Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington was originally named the Million Woman March. But some people noted the same name was used for a march which took place in Philadelphia in 1997 and focused attention on the experience of black women in America.
Even before that there was the Million Man March in 1995. Organized by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and former National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People head Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., the march focused on atonement and personal responsibility within the black community, especially among men. It was a contrast to civil rights marches in the past which had called for changes in society overall..
In a speech that lasted over two hours, Farrakhan called on participants never again to commit violence, use drugs, abuse women or children or otherwise degrade themselves or their communities.
The Women's March on Washington and simultaneous demonstrations across in the country Saturday are taking shape as one of the largest mass demonstrations in recent U.S. history, rivaling the civil unrest that swirled around the Vietnam War.
While it’s not expected to be as large as the Million Man March against racism in 1995 or the Million Woman March two years later in in Philadelphia, the event could wind up being a bigger draw than Trump: 1,200 bus parking spaces have been reserved, three times as many as for the inauguration Friday.
The march embraces a grab bag of progressive causes, its website listing more than 300 partners promoting causes including anti-bullying, gun control, climate change and transgender rights.