Paris joins Women's March after Trump inauguration
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Women in several French cities marched in solidarity with Saturday’s Women's March on Washington, which followed Donald Trump’s swearing-in as president of the US. In Paris around 7,000 took to the streets.
The mood was good-humoured, even cheeky, with placards bearing slogans like “This pussy grabs back”, “Trump is a dangerous liar” and “My pussy, my rules”.
A few hundred men joined the march, their placards declaring “I’m with her” or “For my mother, wife, daughter”.
So why should the French care what’s happening in US?
“This is the president of the US and the US is still a superpower, he’s a madman,” said Lisa Aidan, an American who has lived in France for 30 years and was wearing the protest’s hallmark pink Pussycat hat, sent over from the States. “This concerns the entire world.”
The prospect of National Front leader Marine Le Pen making it to the deciding round of France’s presidential election in May alarmed her.
“We want to make sure the French don’t make the same mistake,” she went on. So we’re trying to send a message saying ‘Wake up people!’.”
Not only Le Pen but also mainstream right candidate François Fillon alarmed Marie Allibert, the spokesperson for the Osez le feminisme group.
“In Poland, Spain and Portugal we saw that women thought they would have free access to fundamental right to abortion and then conservative parties were elected there and then they tried to take measures to limit those rights to abortion,” she said.
“So in France we feel we might have the same religious, Catholic influence in a candidate like François Fillon, for example, who has strong support from the Catholic church and could take measures to limit right to abortion.”
“When women’s rights in the US are under threat, we consider women’s rights around the world are attacked,” commented Suzy Rojtman, the head of a women’s rights collective. “So we're here in solidarity, but also for ourselves.”
“I’m gonna grab back,” declared another American in Paris, Charlotte Kilpatrick. “People need to understand, this is not a march in isolation, this is just the beginning of massive movement of resistance, that we haven’t seen until the 1960s.”
The march was against everything Trump represents, she added.
“Anti-homophobia, anti-racism, it’s pro-black lives matter, pro-reproductive, pro-native American, pro-women, pro-citizens of the world, people who are aren’t crazy, an anti-crazy march for rationalisation, against fake news.”