In New York, crowds were backed up for dozens of blocks leading to the rally site on the edge of Central Park. Marchers wearing the "pussy hats" of 2017 in all colors and sashes with the words #MeToo and #TimesUp were at a standstill on side streets where pink "No Parking" police signs on barricades blocked off sidewalks.
Doormen in tony Upper West Side apartment buildings looked on and engaged in friendly banter with marchers. A group of young women sang "We Shall Not Be Moved," while others signed up new voters.
As they did last year, New Yorkers proudly displayed original signs. Deborah Seidman, 58, created a design in the shape of a woman's body with the words "MeToo" and a raised fist in the center. Another marcher had a sign that read "I'm with her," with arrows pointing in every direction.
In Atlanta, thousands of activists gathered Saturday morning at a squat, brightly painted warehouse in a poor but gentrifying neighborhood southwest of downtown as organizers set up booths on voting, women’s healthcare and civil rights.
Outside, a large sign declared “HUMANITY CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT EMPATHY.”
Rather than march again, organizers of Power to the Polls planned the event to inspire more progressive candidates to run for office, register voters and educate activists on how they can effectively mobilize people to vote.
Dusting off pink-knit hats and brandishing colorful signs, marchers gathered Saturday in the shadow of the capital’s Lincoln Memorial, in midtown Manhattan and in scores of other venues across the country — not aiming to recreate the record-shattering crowds of the Women’s March a year ago this weekend, but vowing to make a mark at the ballot box.
The crowds are not expected to be as large as last January, when more than 1 million people marched across the globe to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, who was inaugurated a day earlier. Still, if all goes according to plans hatched by a variety of activist groups, protests will unfold this weekend in all 50 states and several foreign countries.
“I think they will be smaller, but I think they will be more focused,” said Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington. That march was among the largest in American history, and protesters flooded the National Mall and streets throughout the capital.
In all, hundreds of events are planned for Saturday and Sunday, dubbed the #WeekendofWomen on social media.