COLUMBUS CIRCLE — More than a dozen women were arrested for blocking traffic during a rally for International Women’s Day outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The arrests came as a crowd of hundreds, some carrying signs referencing President Trump’s infamous “grab them by the p----” comments, gathered outside the hotel in a show of support for women around the globe.
A total of 13 women were arrested and charged for blocking vehicular traffic before they were taken to the Lower East Side's 7th Precinct Wednesday.
"We were walking, then all of a sudden people started sitting in the middle of Columbus Circle," recounted Imani Fuentes, 18, who was waiting for the women to be released at the precinct station house early Wednesday evening, hours after the arrests.
"A bunch of cops came after five minutes and told us if we didn't move, we would be arrested. A bunch of us moved to the side and the ones who stayed got arrested."
Many of our national organizers have been arrested in an act of civil disobedience. We will not be silent. #DayWithoutAWoman— Women's March (@womensmarch) March 8, 2017
Small crowd chanting outside the 7th precinct. Awaiting release of 13 protestors arrested for blocking traffic. pic.twitter.com/6MJfK1AaKt— Allegra Hobbs (@AllegraEHobbs) March 8, 2017
The rally, one of several planned in New York Wednesday, began just after noon and lasted until about 2:30 p.m.
The annual Women’s Day took on new importance for many of the demonstrators, including Cambra Moniz-Edwards, of Brooklyn, who said the recent political climate has made it all the more important to highlight the role women play in the country.
“I think Trump has put into stark relief the fact that women are not treated as equal, even though we’re in the majority,” she said. “We’re standing up and demanding that we get the respect we deserve.”
A few feet away stood Kimberly Peterson, of Manhattan, whose daughters Revan, 8 and Valyn, 10, held signs extolling the power of love and feminist pride. Peterson said she brought her daughters along to show them the strength women have in unity.
“I wanted them to see this and be proud,” she said. “It’s hard to keep them sheltered and at the same time make them aware of the issues, but I’m starting by showing them to be proud of being a girl, proud of being a woman.”
Vaylyn, holding a “The future is female” sign, stayed silent, but Revan repeatedly chirped slogans and waved her sign reading, “love not hate makes America great.”
“I’m here to support women!” she said.