Women’s March Planned in Cities Across US Amid Pandemic

The Women’s March returns to cities across the United States on Saturday, with organizers hoping thousands will turn out despite the pandemic.Organizers of the march in Washington are focusing on a range of left-leaning political issues, including urging Americans to vote President Donald Trump out of office and protesting the Supreme Court nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett, following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.According to a permit issued by the National Park Service, organizers expect between 6,000 and 10,000 people to gather on Freedom Plaza for a midday rally, followed by a march to the Supreme Court.Also Saturday, a counterprotest organized by a conservative women’s group will take place at the Supreme Court. The Independent Women’s Forum plans an “I’m With Her” rally in support of Barrett’s confirmation.The Women’s March organizers said they are encouraging mask wearing and social distancing because of the pandemic. They also say they are discouraging attendance from people who live in coronavirus hot spots and are asking people around the country to join in local marches instead of traveling long distances.Hundreds of similar rallies and events are expected to take place Saturday throughout the country, with some set to take place virtually or be held via car caravan because of the pandemic. One march is set to begin at Cornell University, where Ginsburg attended college.The march comes as Senate Republicans plan to begin voting next week on the confirmation of Barrett, who, if confirmed, would give the court a 6-3 conservative majority. Democrats have expressed concern that Barrett could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling upholding a woman’s right to an abortion.The first women’s march was held in 2017 when millions of people rallied to protest the inauguration of Trump. Subsequent marches have since focused on electing more women to local, state and national offices.