WASHINGTON — Wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of people gathered for the Women’s March in downtown Washington and cities across the country Saturday to protest the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and to build momentum to vote President Donald Trump out of the White House.
Nearly four years after an election that galvanized millions of protesters to march in cities nationwide, Women’s March leaders hope to bring a final show of force before Nov. 3 with a rally in the nation’s capital and in more than 429 marches across all 50 states. Organizers say more than 116,000 people have pledged to march or participate in other actions Saturday.
“Everything we’ve been doing has been leading up to this,” said Caitlin Breedlove, deputy executive director of organizational advancement for the Women’s March. “We’re not only in resistance. We’re actually fighting for what we need to build.”
The march is taking place days before the Senate holds its first vote to confirm Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal leader and feminist icon. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on the nomination of Barrett, who would cement the conservative advantage on the court. The Republican majority is expected to approve the nomination.
By 11 a.m. Saturday, several hundred people had gathered at Freedom Plaza ahead of a noon rally urging women to vote and calling on Congress to suspend the Supreme Court confirmation process. After the rally, participants plan to march southeast along Pennsylvania Avenue NW and then Constitution Avenue NW to the Supreme Court.
Amid the protesters decked out in bright pink hats and bejeweled face masks, 7-year-old twins Harriet and Myles Gilliam of Boston sat stoically next to their mother. Harriet, who was dressed as Ginsburg, complete with lace collar, was taking part in her third Women’s March. Myles was dressed in a suit and held a sign that resembled the one held by the late congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., in his iconic 1961 mug shot taken after he was arrested for using a bathroom reserved for White people in Mississippi.
“You can use social media all you want, but there’s something to be said about showing up,” said Justina Gilliam, 40, who said she had attended every Women’s March in Washington.
Outside the Supreme Court, a counterprotest was organized by a conservative women’s organization. An “I’m With Her” rally in support of Barrett was organized by the Independent Women’s Forum.