Teresa Shook didn't even know how to create an event on Facebook when she first came up with the idea for a protest march—which makes it more astounding that that demonstration, now the Women's March on Washington, will likely be the largest protest in the capital during Donald Trump's inauguration week, with more than 165,000 signed on and a permit requesting accommodations for 200,000, the Washington Post reports. The march, which will take place the day after Inauguration Day near the Capitol, won't focus on Trump per se, but liberal issues that appear to contrast Trump's agenda. "The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us—women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths, particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault," organizers say, per NJ.com.
Shook, a 60-something retired lawyer in Hawaii who started out with just 40 RSVPs, is amazed at the protest's evolution. Issues from the get-go included racial tensions (there was criticism that Shook and her original volunteers were all white) and no available starting point. The event was eventually handed over to activists with more experience in logistics. "I didn't really think it would've ever gone viral," says Shook, who will attend. "I don't even know how to go viral." A University of California-Santa Barbara poli sci professor, however, says it makes sense that a woman, not an organization, was the impetus behind the event, which is expected to see Gloria Steinem and Amy Schumer, among other big names, in attendance. "Each organization has its own image that draws some people and pushes others back away," she notes. (Read more inauguration stories.)