The Women’s March on Washington

January 21, 2017

The day after the presidential inauguration, more than 500,000 demonstrators in Washington, D.C. and millions more gathered in cities worldwide (600 individual marches across seven continents) in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. The march organizer’s mission and vision was for people “to stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

            CWA was a leading partner of the march. More than 1,000 CWAers came by bus from North Carolina, southern Virginia, New Jersey and New York. As buses rolled into CWA headquarters, CWA President Chris Shelton, Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens, and AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson greeted the riders.

            The march’s success was beyond anyone’s expectations, as most pre-march estimates predicted attendance of around 200,000 people. The sea of pink-knit hats bearing many unique, heartfelt, and often hilarious, hand-written signs included all ages, races and genders. The “march” itself turned out to be more of a “stand-in-place” rally due to the crowd’s size, which stretched from the Capitol to the White House and sprawled through several streets in between.

            The march and potential movement are guided by principles that follow Martin Luther King’s philosophy of nonviolence and defined by the belief that women’s rights are human rights. According to The Hill newspaper, which quoted the D.C. Homeland Security Director, no arrests were made during the march, despite the massive crowds.

            In order to build on the enormous energy from the march, organizers are working in small groups in neighborhoods around the world to define next steps. “First we marched, now we huddle” is the mantra behind the 10 Actions for the First 100 Days campaign to “win back the country and the world we want.” In February, the group posted an announcement via Facebook and Twitter, which stated, “General Strike: A Day Without a Woman – date to be announced,” along with the comment, “The will of the people will stand.”

            The group’s website –

www.womensmarch.com – provides information and resources for finding a group in your area for gathering and planning.