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Thousands gather across US for third Women's March

'We will not let anyone take our rights away. In fact, we will expand them,' says Rep. Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez

Michael Hernandez  | 20.01.2019
Thousands gather across US for third Women's March NEW YORK, USA - JANUARY 19: People participate in the Women's March in Columbus Circle in New York, United States on January 19, 2019.

Washington DC

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON  

Hundreds of thousands of women took to city streets across the U.S. Saturday, braving in some cases cold and wet weather to rally for the third consecutive march in as many years.

Attendance for this year's Women's March appeared to fall far short of the mass demonstrations that filled city streets in 2017 as Donald Trump assumed the presidency, even as the president continued to remain a focal point for demonstrators to rally against.

Organizers had originally filed out paperwork indicating they were expecting half a million people to attend in the nation's capital, but as the day progressed only 100,000 were seen in Washington.

Other marches were taking place in dozens of other cities nationwide, including in New York where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez marched with protesters.

"We will not let anyone take our rights away. In fact, we will expand them," she told the assembled masses. "This is the start of our advocacy because we just captured the House, and now we gotta show what we're gonna do with it."

She was referring to Democratic gains in last year's midterm elections that resulted in the party securing a firm majority in the House of Representatives.

Part of the dip in attendance for this year's demonstration may be due in part to allegations of anti-Semitism against march organizers.

Teresa Shook, one of the movement's original founders accused in November the four main organizers of anti-Semitism, saying Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez "have steered the Movement away from its true course."

But despite the rift, demonstrators on Saturday were far more focused on challenging Trump and his administration, continuing to take issue with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's appointment.

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the top court after a fierce battle that included charges of decades-old sexual assault.

Beyond the justice, marchers took issue with a slew of other political lightning rods, including efforts to roll back former President Barack Obama's universal healthcare law, Trump's efforts to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and the ongoing government shutdown, which entered its fifth week Saturday.

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