The day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which drew hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, another large crowd is expected to gather in the U.S. capital to protest the new president’s policies.
Organizers for the Women’s March on Washington say they are expecting a few hundred thousand people Saturday to rally at the U.S. capitol and along the National Mall.
Washington officials said 1,800 buses have registered to park in the city Saturday, which could mean nearly 100,000 people coming in just by bus.
Similar protests are planned in some 20 other cities around the globe, including London and Sydney.
Watch: Women Across US Prepare to March on Washington
Organizers of the march say they want to send a message to Trump on his first full day in office that women’s rights are human rights. Demonstrators say they will be calling for racial and gender equality, affordable health care and abortion rights — issues they say are under threat from a Trump presidency.
Sarah Young, who traveled from her home in Indiana to march in Washington, told VOA her key concern is women’s health care.
“Access to birth control and access to women’s health care has done more for women’s empowerment in the 20th century and moving into the 21st than anything else. If we want to keep those gains, we need to keep access to health care,” Young said.
Other issues motivating the participants are ending violence against women, environmental justice, and protecting the rights of workers, people with disabilities, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
Marches across the US, world
The Women’s March on Washington will coincide with a campaign of women’s marches in other cities in the United States and around the world, including in London and Sydney. At least 600 rallies have been scheduled around the world.
While Lou Ann Homan of Indiana won’t be among the throng of protesters traveling to Washington, she told VOA she will make her voice heard closer to home.
“There are pockets of marches all over the country, in every town and every big city, and for us, we will be going, a large group of us, to Fort Wayne (Indiana) to show solidarity, to show that we care,” she said.
Rally at Capitol, march to White House
The march in Washington will begin Saturday morning with a rally near the U.S. Capitol featuring speakers and performances, and will be followed in the afternoon by a march down Independence Avenue toward the White House.
The idea for the women’s march started on Facebook when several women around the country, upset about the presidential election results, started Facebook pages and called for action.
Within days, some of those pages had more than 10,000 people who had joined. And many of them voiced concerns, among other things, about comments Trump has made about women.
The women’s march has also drawn its own controversy, with people taking to social media to criticize the movement.
On Thursday, the hashtag #RenameMillionWomenMarch trended on Twitter in the United States with people suggesting new names for the protest.
Some suggestions mocked the protesters for not being able to accept the results of the election. Others criticized the movement for not being inclusive, including women who oppose abortion who said they do not feel welcome to join.
Erika Celeste contributed to this report.