(CNN) – More than one million people marched through Washington, D.C., and other American cities on Saturday to show support for women’s rights and express their discontent over the election of President Donald Trump.
The Women’s March drew members of Congress, world-famous actresses and countless citizens like Joanne Gascoyne of Albany, New York a 78-year-old retired teacher who traveled to New York City with her daughter and two granddaughters.
“I feel people are afraid to vote for a woman for president,” Gascoyne said. “I’m really here for women and to inspire my granddaughters to carry on.”
The protesters came out for a range of reasons, including immigration, health care and a general antipathy to Trump. But most said they wanted to show support for women and feared that there will be attacks on women’s rights during Trump’s presidency.
CNN did not make its own crowd estimates, but compiled official estimates from law enforcement agencies for many of the “sister marches” around the country that drew large crowds. The million-person count doesn’t include the thousands of people who took part in the Women’s March on Washington for which there was no official crowd estimate.
Marches also held in cities around the world
People gathered to demonstrate in most major cities around the world, including London; Tel Aviv; Melbourne, Australia; Pristina, Kosovo; Moscow; Berlin and Mexico City – often in front of US embassies.
London marches for ‘hope not hate’
In Athens, Greece, protesters included refugees from Elliniko Camp, located in the old Athens airport.
There was even a protest in Antarctica – about 30 eco-minded tourists and non-government scientists aboard a ship in international waters hoisted signs saying “Penguins for peace” and “Seals for science,” organizers said.
In US the biggest demonstration took place in Washington, where protesters filled Pennsylvania Avenue, the same street Trump walked down a day before during his inaugural parade. In the evening, the crowd moved toward the White House.
On the mall, filmmaker Michael Moore, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, musician Alicia Keys and other speakers emotionally attacked Trump for his views on immigration, Muslims and women.
What celebrities and activists had to say
“It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f–k up,” Madonna told the crowd. “It seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort, that justice would prevail and that good would win in the end.”
Historian Douglas Brinkley told CNN that people will always remember the inauguration and the march as momentous events.
“It’s big. It’s a huge moment,” Brinkley said. “It also reminded me, believe it or not, of V-J Day, Victory Over Japan Day, 1945. Because when victory came people started coming out of apartments and homes … a lot of extra people in these towns just started coming out.”
Marches across America
March organizers said protests took place in more than 600 cities across the world.
Attendance was not always easy to determine. For instance, Washington march organizers said about 500,000 people took part, but authorities did not confirm that number or provide their own estimate.
In Boston, 120,000 to 125,000 people protested, according to a police aerial photo analysis cited by a senior Boston Police official. Police said the crowd there was too big for the march route and could not proceed because “it would be like a snake eating its tail.”
US Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged Boston protesters to resist: “We can whimper. We can whine. Or we can fight back! We come here to stand shoulder to shoulder to make clear: We are here! We will not be silent! We will not play dead! We will fight for what we believe in!”
In Los Angeles, more than 100,000 people marched, police said. So many people crammed into the streets that “our march turned into a stand,” said Ellen Crafts, who handled public relations for the event.
Demonstrators in New York City marched toward Trump Tower – the President’s main residence when he’s not in the White House – but were blocked at Fifth Avenue.
Police said 20,000 people protested in Houston, 60,000 in Oakland. In Atlanta, 60,000 people marched with US Rep. John Lewis, a major Trump critic.
CNN could not independently confirm any of these crowd estimates.
Overall, the protesters were law-abiding, with police reporting only four arrests in 21 American cities. Nobody was arrested in Washington.
Top: Protesters gather on the National Mall near the US Capitol. Photo: CNN
First inset: A man dressed as Abraham Lincoln stands with protesters. Photo: CNN
Second inset: Madonna performs during the Women’s March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 . Photo:CNN
Below: Girls hold anti-Trump signs during the march. Photo: CNN
Further down: Women with cat hats walk past the Capitol. Photo: CNN
SOURCE: CNN’s Ralph Ellis with CNN’s Maeve Reston, Ray Sanchez, Eric Levenson and Miguel Marquez contributing to this report