Women's March hits hundreds of US cities and towns in protest against Trump, sexism

Women's March in New York on January 20.

From Los Angeles to New York, tens of thousands of demonstrators are donning pink "pussy" hats and marching as one, demanding equal rights, justice and fair pay in the second annual Women's March.

Supporters swarmed the streets of 250 cities across the United States on January 20 in defence of women's rights as the political crises of the past year rose to the surface in a wave of sleazy politicians, violated immigration rights and families torn asunder.

"I feel differently about it this year," Ann Dee Allen, a healthcare communications specialist from Wauwatosa in Wisconsin, told the New York Times. "Last year, I just felt kind of angry and impassioned. This year, I feel like I'm in it for the long haul."

Campaigners say Trump's unpopular policies rolling back birth control and equal pay protections are propelling many women into activism for the first time. The marches are taking place after what has been a pivotal year for women's rights, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp social media effort against sexual harassment and abuse born out of sprawling scandals which first erupted in Hollywood.

"If last year's march led to the #MeToo moment, I am excited to think what will come next," said Elizabeth Farren, organser of an expat rally in Rome, Italy.

Some critics have said this year's march lacks focus. The marches are targeting swing states controlled by Republicans ahead of November’s midterm elections.

"Last year was about women standing together and realizing that they're not alone," said Katherine Siemionko, founder of the Women's March Alliance in New York. "The message this year is marching to action: march, register, vote. You're marching, making sure you're registered to vote, and getting to the polls."

[Slightly abridged from .]

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