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Mass Mobilization Matters

Women with bright pink hats and signs begin to gather early and are set to make their voices heard on the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington. Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington expect more than 200,000 people to attend the gathering. Other protests are expected in other U.S. cities. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Really good piece by Anna North about the extraordinary women’s marches that took place this weekend:

“Follow the pussygates!”

The shouts came up from a crowd trying to make its way from Broadway to the official route of the 2018 women’s march along Central Park West in New York City on Saturday.

The pussygates in question were cutout gates decorated with images of cats, held aloft by marchers in a whimsical take on President Trump’s comments on the Access Hollywood tape released in 2016. Other marchers carried cutout eagles bearing the names of women running for office, like Veronica Escobar, running for Congress in Texas’s 16th district, and Audri Scott Williams, running in Alabama’s 2nd district. The signs were created by a group of artists called We Make America, said Tatjana Meyerowitz, who was helping to hold up one of the gates as it moved toward the march route.

Following the pussygates was no easy task. The street was packed with demonstrators, and making it to the march route a few blocks away was a slow proposition. With more than 120,000 protesters estimated in New York City on Saturday, and more around the world, it was clear that the appetite for change that inspired the women’s marches last year remains strong in 2018.

In the last year, the Women’s March has grown into a broad-based movement, advocating for causes from reproductive freedom to immigrants’ rights. It has also experienced divisions, as disagreements about ideology and strategy have led some activists to form their own groups. But what was most on display on Saturday was the endurance of marchers, many of whom had been in the streets a year ago too. Last January, some questioned whether the Women’s March organizers and those who followed their lead could sustain the energy they mustered in a single day for an entire presidency. So far, the answer seems to be yes.

I think this is right:

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