Politics & Government

Scientists, activists and Insane Clown Posse: Everyone’s marching on Washington now

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

AP

When as many as 500,000 people showed up in downtown Washington D.C. the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration for the Women’s March, exceeding organizers’ wildest expectations, activists around the world took note.

In a politically divided and bitter country, the ability to gather so many supporters for one cause generated intense media coverage and hope among some about enacting change. And now, it seems as though multiple groups with myriad interests are all hoping to replicate the success of the Women’s March in the coming year.

March for Life, Jan. 27

The annual antiabortion, pro-life rally is now in its 44th year and was planned well before the Women’s March took place. But given the turnout of the Women’s March, which included pro-abortion language in its platform and dropped an antiabortion group as a partner after protests from participants, the March for Life’s organizers are feeling pressure to at least match the sheer numbers of the earlier march, per the New York Times. The D.C. Metro system is preparing for an influx of riders Friday, and Vice President Mike Pence is slated to become the first president or vice president to address the marchers.

However, as with the Women’s March and Trump’s inauguration, accurately estimating the number of people who protest Friday will be difficult, if not impossible. While some organizations claim the March for Life peaked in 2013 with 650,000 people present, the organizers themselves do not provide exact numbers.

In an interview with ABC broadcast Wednesday, Trump brought up the march without mentioning it by name, explicitly comparing it to the Women’s March and suggesting the crowd might be larger Friday.

Tax Day March, April 15

Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon not to voluntarily release his tax returns. On the campaign trail, he said this was because he is being audited by the IRS, though the agency contradicted this report, saying a private citizen can release his or her tax returns while being audited.

However, after his inauguration, top aide Kellyanne Conway told ABC that Trump would never release his taxes because people “don’t care.”

In response, social media users started a hashtag, #TrumpTaxesMarch, pushing for the same forces behind the Women’s March to organize a march on April 15, the day taxes are traditionally due. That social media push quickly turned into actual planning, complete with a website and Twitter and Facebook pages. According to organizers, there will be marches at cities throughout the country.

Beyond that, however, most details about the march are still unknown.

National Pride March, June 11

Though same-sex marriage was legalized with a Supreme Court decision in 2015, many in the LGBTQ community expressed dismay at Trump’s election, especially given his running mate Pence’s controversial record on the issue.

Now, activists inspired by the Women’s March are planning a mass protest that will coincide with the annual Capital Pride parade in Washington D.C. David Bruinooge, a New York man, first came up with the idea and started a Facebook page, on which 14,000 people have said they will attend the march as of Thursday evening.

Bruinooge told the Washington Blade that he has yet to obtain the necessary permits for the demonstration and hopes to coordinate with the Capital Pride Alliance.

Juggalo March on Washington, Sept. 16

Perhaps the oddest protest planned for 2017 is still more than 200 days away.

Insane Clown Posse is a hardcore rap group with a fiercely loyal following known as “Juggalos,” who like to wear creepy clown makeup and have been connected to violent crime, so much so that the FBI classified the group as a “loosely organized hybrid gang,” per Rolling Stone.

But despite the violent and explicit lyrics of the rap group, they claim the FBI’s designation unfairly profiles their fan base, impacts their ability to hold down steady jobs and subjects them to harsher penalties from law enforcement. The group sued the FBI hoping to reverse the designation, but that lawsuit was dismissed.

Now, the group and its supporters are planning a Sept. 16 march and concert in D.C. in hopes of swaying public opinion in their favor.

March for Science, TBA

Another movement inspired by the Women’s March and the Trump administration’s skepticism regarding the scientific validity of climate change, the March for Science is also being called the Scientists’ March on Washington.

The march is still in its early stages of planning and no date has been set. However, it has been wildly popular on social media, with the official Twitter page garnering nearly 200,000 followers since it was started in on Jan. 23.

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