This story was reported by Matthew Chayes, Rajvi Desai, David Olson and Jesse Coburn. It was written by Chayes.
At least 200,000 activists marked the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration — with a women-led march Saturday through his hometown for the second year in a row.
The New York City Women’s March was among hundreds of sister demonstrations held around the world — in Port Jefferson Station, Sag Harbor, Washington, D.C., Rome and beyond — to criticize the president’s behavior and his politics.
“During a year when pale, male and stale men sitting in a dark room in Washington have tried to drive a wedge through us through hate and sexism and bigotry, we will march!” the city’s public advocate, Letitia James, said at a warmup rally next to a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Marchers criticized Trump’s proposed border wall and travel ban, his sunsetting an Obama-era, temporary amnesty for young immigrants who came to the country illegally as children, and his appointment of bureaucrats hostile to abortion, legalized marijuana, affirmative action, strict environmental regulations and much more.
The worldwide protests come in the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, spurred by allegations of sexual abuse and harassment by powerful men in entertainment, media and other industries.
“I’m marching today because it’s important to show there’s a united front — a year later we are still here to resist,” said Tumi Makgetla, 34, of Yorkville, while marching on the Upper West Side. Makgetla said she is pregnant and due to give birth to a daughter in four days and “the world she is going to inherit, I want to make sure it is a better one.”
The city’s crowd estimate came from Andrea Hagelgans, a senior adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rallied with his wife, Chirlane McCray. More than 400,000 attended the Manhattan rally last year, according to crowd estimates at the time.
On Twitter, Trump called Saturday “a perfect day for all Women to March,” adding that protesters can “celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months.”
The energetic crowd slowly wended its way down Central Park West, many carrying signs and wearing the pink hats made iconic by last year’s march.
“We need to be the generation that ends #MeToo,” said Erin Long, 20. “It’s time for men to realize that time is up for them to get away with how they treat women. Women also need to start believing that they are equal and that they can do big things.”
The Socialist Workers Party’s Lea Sherman, 69, of Harlem, was nearby selling leftist books like “The Clintons’ Anti-Working-Class Record” and “Abortion Is a Woman’s Right!”
She said that while it’s important for women — and men — to speak out on issues like abortion rights, which she herself supports, she won’t back, and wouldn’t vote for, any capitalist candidate, whether Trump or Hillary Clinton.
“I do not think that Donald Trump is a fascist, a racist, or any of the kind of epithets that are being thrown at him,” she said. “I think he’s a bourgeois politician that many working people voted for based on hope and change — the same people who voted for Barack Obama elected Donald Trump.”
Trump is not popular with women overall. More women than men voted against Trump in the 2016 election — 54 percent to 42 percent — according to the Pew Research Center. But more men backed Trump, Pew found: 53 percent to 41 percent. And Trump did win over white women, about 54 to 43 percent, according to exit polls.
Marchers also mustered on Long Island, including Port Jefferson Station, where, at the corner of busy routes 112 and 347, several hundred people gathered for a march and rally.
Participants hoisted “Dump Trump” and “Resist!” signs as some passing drivers honked in approval.
Hazel Robinson, 4, of St. James, wore a “Girl Power” shirt as she rallied with her mother, Kristin Robinson, 35.
Kristin Robinson said she wants “to be a good example for standing up for what’s right,” adding, “It’s never too early to teach them to be politically active and to keep their representatives accountable.”
Molly England, 35, was in Washington, D.C., for last year’s giant women’s march. This year, she brought her three children to the Port Jefferson Station demonstration.
“It shows our neighbors and people in this community that we care about the greater good,” she said. “And it’s important for my kids to see other families here. I really want them to see it’s important to stand up for the rights of people whose voices are often not heard.”
About a dozen Trump supporters demonstrated across the street with “Trump” and “Hillary for Prison” signs, and U.S. flags.
One of them, Howard Ross, 74, of Setauket, said Trump opponents try to “intimidate” the president and his supporters.
“If we don’t agree with everything they say,” he said, “we’re deplorables, we’re racists, we’re homophobes.”