80,000 and 100,000 people had taken part there. Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol were amongst the other UK cities that held protests. Anti-Trump marches took place earlier in Australia, New Zealand and in several Asian cities. Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva, Budapest, Prague, Paris and Berlin were among the European cities that took part.
Meanwhile, President Trump used his first full day in office to visit the CIA’s headquarters, where he said that he was “1,000%” behind the spy agency’s employees. He began the day with an inter-faith service at Washington National Cathedral before arriving at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. During the election campaign, Mr Trump had sharply criticized the intelligence agencies over their stance on alleged Russian involvement in the presidential election. He also accused the media of being dishonest in its reporting of the size of the crowd at his inauguration on 20 January. The newly sworn in president however did not refer to Saturday’s protests.
The president’s team has also been quick to overhaul the White House website, with the revamp replacing Barack Obama’s policies with Mr Trump’s new agenda. The new administration lists only six issues on the website: energy, foreign police, jobs and growth, military, law enforcement and trade deals. Critics have complained that it made no mention of civil rights, healthcare, climate change or LGBT rights.