As a government shutdown continued in the nation’s capital, in part because of disagreement over how to handle the fates of young people brought to the country illegally as children, Gary Garcia, 55, held a sign in downtown Los Angeles supporting them.
“Dreamers must stay in the country they know,” the sign read, “the United States of America!”
The Marshall High School principal said he came to support his wife and women’s issues but said many of his students are DACA recipients and “they’re really stressed out.”
Scarlett Cunningham-Young, 11, stood next to eight of her friends and their families, holding a sign with a quote by activist Malala Yousafzai. It was her second year attending the Women’s March, and she said she felt inspired being around the thousands of other marchers.
“I hope that this country wakes up and realizes that women and girls have voices too,” she said.
Her mother, Shea Cunningham, 46, said she marched in Washington, D.C., last year because she was so outraged over Donald Trump’s election.
More than 4,500 people marched through downtown Dallas, some nervous, remembering an attack by a sniper during a Black Lives Matter protest two years ago that killed five police and injured about a dozen others.
Police officers guarded the route, which was mostly peaceful, with a few marchers exchanging words with anti-abortion protesters who had gathered for another march nearby.
Many who came for the Women's March said they felt the need to show up to demonstrate that Texas, a historically red state, is rapidly diversifying, especially in its largest cities.
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.