NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of people braved chilly, snowy conditions in New York City on Saturday as part of the Women's March rallies nationwide.
The fourth annual marches in the city focus on issues including climate change, reproductive rights, pay equity, immigration reform and LGBTQ rights.
“Today, we will be the change that is needed in this world! Today, we rise into our power!” activist Donna Hill told a cheering crowd in Foley Square in Manhattan.
People gathered for separate late morning rallies in Foley Square and Columbus Circle in Manhattan, where temperatures were below 30 degrees. The two groups planned to converge near Times Square Saturday afternoon as part of a “Rise and Roar” rally.
The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang also spoke in New York City. She told CNN in an interview aired this week that she was sexually assaulted by an obstetrician while she was pregnant with the couple's first child.
Thousands also gathered in Washington, D.C. for the rallies, which aim to harness the political power of women, although crowds were noticeably smaller than in previous years. Marches were scheduled Saturday in more than 180 cities.
The first marches in 2017 drew hundreds of thousands of people to rallies in cities across the country on the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. That year's D.C. march drew close to 1 million people.
In downtown Los Angeles, thousands of men, women and children filled several blocks as they made their way from a plaza to a park adjacent to City Hall, where a rally featured speeches by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Rep. Maxine Waters and others.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom credited women for mobilizing against gun violence, creating the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and discrimination, and taking back the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
“In 2020, I have no doubt that it will be women who will lead again, rise up and move this country forward on a path toward justice,” she said.
In Denver, organizers opted to skip the rally after the march and instead invited participants to meet with local organizations to learn more about issues such as reproductive rights, climate change, gun safety and voting.
Several thousand came out for the protest in Washington, far fewer than last year when about 100,000 people held a rally east of the White House. But as in previous years, many of the protesters made the trip to the nation’s capital from cities across the country to express their opposition to Trump and his policies. From their gathering spot on Freedom Plaza, they had a clear view down Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Capitol, where the impeachment trial gets underway in the Senate next week.