Donald Trump could be outshined by hundreds of thousands of people who will join the “Women’s March” through the nation’s capital and sister marches worldwide on the day after the inauguration.
About 215,000 people have already RSVP’ed for the Washington, D.C. march, according to the event’s Facebook page. Organizers predict the number of demonstrators could surpass the number of inauguration attendees.
Hollywood stars including Samantha Bee, Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Julianne Moore and Chelsea Handler are planning to march alongside everyday American women, all of them celebrating their shared humanity.
A link where people can say they plan to attend the Washington Women’s March was down Thursday night because it was overwhelmed with traffic. Organizers of the march say more than 600 sister marches will be held around the world, with over 1.3 million people expected to attend.
“I’m for my gay and lesbian friends and family, my Muslim neighbor, my Latina nanny and I’m marching for myself as a woman,” Eva Steortz, a marketing consultant for major studios, told TheWrap. “Most importantly, I’m marching for all the Trump supporters who still don’t get it.”
Steortz is traveling to D.C. with six female friends, all industry executives who feel “the stakes are really high.”
“It’s a huge opportunity to be part of history,” she said.
The New York Daily News reported last week that at least 1,200 bus permits have been requested for the RFK Stadium parking lot in Washington for the march on Saturday. That’s compared to only 200 that had been requested for the inauguration on Friday, according to D.C. Councilman Charles Allen.
“We join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore,” march organizers said in a statement. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
While President Obama’s first inaugural festivities stretched over five days. Trump’s will last just three.
In 2009, an estimated 1.8 million people attended President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. Planners expect no more than 900,000 people to attend Trump’s weekend celebrations.
There are also fewer inaugural balls planned. Bill Clinton racked up 14 official balls on the day he was sworn in. Barack and Michelle Obama attended 10 balls when he became president in 2008. Meanwhile, Trump will attend two official balls, followed by a ball saluting armed services and first responders.
While other inaugural parades lasted more than four hours, Trump’s salute through Pennsylvania Avenue is expected to last about 90 minutes, the shortest on record.
The Trump inaugural team did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment. But Trump himself predicted a wonderful inauguration day.
“I will see you tomorrow and I don’t care frankly if it’s going to be beautiful or if it’s going to rain like crazy. It makes no difference to me,” he told supporters Thursday. “I have a feeling it’s going to be beautiful.”
But demand for tickets this year is low, according to a Hollywood insider who helped with previous inaugurations.
“They can’t give them away,” the insider said. “In 2008, you couldn’t get tickets even if you wanted to.”
A 2009 Daily News article, written days before Obama’s first inauguration, said that tickets to the event, which were supposed to be free, were “being peddled on eBay and Craigslist for up to $2,000 apiece.”
Yossi Rosenberg, who works for a startup company in New York City, told TheWrap he bought two inaugural tickets for $700, hoping to flip them for a profit, but was unable to find any buyers, even after advertising on Craig’s List.
“His popularity is the lowest of any president ever,” Rosenberg said, adding that now that he’s stuck with the tickets, he may end up going to the inauguration.
As TheWrap first reported, Trump’s inauguration has been marked by relatively low-wattage stars compared to inaugurations past.
A growing list of A-list artists, including Celine Dion and Elton John, have declined to perform. Singers who have agreed to perform at Trump’s inauguration have faced a backlash.
But few seem afraid of showing up to the women’s marches.
“I want to open people’s eyes to the human rights issues,” Steortz said. “It’s important to come out and raise your voice.”