Rep. John Lewis to protestors: "We cannot afford to be silent"

- Despite scattered downpours, thousands of protestors gathered downtown for the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women, and around the world too.

Atlanta police are estimating that Saturday's protest against President Donald Trump's policies drew a crowd of 60,000. The march was peaceful and without incident.

The largest protest was expected in Washington, D.C., where women brandished signs with slogans such as "Women won't back down" and "Less fear more love" and decried Trump's stand on such issues as abortion, health care, gay rights, diversity and climate change. Their message reverberated at demonstrations around the globe, from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles to Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney and beyond.

Rep. John Lewis headlined the Atlanta rally, speaking out against injustice saying "we cannot afford to be silent."

"I know a thing about marching." Lewis said. "Don't let anybody, anybody turn you around...never, ever give up, never lose hope!"

Sixty-six-year-old educator Diane Lent came about 90 miles from her home in rural Habersham County to join the crowd huddled under umbrellas. She said she worries about education under Trump, and she has been "horrified" at his statements about women.

The demonstration billed as the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women was sponsored by multiple groups including the ACLU of Georgia, the NAACP, Georgia Equality and Planned Parenthood.

Across the globe, the marches were a magnet for A-list celebrities, unlike Trump's inauguration, which had a deficit of top performers.

Cher, in the nation's capital, said Trump's ascendance has people "more frightened maybe than they're ever been." In Park City, Utah, it was Charlize Theron leading demonstrators in a chant of "Love, not hate, makes America great." In New York, actresses Helen Mirren and Cynthia Nixon and Whoopi Goldberg joined a crowd of protesters marching to Trump's local home.

Lewis made headlines earlier this month for challenging Trump's legitimacy. Trump responded with a Twitter post calling Lewis "all talk" and urging him to attend to his own "crime ridden" district. Lewis is a veteran of the civil rights movement who was badly beaten on the historic 1965 "Bloody Sunday" demonstration in Selma, Alabama.

Following Trump's tweet, dozens of House Democrats promised to boycott his inauguration.

Saturday's march, which was organized to raise awareness of “civil liberties and under-represented groups,” began at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta around 1 p.m. 

Organizers of the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women said the idea from the march came from concerns about the treatment and the rights of certain groups as this country moves forward.

“We are here to tell the community that we are here to protect and advocate for rights of all Americans. So that we continue to move forward and not back. We are not an anti-Trump protest,” said Janel Green, co-organizer for the Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women. “We are thousands of good people coming together committed to protection of civil liberties, freedom of religion, social justice, equal pay, to name just a few.”

NEXT ARTICLE: Women's March on Washington: Everything to know before you go

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