Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

The Women’s March and the Democratic Party Trap

The Women’s March wants to organize the rage against Trump into a domesticated opposition.

Celeste Murillo

January 22, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Saturday’s women march was a historic event, with over a million people taking the streets around the country. However, most of the speakers at the marches pointed towards the Democratic Party and electoral politics as the way forward. The Democratic Party is a trap for the women’s movement and is no alternative for the emerging women’s movement.

The historic Women’s March took place in Washington DC and in major cities like Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and New York, where hundreds of thousands of people also gathered. Numerical estimates of the crowds vary greatly, but conservative estimates put the national turn-out at over 1 million people, and some have claimed as many as 3 million people took the streets, making January 21 as a historic day of national mobilization.

Despite the historic protests, the movement suffers from severe political shortcomings and misleadership. Renowned Democrats have been leading many of the huge rallies across the country. Their intention is to turn the people’s outrage against Trump into a tamed opposition.


Some of the featured speakers included America Ferrara, feminist Gloria Steinem and filmmaker Michael Moore– all supporters of the former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Moore repeated the call he had made at the rally in New York prior to Trump’s inauguration for the people to phone their congressmen to voice their opposition to the new Republican government.

In Boston, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren was one of the main speakers. Warren, who is known as one of the leaders of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, attended Trump’s inauguration ceremony, along with senator Bernie Sanders, while the protesters faced police repression in the streets of Washington.

You may be interested in The Women’s Movement We Need

Warren’s message to the crowd of people who gathered today in Boston was clearly aimed at channeling their discontent and willingness to defend the rights that are now under threat by the Trump administration towards the Democratic opposition. The speeches given in Washington, not only by celebrities but also by rally organizers, were of a similar tone.

The message is clear: The Democratic Party is preparing to organize Trump’s opposition, but it will be a tame opposition that is respectful of the government (as confirmed by Warren and Sanders’ presence at the inauguration ceremony) and will try to co-opt any independent initiative by social and political movements, as it has done throughout its history. Its interventions in today’s massive demonstrations are at the service of that policy and are aimed at turning the protests into “Day 1” of the “Democratic resistance.”


The massive numbers at the Women’s March in D.C. and across the country demonstrate people’s willingness to struggle against Trump and in defense of women’s rights. Unfortunately mainstream liberal feminist politics dominated the speeches given at rallies and revolutionary perspectives were a tiny minority.

The energy of the Women’s Marches cannot be wasted on attempts to elect or reform the Democratic Party, an organization that has already expressed its commitment to assist Trump in ensuring the success of his government.

Those who seek full equality and liberation for all women must grapple with the shortcomings of mainstream liberal feminism, as embodied by the Hillary Clinton camp, and identify an alternative. Today’s women’s movement should connect with the struggles of immigrants, Black and Brown communities facing police terror, unions fighting austerity, and all those fighting the injustices of capitalism. The revolutionary anti-capitalist forces that are today in a minority must elaborate a persuasive vision for full gender equality that is not bound by the rules of the ruling class.

Facebook Twitter Share

Celeste Murillo

Celeste is a leader of the Socialist Workers' Party (PTS) and a founder of the women's group Pan y Rosas (Bread and Roses) in Argentina. She is a host of the radio program El Círculo Rojo where she focusses on culture and gender.


Gender & Sexuality

Berlin Has a New Pride Demonstration That Cops Hate

Pride should be a protest, not a party. The Internationalist Queer Pride in Berlin takes up the tradition of the Stonewall Riots. Cops hate it — and that's a good thing

Nathaniel Flakin

July 30, 2023
People marching at New York's Queer Liberation March in June. The banner reads "left and labor for trans rights"

Trans Liberation and Socialist Revolution — A Debate with the IMT

Trotskyists should aim to be in the front lines of all struggles against oppression. This is a debate with Alan Woods's International Marxist Tendency (IMT) on how socialists should relate to the movement for queer and trans liberation.

Sasha Frost

July 29, 2023

The Communist Women’s International, in English for the First Time

An Interview with historians Daria Dyakovona and Mike Taber about their new book with documents from the Communist Women’s International

The First Pride Was a Riot, This Pride Is a Strike: Starbucks Workers Shut Down Over 150 Stores

This June, Starbucks implemented a new policy which prevented employees from decorating their stores for Pride. Instead of accepting this hypocrisy from the supposedly queer-friendly corporation, workers at over 150 unionized locations shut things down.

Reba Landers

July 1, 2023


The Deadliest Year for U.S.-Mexico Border Crossings Occurred during Biden’s Administration

The humanitarian crisis at the border was created by capitalism. Voting for a lesser evil won’t save the Latin American working class; it will take international, political and strategic solidarity across borders to build a combative immigrants’ rights movement.

Paul Ginestá

September 28, 2023

The Big Three Are Using Layoffs to Punish the UAW and Undermine the Strike

The Big Three are retaliating against the UAW by laying off thousands of its members at plants across the country. Defeating these attacks will require the self organization and mobilization of all the workers.

James Dennis Hoff

September 28, 2023
President Biden visits striking UAW workers in Michigan.

Biden’s Picket Line Visit Doesn’t Mean He Is On Our Side

President Biden’s visit to the UAW picket line shows the strength of the strike — and why it should remain independent from him and the Democrats.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

September 27, 2023

Toward a Revolutionary Socialist Network

In this article Warren Montag and Joseph Serrano respond to our call for a network for a working-class party for socialism. 

Warren Montag

September 27, 2023