Story at a glance
- In addition to the annual Women's March which took place earlier this January, organizers are planning a series of local and virtual events called #CountOnUs.
- Local action formats will differ city by city, from marches and open mic rallies to a Feminist Icon Costume Party.
When the first Women’s March descended upon Washington’s National Mall in January 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, it was soon estimated to have been the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, drawing 4-5 million participants across the country.
Despite annual marches taking place in cities across the country every year since, attendance has gradually dwindled, and a number of internal controversies rocked the women-led organization. But, with a historic presidential election at America’s doorstep and a polarizing Senate vote for Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett happening next week, Women’s March has announced #CountOnUs — a series of local marches and actions taking place on Saturday, Oct. 17.
While the exact format of each local action will differ, Women’s March has said in a statement that they are all being organized with one driving goal in mind: to mobilize women’s vote for the Nov. 3 election, calling Oct. 17 a “galvanizing moment heading into an election where everything is on the line.”
“The power of women across the country is evident in this election. Women are going to defeat Donald Trump, decide who controls the House and the Senate, and prove ourselves as the most powerful electorate out there,” says Women’s March Executive Director Rachel O’Leary Carmona. “Women are fired up and this will be on full display this Saturday as thousands of women come together across the country to prove we are willing to stand up for our futures, and that we are a force Donald Trump just can’t defeat.”
Not everyone is happy about the upcoming Women’s March events, though, as critics say that the movement’s lack of support for Coney Barrett rings hypocritical in nature. A counter rally called “I’m With Her” is scheduled for the same day and plans to meet in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building, saying on their website that the Women’s March has “gone too far,” and that “we must come together to champion women, not tear them down.”
How to participate
“#CountOnUs is just a few days away,” Women's March wrote on Instagram. “On Saturday, join us in D.C. or at one of over 350 socially distanced and virtual marches across the country. We will rise up as women, united across our differences, to shift our future and demand a democracy that works for all of us.”
For those who would like to attend but are unable to do so in person, many of Saturday's actions will be taking place virtually, like Women’s March Chicago, which has announced it will host a predominantly virtual event dubbed “Zoom to the Polls.”
“We’re going to work to get people out to vote, because this election is the one we must do,” said Jaquie Algee, Women’s March Chicago board president, at an online news conference Wednesday. “We’ve got to vote in this election.”
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