New turn for Women's March as movement looks to keep momentum
The protest movement that emerged from the progressive grassroots following the election of President Trump kicks-off its fourth annual march Saturday. This year’s Women's March takes a new turn though, after follow-up marches lost the momentum of the first.
The National March will begin and end at Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C., trading the old route down the National Mall for one that circles the White House.
That’s not the only big change. "Just like the times continuously evolve, the Women’s March has evolved too," said National Board Member Lucy Flores.
Flores notes they are dropping the main-stage, skipping over celebrity performers, and held issue-based discussions throughout this week. "This year’s March is really entirely focused on the people," she explained.
After the 2017 march set the record for largest one-day protest in the country’s history with an estimated four-million marchers, attendance declined in 2018 and dramatically in 2019.
Flores said donations are up this year. Asked about expected numbers, she said the organization has RSVPs for more than 30,000 marchers, but emphasized that turnout isn't their primary concern.
"This is really about us being able to reach as many people as possible. So that we can then do the work, after the march, that is necessary to ensure Donald Trump is not re-elected in 2020," Flores said.
This year's policy-focus is on climate, reproductive, and immigration justice. The national organization is also more invested in boosting local marches, not directing them. Flores said every march will look different based on the vision of that community.
There are fewer local marches than in prior years, but Flores said they'rets critical to get folks engaged and keep them engaged locally. With a Congress frequently stuck in gridlock, they say states and cities may provide the best path to achieving their policy goals.