The Women’s March on Washington, timed to coincide with Donald Trump’s first day in office as U.S. president, has spread around the world – including Geneva.
Currently, there are plans for 62 similar marches in 31 cities on 21 January, according to Women’s March Geneva organiser Karen Olson.
Olson, a former interpreter for the United Nations, is an American citizen and Geneva resident, though she thinks of herself as a “global citizen” after having lived in Russia, France and Italy over the last 25 years. She says she is marching “because so many people before me have marched to gain for me the rights that I have today”.
She emphasizes that this is not an “anti-Trump protest”, but rather a positive demonstration for human rights. “What we really need to do is access our deepest fears, and move out of fear and into hope”, says Olson, who was a delegate supporting Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention.
According to Reuters, the original idea for the Women’s March came from Hawaii grandmother Teresa Shook who wanted to share her outrage after Donald Trump was elected. She went on Facebook and wrote the first thing that came to mind: I think we should march. The group’s Facebook page has attracted 270,000 likes, up 95% from last week.
The Washington group’s mission statement says:”The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us, and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
Planning got off to a bad start when the Washington Post express published a front page image featuring the male symbol to help promote the event.
— Steven Rich (@dataeditor) January 5, 2017
The Geneva Women’s March will begin at 11 am at the Jardin Anglais and end about two hours later at Quai Wilson.
Also on 21 January, a separate event in Geneva, the Solidarity for Humanity Rally, will begin at 14:00 just outside the United Nations campus at Place des Nations. The group’s Facebook page has more information.