World

Pussyhat protest against Trump

Millions march in peaceful protest of new US president's inauguration

WASHINGTON More than 2 million people flooded US cities on Saturday as women opposed to Mr Donald Trump led a peaceful, stunning rebuke against the new US president echoed by sister protests around the world.

Demonstrators brought Washington to a halt, streaming past the White House in a joyous parade of pink "pussyhats."

The US president did not acknowledge the mass protests that marked his first full day in office.

Although the US capital does not release crowd counts, organisers of the main protest, the Women's March on Washington, told AFP they estimated turnout at 1 million - with some 600 sister protests held around the globe.

"I'm part of history, and one day will tell my children about this," said 16-year-old Maria Iman, who travelled to Washington with fellow high school students from Illinois.

Los Angeles hosted one of the largest marches, with organisers pinning the crowd at 750,000 and Los Angeles police saying it was as big or bigger than the 2006 pro-immigration march that drew 500,000, Reuters reported.

People packed into six blocks running up to City Hall and an overflow crowd spilled onto other streets in downtown LA.

Singer Miley Cyrus and Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the dozens of Hollywood celebrities, many of whom marched behind a vanguard of women motorcyclists in black leather.

Educator Tanya Gaxiola, 39, who flew in from Tucson, Arizona, expressed concern that Mr Trump will seek to restrict abortion laws and otherwise clamp down on women's rights.

"He's a narcissist and seeks approval, and this is a big display of disapproval," she said.

"Hopefully, it catches his attention."

Saturday's rallying cry was heard far beyond America's shores, with protests held from Paris to Prague, Sydney to Johannesburg, and in some 20 cities across Canada.

One of the largest was in London, where tens of thousands of women, men and children marched chanting "Dump Trump".

The human tide flooding Washington appeared to dwarf the throngs of Trump supporters in red "Make America Great Again!" caps who had cheered his swearing-in.- WIRE SERVICES

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