From Shreveport to Seneca Falls, a march for female power

People line up on Central Park West as they wait for the start of a march highlighting equal rights and equality for women Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in New York. The New York protest was among more than 200 such actions planned for the weekend around the world. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — People participating in marches in the United States and around the world walked in support of female empowerment and denounced President Donald Trump’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights and women’s rights on the anniversary of his inauguration.

Tens of thousands of them marched in cities up and down the West Coast. Actress Viola Davis addressed members of the Los Angeles crowd, many of whom carried signs like “Real news, fake president.” In Park City, Utah, where the annual Sundance Film Festival is in full swing, actress Jane Fonda and nationally known attorney Gloria Allred joined the women’s march.

Meanwhile, Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” that’s happened during his first year in office — while women across the nation rallied against him and his policies.

“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months,” the Republican wrote. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

But demonstrators denounced Trump’s views with colorful signs and even saltier language.

Oklahoma City protesters chanted “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” One woman donned a T-shirt with the likeness of social justice icon Woody Guthrie, who wrote “This Land Is Your Land.”

Members of the group Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Seattle burned sage and chanted in front of Seattle’s rainy march.

In Richmond, Virginia, the crowd burst into cheers when a woman ran down the middle of the street carrying a pink flag with the word “Resist.”

The march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday took on the feel of a political rally when U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats, urged women to run for office and vote to oppose Trump and the Republicans’ agenda.

“We march, we run, we vote, we win,” Pelosi said, to applause.

People gathered from Montpelier to Milwaukee, from Shreveport to Seneca Falls.

“I think right now with the #MeToo movement, it’s even more important to stand for our rights,” said Karen Tordivo, who marched in Cleveland with her husband and 6-year-old daughter.

In Palm Beach, Florida, home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, several hundred people gathered carrying anti-Trump signs before marching. There, a group of women wearing red cloaks and white hats like the characters in the book and TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale” marched in formation, their heads bowed.

Cathy Muldoon, a high school librarian from Dallas, Pennsylvania, took her two teenage daughters to the New York rally and said marching gives people hope. She said this year’s action is set against the backdrop of the Trump presidency, which “turned out to be as scary as we thought it would be.”

“I’ve not seen any checks and balances,” she said. “Everything is moving toward the right, and we have a president who seems to have no decency.”

Earlier Saturday, dozens of activists gathered in Rome to denounce violence against women and express support for the #MeToo movement. They were joined by Italian actress and director Asia Argento, who made headlines after alleging in 2017 she had been sexually assaulted by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in the 1990s.

Argento addressed the criticism she received once she spoke up about her abuse.

“Women are scared to speak, and because I was vilified by everything I said, I was called a prostitute for being raped,” she said at the rally.

Argento, who’s 42, was strongly criticized by many Italian media and Italian women for not speaking out earlier and was hounded on Twitter with accusations that she sought trouble.

Weinstein has apologized for causing “a lot of pain” with “the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past,” but he has denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”

The 2017 rally in Washington, D.C., and hundreds of similar marches created solidarity for those opposing Trump’s views, words and actions. Millions of people around the world marched during last year’s rallies, and many on Saturday talked about the whirlwind of the past year.