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Washington and London lead way with women's marches after Trump inauguration

Scarlett Johansson is among the celebrities expected to join a women's march in Washington DC to protest against Donald Trump (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
Scarlett Johansson is among the celebrities expected to join a women's march in Washington DC to protest against Donald Trump (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
A protestor kicks in a windscreen during a demonstration in Washington against Donald Trump (AP Photo/Ezra Kaplan)
Police officers during a demonstration after the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined women's marches in London and Washington DC as protests were held around the world following President Donald Trump's inauguration.

At least 500,000 people gathered for a rally outside the US Capitol building while o rganisers, including the Women's Equality Party, said an estimated 100,000 descended on central London on Saturday as similar events were staged in Edinburgh, Bristol and cities across the US.

Celebrities Katy Perry, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer and Patricia Arquette were expected to be among the demonstrators at the Washington event.

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, who helped organise the march, told the crowd: "It's been a heartbreaking time to be both a woman and immigrant in this country.

"The platform for hate and division assumed power yesterday.

"But the president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America and we are here to stay."

Before the event, former Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman said she was taking part in the march with her two daughters, her sister and her niece.

She told the Press Association: "I feel that the election was somewhat of a feminist issue. I feel like the best of us was bested by not the best of them."

Many of the women in Washington wore pink knitted hats with cat ears - a reference to comments made by Mr Trump in a 2005 leaked video in which he bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy".

Marches also took place in other UK cities including Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Liverpool and Cardiff, with thousands turning out.

Beginning at the American Embassy in London, the London Women's March made its way around the streets of the capital and to a rally in Trafalgar Square.

The movement states on its website that the US election "proved a catalyst for a grassroots movement of women to assert the positive values that the politics of fear denies".

Organisers called for people to join them "as part of an international day of action in solidarity" on President Trump's first full day in the Oval Office.

People across all ages and genders descended on Grosvenor Square holding a rainbow of placards with slogans such as "dump Trump", "reject hate, reclaim politics" and "no to racism, no to Trump".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya were in Trafalgar Square while celebrities including ex-England rugby captain Chris Robshaw and Iron Man 3 actress Rebecca Hall were spotted among the throngs of people.

Hall said she joined the march because she is half American and half English, and said she would have joined the Washington DC demonstration is she had been in the US.

She added: " Yesterday was a confusing day and a sad day - I was sad to see Obama leave ... We do not know what the Government is going to be like."

Labour MP Harriet Harman was joined on the march by friend and American-British playwright Bonnie Greer.

Referring to outgoing US president Barack Obama, Ms Harman said: "It's just a shame they have a two-term limit, isn't it?"

Ms Greer warned that Mr Trump's presidency was "not a joke", adding: "This is for real and I think this march demonstrates that London understands that."

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who spoke at the rally, told the Press Association: "When the most powerful man in the world says it's okay to sexually assault women because you are rich and powerful, we have to stand up and say no way."

She added: "I think this is a march for equality and action for the future. We don't want the clock being turned back on women's equality."

Many protesters in the US capital carried signs with anti-Trump slogans including "Not my president" and "predator in chief".

Filmmaker Michael Moore addressed the Washington rally and said the US was in "day two of the Trump tragedy".

He told the crowd: "Mr Trump, we are here to end the Trump carnage.

"The majority did not want Donald John Trump in the White House. We are here as their representatives."

People climbed tree to watch speakers on stage due to the size of the crowd.

Actress Scarlett Johansson drew cheers from the crowd for her message to Mr Trump, in which she launched a defence of the women's healthcare and abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

During the election campaign, Mr Trump signalled his backing for plans to choke off funding for the organisation.

Johansson said: "President Trump, I did not vote for you.

"That said, I respect you are our president-elect. I want to be able to support you, but first I ask you to support me.

"Support my sister, support my mother, support my best friend and all of our girl friends. Support all the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives.

"Support my daughter, who may actually, as a result of the appointments you have made, grow up in a country that's moving backwards, not forwards, and who may potentially not have the right to make choices for her body and her future."


From Belfast Telegraph