News & Politics

Millions Across the Planet Unite to Rebuke Donald Trump

Nothing like this has ever happened to an American president—or any world leader for that matter.

Photo Credit: Matt Gifford / Flickr

On Saturday, the day after his inauguration, millions of people across all seven continents marched in protest of Donald Trump, the least popular American president in modern history. You have to be a pretty universally reviled figure for people on every continental land mass to turn out in droves to protest you. The new president is so unliked around the globe, the world staged an unprecedented day of protest in response to his presidency. 

The Women’s March on Washington, the event that spawned so many others, was massive, surpassing organizers’ expectations and drawing an estimated half a million people. It felt as if the march had taken over the entire city, with protesters visible in nearly every section of town. The Washington, D.C. metro authority confirmed that fewer trips were taken on inauguration day than on Saturday, and photo evidence offers documentary proof that protest crowds far exceeded inauguration attendees. It is a testament to the peaceful tone of the protest that there were no arrests.  

Cities in nearly every state played host to sister marches. The largest demonstrations were held in Chicago, Boston, New York, Denver, Los Angeles and Madison, Wisconsin

In demonstrations across Europe and the U.K., Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, people took to the streets to protest Trump and the values of racism, misogyny and bigotry which he represents. The list is too legthy to fully include here, but there were 30 events in Canada alone, as well as marches in Berlin, Cape Town, New Delhi, Belfast, London, Oslo, Nairobi, Sydney, Mexico City, Vienna, Paris, Rome, Geneva, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Stockholm.

Even Antarctica showed up. Linda Zunas, a researcher working on the continent, organized the gathering in response to Trump’s abysmal environmental stance. “I spent a month after the election mourning the impending damage to the earth that will be done,” Zumas told the Independent. “I felt like I needed to do something to be part of the global movement.”

As protesters around the world rallied against his presidency, Trump and his team were out spreading misinformation and lies in a desperate attempt to rewrite the narrative. During a speech at CIA headquarters, Trump claimed that the sparsely attended inauguration event had attracted a million attendees, a lie that was easily disproven with photographic evidence. In an address that was light on national security issues and heavy on jabs at the media, Trump did little to reassure the intelligence community—whom he recently accused of being on par with the Nazis—that he would mend the rift between them. 

“That was one of the more disconcerting speeches I’ve seen,” a senior intelligence official told the Washington Post. “He could have kept it very simple and said, ‘I’m here to build some bridges.’ But he spent 10 seconds on that and the rest was on the crowd size."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also pushed demonstrably false claims in his first press briefing. "This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe," Spicer angrily insisted, which is absolutely untrue. President Obama had far larger crowds at his inauguration event than Trump did, a fact that's easily observable in photos. Spicer went on to make multiple false statements that numerous news outlets immediatly fact-checked and rendered false. 

 

Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

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