'This is What Democracy Looks Like': 400K Demonstrators Flood Midtown for Women's March - NBC New York

'This is What Democracy Looks Like': 400K Demonstrators Flood Midtown for Women's March

Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Taylor Schilling of "Orange is the New Black" helped kick off the march

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in midtown for the Women's March. Ida Siegal reports. (Published Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017)

    What to Know

    • Hundreds of thousands of protesters came to the rally and march.

    • The rally included a who's who of women, including New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray, Whoopi Goldberg and Dame Helen Mirren.

    • The march goes from the United Nations headquarters to Trump Tower

    Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, joined by celebrities and politicians, flooded midtown streets Saturday with pink hats and homemade signs to show Donald Trump they won't be silent over the next four years. 

    People chanted "This is What Democracy Looks Like" and "Not My President" in a march that snaked from the UN headquarters on the East Side, across 42nd Street and up Fifth Avenue to President Donald Trump's home. 

    "Trump, although he is a New Yorker, does not reflect the values of this city," said Vanessa Weber, who marched and lives in New York City.

    About 400,000 people participated in the rally and march, according to Mayor de Blasio, who thanked the NYPD in a tweet for keeping everyone safe. 

    Many held homemade signs with messages such as "Fight Like a Girl," and "Stop Tweeting, Start Tweeting." One sign said "Can't Comb Over Misogyny."

    "I'm here to fight for families and women because all of us, our rights are being threatened," said Wendy Most, of New York City. 

    Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Taylor Schilling of "Orange is the New Black" helped kick off the march. 

    The demonstration started just before 11 a.m. with a rally and choral performance by the HERmonics, an informal women's choir, at One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. Streets started filling up about 90 minutes before the choir began.

    Perez emceed the Saturday morning event. The native Brooklynite walked on stage to cheers and applause as she announced each speaker, which included notable city officials like Comptroller Scott Stringer and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents New York's 14th district. 

    "When women succeed, America succeeds," said Maloney as she addressed the fired-up crowd. 

    The rally included a who's who of women, including New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray, Whoopi Goldberg and Dame Helen Mirren, who proudly proclaimed herself as a New Yorker to a loud roar of cheers and whistles.

    In Pictures: Thousands Attend Women's March on NYC In Pictures: Thousands Attend Women's March on NYC

    "We are not rolling back the tarp on the progress that we have made," said "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon, who spoke at the rally. "To every woman here who won't give up, women make the change."

    "When you chose an administration that is all male, pale and stale, you are not going to unify this country," Stringer said. "We are going to organize, we are going to agitate, we're just getting started."

    Public Advocate Letitia James drew up some laughs when she joked that Inauguration Day gave new meaning to "the morning after." 

    An all-female drumline led the procession from the United Nations headquarters near 42nd Street and FDR Drive to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets.

    Fifth Avenue was completely shut down for blocks as demonstrators pumped homemade picket signs in the air to a steady drum beat. The loud roar of ralliers' cheers could be heard for blocks.

    In a show of force, hundreds of thousands of women massed in the nation's capital for the Women's March long before its 10 a.m. start. America Ferrera addressed the sea of people, who flooded the entirety of the National Mall in pink hats. White and neon-colored picket signs bobbed through the traveling crowd as marchers held hands.

    Hundreds from the tri-state area traveled down to participate in the D.C. march, including Senator Cory Booker.

    Over 300 sister marches are taking place nationwide. That's before taking into account the numerous rallies that have taken place since Friday in international cities, including Berlin, London, Nairobi, Paris, and Tokyo.

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