The rallying cry of the Women’s March Global “Look Back, March Forward”, drew hundreds of women in Madrid to the Plaza de Isabel II on Sunday afternoon to protest the Trump presidency, domestic and sexual violence, and the wage gap.
Madrid Resistance, a group of social activists launched by Americans in the wake of the Trump presidency, organized the demonstration. The rally was held one day after the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March, in which hundreds of thousands of women across the globe marched to protest the incoming administration’s policies on immigration, reproductive rights, racial equality, healthcare and women’s rights.
Georgia Gerike, a member of Madrid Resistance, spoke about the decision to organize a rally in Madrid.
“A lot of these women’s marches are about building a culture within society that actually addresses why this [a Trump presidency] has come to be,” said Gerike. “Everyone needs to be involved at some level with this movement.”
Madrid Resistance teamed up with Spain-based women’s rights groups including Feminismos and FEMEN, a female activist group that has received international attention for topless protests and painted slogans on their bodies.
“We really wanted to get together and make sure we were coordinating and drawing a global and local perspective,” said Gerike.
The rally succeeded in bringing together women from a wide range of national, racial, and cultural backgrounds, each with a different perspective on women’s rights. Speakers included American and Spanish women who had experienced misogyny in the workplace, as well as domestic and sexual violence. These issues are particularly relevant given the recently released statistics on domestic violence in Spain—48 women killed in the last year alone—as well as the increasing momentum of the #metoo movement in which high-profile individuals are speaking out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault.
Individuals at the rally spoke about these issues, and shared why they were protesting:
“Although I am older and have lived in a different time, I feel obligated to come and support young people, so that they may obtain all of the things we couldn’t obtain years ago. But besides women rallying and protesting, we need to involve men. 90 percent of the people in this rally are women. Where are the men? Do they not care?” Concha Prieto, Madrid
“I am currently finishing my doctorate studies at Sevilla. I am heading back there at 18:00, but I wanted to stop in because I feel like this fight is a fight in which we all need to be present… I think it’s important to say, on the international level, that we have a common cause in defense of human rights.” Maria Bastidas, Peru
“On my shirt I have Sandra Bland and I have Erica Garner… I believe these women are at the Forefront of the black lives matter movement. These women are the reason why black lives matter. So I’m here in representation of them, in representation of being black, in representation of being a woman.” Geena Greene California.
“I think it’s really important that people verbalize their outrage. And just to see that it’s an international thing is really exciting to me.” Ymoni Shavuo, California,
“I’ve lived abroad for 20 years. I voted in Florida, but I live here. Democrats Abroad is an international organization of Democrats living abroad. We are about 150,000 Americans who vote from abroad with absentee ballots. We are ready to make a blue wave.” Jim Mercereau, Chair of Democrats Abroad Spain, Madrid.