'Grab Him by the Mid-terms': Women's marches push power of the vote

'Grab Him by the Mid-terms': Women's marches push power of the vote

Hundreds of thousands of marchers flooded streets across the country Saturday to criticize President Trump, vowing to protect women’s rights, the environment and American ideals of free speech, religious freedom and tolerance. From Boston to Denver to Reno, and at the nation’s capital where Congress struggled to restart the federal government, marchers waved signs and chanted “This is what democracy looks like!” The marches, held in hundreds of cities and towns across the country, came a year after the inaugural Women’s March and Trump’s swearing in. Wearing the now-familiar pink pussy hats — which this year were available in a rainbow of colors to be more inclusive to all races — women and their families promised to use their votes to shift the course of American government during the mid-term elections this year. People take part in the Women's March took in Seneca People take part in the Women's March took in Seneca Falls, N.Y. (Photo: OLIVIA LOPEZ, Democrat and Chronicle) In Denver, Betsy Kidnay, 56, carried a sign declaring that “women are the wall” as she marched with friends. “Hopefully, we are going to stop Trump,” said Kidnay, of Wheat Ridge, Colo. “His disregard for women is what’s going to sweep Republicans out of power.” More: Government shutdown 2018: What we know now, what happens next More: Polls suggest Trump and GOP could bear the shutdown blame More: Trump's one-year anniversary marked by shutdown instead of celebration Trump ignored the marchers’ criticism, and in a Tweet cast their rallies as victory marches to mark a booming economy and declining unemployment among women. His Twitter comment drew eye rolls from marchers. Hillary Clinton added her voice to those of the marchers, tweeting that while the 2017 rallies were a "beacon of hope and defiance...," the 2018 marches were "testament to the power and resilience of women everywhere. Let’s show that same power in the voting booth this year. #PowerToThePolls." And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, tweeting in both English and French, called the rallies "incredibly inspiring and motivating," adding, "We see you, we hear you..." Marchers took to the streets in Oklahoma City; Logan, Utah; Asheville, N.C.; Chicago; Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles; and Houston, as well as in Beijing; Buenos Aires; Nairobi; and Rome, under the banner of the #WeekendofWomen on social media. Other large events were planned for Sunday. In Washington, D.C., the rally began at the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in brisk, 50-degree weather under clear skies. Marchers turned up with a forest of creative signs, ranging from the humorous to the vulgar. One said simply: "Grab Him by the Mid-terms." Others expressed support for health care, immigration and reproductive rights. Organizers said the goal was to solidify the movement and use that clout in 2018 elections, which could shift the balance of power in Congress. In Virginia's statewide races last year, women turned out in huge numbers at the polls and on the ballots as Democrats made gains in state legislative races.