Thousands of Texas Women March on Austin
The day after President Donald Trump's inauguration, half a million Americans marched on Washington D.C., and thousands more marched in other major cities across the nation, including Austin.
The Austin American-Statesman reported Saturday that as many as 50,000 women and men marched to demonstrate solidarity in the face of perceived threats to human rights from the new Trump administration.
The Women's March on Austin officially began at noon, though some associated activities began as early as Friday morning.
Protesters made a one-mile circuit around the capitol building, which took roughly two hours.
Speakers at the event included Democratic U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, who spoke to a crowd the night before the march as well.
In a public address Friday, Doggett joked about being one of 67 Democratic leaders who boycotted President Trump's inauguration, then called upon citizens to continue efforts to combat Trump administration initiatives after the march as well.
"We're going to have to put up with him for another four years," he said. "We need to find a way that we are marching, that we are rallying every day. Not here, not on Congress Avenue, but in our work places, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our churches. That's what it's going to take."
“This is the beginning, not the end, of standing up to this administration,” Doggett said Saturday. “If this march ends today, we get nowhere. This is not a time for despair. It’s a time for democracy.”
Former Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis spoke Saturday as well. Davis, who made headlines for filibustering a state abortion bill in 2013, said, "Just like so many of us women, I was raised to put my head down and forge ahead no matter how hard things were. Make no mistake about it: When we remain silent, we participate in our own marginalization.”
A similar march was held in Dallas, where the Texas Tribune reported anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 gathered at City Hall, then marched through downtown and other parts of the city.
Cheryl Muck, a Dallas marcher, told the Texas Tribune she disagrees with Trump, but doesn't want to see him fail, as it would mean the failure of the nation.
"It's just I'm shocked that point of view could win," Muck said.
The Women's March also saw international participation. UPI News reported that marched spawned in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Rome, and Paris. They estimated that 2.2 million people might participate worldwide.
"We're not marching as an anti-Trump movement per se, we're marching to protest the hate speech, the hateful rhetoric, the misogyny, the bigotry, the xenophobia and we want to present a united voice with women around the globe," Australian organizer Mindy Freiband told UPI.
While the demonstrations were peaceful, there were reports of flag burning outside the U.S. embassy in Manila.
Demonstrations caused traffic and commuter headaches across metropolitan areas as well.
President Trump did not comment personally on the marches,instead posting to Twitter to thank Fox News and other media outlets for their reviews of his inaugural speech and posting video of his first dance with First Lady Melania Trump at a Freedom Ball Friday night.
However, a Trump administration official told NBC news, "It's a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers in DC and will be happening next Friday, will not get anywhere near the same amount of coverage that this march got, and those pro-life members were not welcome at the Women's March."
Texas-based pro-life group New Wave Feminists had initially planned to participate in Sunday's march on Washington D.C. in an official capacity, but were dropped when organizers received backlash from pro-choice activists outraged at the decision to include them.