LEIDEN, Netherlands – The recent Women’s March on Washington was organized as a worldwide response to rising far-right rhetoric around the world. In the Netherlands, “sister marches” were held in Amsterdam and Den Haag (The Hague). Groups of Webster students from the Leiden campus attended the march in Amsterdam.
An estimated 4.9 million people joined 673 marches held globally on Jan. 21 to defend women’s rights and those of others, according to Women’s March Global, the international arm of the Women’s March on Washington.
Webster University international relations major Lauren Handley and human rights major Alex Lubbe joined marchers on the train from Leiden.
“We could tell [people on the train] were going to the march; they were making signs,” Handley said. “Some people lent us cardboard and a marker to make our own.”
The mile-long march route traversed the Museumplein, or Museum Square, home to the Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museums. Weekenders on the grass expanse had to make way for the group as it headed to the U.S. Consulate General at the far end of the square.
“This was the most people I’ve ever seen at a protest I’ve been to, which is pretty impressive considering we’re not even in the U.S.,” Lubbe said.
Dutch TV news service RTL News reported 3,000 people marched in the Amsterdam event.