Activists jointed together across the country on January 19, 2019, as people from all walks of life marked the third annual Women’s March. Thousands of people across the United States are taking part in the Women’s March this weekend. The keynote event is in Washington, D.C., but sister marches are taking place in about 300 cities around the country. Despite the controversy that led to a number of sponsors leaving the Women’s March and the cancelation of other local marches, the event still enjoyed a large turnout today. However, it does look like the turnout is less than in the previous years, according to people attending the events, which was probably due to a mix of factors, including recent controversies, bad weather in some states, and protest fatigue from numerous events over the last few years. This year, many posted their stories with the hashtag #WomensWave.
Just how many people are attending? The numbers are still coming in, and this story will be updated as more details are known. But this is a summary of what we know so far. To look back at what happened in 2018, see Heavy’s story here.
The crowd for the main event in Washington, D.C. was noticeably smaller than the last two years. Participants said the crowd was energetic, despite being smaller. An exact estimate wasn’t available, but a National Park Service permit indicated that organizers expected about 10,000 people to show up in D.C., The New York Times reported.
The turnout was still significant, however. Here’s a timelapse from today:
Although crowd estimates weren’t available, marchers did tell The New York Times that the turnout this year was “definitely smaller” than 2017 or 2018. One marcher, Peggy Baron, said, “I’m disappointed. It’s definitely not the turnout I was looking for.” The first march in 2017, she said, was “wall-to-wall women.”
Another sign of a smaller turnout could be seen in the Metro’s plans for DC. In 2017, the Metro saw one million riders. This year, the Metro wasn’t planning for extra riders and planned to operate their normal Saturday service, they told The New York Times.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
In Atlantic City, New Jersey, about 1,000 people were estimated to have attended today’s Women’s March event.
Bad weather may have decreased the numbers at the Atlanta Women’s March, but a sizeable crowd of dedicated activists still showed up.
Here’s a look at the Boston Women’s March crowd:
The Boston march was not connected to Women’s March Inc., MassLive reported. But Karen Cosmas, executive director of March Forward Massachusetts, told The New York Times that fundraising was tougher because of the concerns about bigotry and anti-Semitism. “This year has been incredibly difficult,” she said.
An estimated 80,000 people showed up for the Denver, Colorado Women’s March, which was a great turnout. Colleen Luckett shared these photos and the turnout numbers with Heavy.
Despite freezing rain, a large crowd showed up for the Indianapolis Women’s March this year.
Because of the teacher’s strike that is also ongoing, turnout in Los Angeles is still expected to be large. About 100,000 people are expected to show up. Some of the speakers included leaders of the teacher’s union strike. Daily News reported that as many as 200,000 people were expected to attend. The first event, in 2017, drew a crowd of about 750,000.
In Maine, participants braved 10-degree weather to attend.
New York City
In New York City there were two Women’s Marches, one by the Women’s March Alliance (the organizers of the last two NYC marches), and one by Women’s March NYC, the official chapter of the national Women’s March.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the two marches share the same message, CNN reported. She made an appearance at the Alliance march.
She later stopped by the Women’s March NYC event too.
Crowd estimates weren’t available for New York City yet. We’ll update this story when those are known.
The Orange County Women’s March in Santa Ana was still expecting a large turnout today, The OCR reported. Tens of thousands were expected, and they began arriving early. The march started at 10 a.m.
A nice crowd showed up at the Wisconsin Capitol Building for the Women’s March there.
The numbers this year across the country are down, in part, because of allegations of anti-Semitism and calls for some of the leaders of the Women’s March to step down. Teresa Shook, one of the founders of the Women’s March movement, wrote on Facebook in November, asking Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez to step down and “let others lead who can restore faith in the Movement and its original intent.”
Some local chapters canceled their marches altogether today due to concerns about anti-Semitism and other controversies. These included New Orleans, Austin, Chicago, Washington State, Eureka CA, Cincinnati, and other locations. In some cities, alternative marches were held by people who didn’t want to have the event canceled entirely.
This story will be updated with new numbers and additional cities.