Update, 11:13 a.m., with new video & livestream Actress Scarlett Johansson made a direct plea to the new president today at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. Speaking before hundreds of thousands gathered in the Capital, Johansson was pointed in her support of Planned Parenthood.
“President Trump, I did not vote for you,” Johansson said, adding that she “wants” to support the president but first “I ask that you support me, support my sister, support my mother, support my best friend and all of our girlfriends, support the men and women here today who are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives. Support my daughter who may actually, as a result of the appointments you have made, grow up in a country that is moving backwards not forwards, and who may potentially not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have.”
Also in D.C., Ashley Judd appeared on stage to recite a poem by 19 year old Tennessean Nina Donovan. Judd brought the poem to national attention in December when she shared with her social media followers a youtube clip of Donovan performing it live. With Donovan’s permission, Judd read the poem in full:
“I am a nasty woman. I’m not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in cheetoh dust. A man whose words are a dis track to America. Electoral College sanctioning, hate speech contaminating, this national anthem. I’m not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the south actually is gonna rise again, maybe to some it never really fell. Blacks are still in shackles and graves just for being black. Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin.
I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag. And I didn’t know devils could be resurrected but I feel Hitler in these streets. A mustache traded for a toupee, nazis renamed the cabinet, electoral conversion therapy, the new gas chamber shaming the gay out of America, turning into suicide notes. I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege. I am not as nasty as your daughter being your favorite sex symbol. Like your wet dreams being infused with your own genes. But yeah, I’m a nasty woman. A loud, vulgar, proud woman.
I’m not nasty like the combo of Trump Pence being served up to me in voting booths. I’m nasty like my grandmothers who fought to get me into that voting booth. I’m nasty like the fight for wage equality. Scarlett Johansson, why were the female actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned? Last year, even when we do go into higher paying jobs, our wages are still cut with blades sharpened by testosterone. Why is the work of a black woman and a hispanic woman worth only 63 and 54 cents of a white man’s privileged daughter? This is not a feminist myth, this is inequality.
So we are not here to be debunked, we are here to be respected, we are here to be nasty. I’m nasty like my bloodstains on my bed sheets. We don’t actually choose if and when to have our periods believe me if we could some of us would. We don’t like throwing away our favorite pairs of underpants. Tell me why are pads and tampons still taxed when viagra and rogain are not. Is your erection really more than protecting the sacred messy part of my womanhood. Is the bloodstain on my jeans more embarassing than the thinning of your hair?
I know it is hard to look hard at your own entitlement and privilege. You may be afraid of the truth. I am unafraid to be honest. It may sound petty bringing up a few extra cents, it adds up to the pile of change I have yet to see in my country. I can’t see, my eyes are too busy praying to my feet, hoping you don’t mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact. Half my life I’ve been zipping up my smile, hoping you don’t think I wanna unzip your jeans. I am unafraid to be nasty because I am nasty. Like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria, Condoleezza, Sonja, Malala, Michelle, Hillary.
And our p—ies ain’t for grabbing. They’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be. Our p—ies are for our pleasure, they are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women. So if you a nasty woman or you love one who is, lemmie hear you say hell yeah…”
Meanwhile in Chicago, the march portion of today’s event has been canceled due to unexpectedly large crowds of more than 150,000. The rally will proceed as planned.
“Our march route is flooded. There is no safe way to march. We are just going to sing and dance and make our voices heard here,” rally and march co-chairwoman Ann Scholhmer told the crowd.
In New York City, CNN’s Jessica Schneider reported that the march was moving at a crawl due to a larger-than-expected turnout. “For two hours we stood in absolute gridlock,” Schneider said as she moved along with the “sauntering” crowd around 2 p.m. New York time. She estimated that attendees filled “at least 10 blocks beyond” what was expected.
Update, 8:55 a.m. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied a massive crowd in Boston, saying from the speakers podium, “I can’t believe I have to say this in 2017, but we believe in equal pay and a woman’s right to decisions over her own body.” Marchers packed Boston Common to hear the kick-off speech. “We believe that equal means equal, and that is true in the workplace, in marriage, it’s true every place,” Warren said. “You know I could do this all day, but we gotta march.”
Previous, 8:17 a.m. Christening the Women’s Marches in Washington, New York City, Los Angeles and around the world as “Day 1 in our united movement,” speaker, actress and activist America Ferrera launched today’s events in D.C. with a passionate call-to-protest against President Donald Trump and the political movement he spearheads.
“The president is not America,” Ferrera told the large and growing crowd in the nation’s Capital around 10:30 a.m. ET, a half-hour after the official start of the march. “His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America. And we are here to stay.” (See the video above).
The speech, carried live on CNN, was the first of what should be extensive coverage of the Women’s March events in Washington D.C. and sister marches in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and at the Sundance Film Festival. Similar marches are taking or have taken place around the world in such locales as London, Rome, Paris, Serbia, Australia and Sweden.
Shortly before Ferrera’s speech, CNN correspondent Kyung Lah surveyed the growing D.C. and noted “pink hats as far as the eye can see,” a reference to the so-called Pussyhats – pink knit caps with cat-ear corners – that have become the symbol of today’s events. Thousands of the hats, meant to make reference to Trump’s vulgar, sexist Access Hollywood comments to Billy Bush, have been knitted and distributed by volunteers.
In addition to Lah, CNN this morning has correspondent Brynn Gingras heading from NYC to D.C. on a bus of marchers; Jessica Schneider stationed in New York; Miguel Marquez in Boston and Nina Dos Santos in London. MSNBC has Stephanie Gosk, Jacob Rascon and Cal Perry in D.C., Morgan Radford in New York and Beth Fouhy in Chicago.
This morning’s TV news channel coverage of the march was temporarily halted with a switch to live coverage of the National Prayer Service attended by President Trump.
More than 250,000 marchers are expected in D.C. (and an equal number at the Los Angeles march beginning at 10 a.m. PT), with estimates of more than 100,000 in both Boston and New York, and 50,000-plus in Chicago. In all, an estimated 370 marches are planned today covering every state, with 600 marches expected around the world.
Among the speakers and performers scheduled at Washington’s March are Melissa Harris-Perry, Michael Moore, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Julianne Moore, France McDormand, Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, Debra Messing, Patricia Arquette, Olivia Wilde, Janelle Monae, Indigo Girls, Maxwell, MC Lyte, Alia Sharief, DJ Rimarkable, Amber Coffman and Mary Chapin Carpenter, among others. In Los Angeles, Jane Fonda, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Alfre Woodard are expected to show up, and Chelsea Handler is leading the Sundance march in Park City, Utah.
Deadline will have updates as the day’s marches proceed.