Donald Trump was sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States. A day after his inauguration hundred thousands of women are preparing to take the streets of Washington and many cities across the globe. Sister demonstrations are also being held in Bonn and in six other German cities, including Hamburg, Munich and Berlin.
In Bonn, the march is due to start at 2.30 p.m. at the American Compound in Bonn-Plittersdorf, inspired by Martin Luther King’s principle of nonviolent resistance.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Meeting Place: Martin-Luther-King Str. 20., 53175 Bonn, near the entrance to the sports field. The March will last about an hour and a half and end up back at meeting place.
The rally was initiated by a group of multicultural moms of Bonn International School students. Organisers say this is an inclusive march, men and people from all walks of life are welcome to join.
“We march for peace, inclusion, diversity, equality, respect and all human rights. All people who share these values are welcome. This is about having your voices heard. We are not going to keep silent. We’ll keep up the resistance and stand up for what we believe in,” says Sonja S., who is an US citizen.
The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort which has impressively been organized in only two months. The march began as a Facebook event , generating widespread enthusiasm on social media with over 200,000 people signing up to attend, including many men as organizers say the march is open to any person “who believes women’s rights are human rights.”
When Teresa Shook, a retired attorney and grandmother in Hawaii, heard the news of Trump’s success in the election, she proposed to 40 of her friends that they march on Washington DC in protest. Her call to action soon snowballed as more and more people invited their friends, and the burgeoning movement was soon united into one march.
“In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” according to a press release from march organizers. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
At its core, the march is a response to Trump’s presidency and particularly his attitude towards women and minorities. The organisation says “the rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonised, and threatened many of us”. This march is an attempt to figure out what to do, as “we are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear”.
The march partnered with Planned Parenthood, human rights organizations, feminist icon Gloria Steinem and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.
Many entertainment stars are showing their support. Katy Perry, Janelle Monae, the Indigo Girls, Angelique Kidjo, Cher, and other artists will be performing in Washington. Most importantly, however, the organizers assert, “this march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up.”