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Women's rights protestors slam harassment, violence and Trump

© AFP / by Pauline FROISSART | Thousands defied the winter cold to attend marches, notably in London and Berlin, to mark a global day of protests at violence and discrimination against women, following on from Saturday rallies in the United States

LONDON (AFP) - 

Women's rights protesters took to the streets in European cities on Sunday to voice their frustration at sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women.

Hundreds of people gathered in London chanting "Time's up! Time's up!", as similar demonstrations took place across the continent.

"I am here today to say time is up on violence against women and girls all across the world," Kiyleigh, 29, told AFP at the march outside Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office.

"I work with women who suffer from domestic abuse, sexual abuse from male perpetrators and I don't want to see that anymore," she said.

Protesters also waved placards reading "Don't touch my rights" and "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries".

Social campaigner Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, was among the speakers.

"'No' means 'no'. Sexual harassment is not OK. Abuse is not OK. People have to respect what women say," said Liberty Folker, 27, who came with her dog Gwen and held a placard reading: "Even this dog knows 'no' means 'no'".

"Every woman I know has experienced some kind of harassment or abuse or rape. I myself have and I don't want that for any woman anywhere, not just here but all across the world," she told AFP.

- 'Grab 'em by the midterms' -

In Berlin, a few dozen people gathered by the US embassy at the Brandenburg Gate and waved slogans in English including "Resist", "Stand, unite, fight" and "Time's up: Impeach now", referring to US President Donald Trump.

Others denounced Trump's remarks about women, one held a placard reading: "Grab 'em by the patriarchy".

As protesters moved through Berlin?s government district, the crowd grew to around 1,000, including expatriate Americans and a large male minority.

Many parents brought their school-age children, who carried signs with slogans including "Love trumps hate" and "Equality for all".

Speakers encouraged Americans abroad to sign up for absentee ballots for the US midterm congressional elections in November.

A popular poster read: "Grab 'em by the midterms".

Meanwhile in Spain about 200 people, mostly women, gathered in Plaza Isabel II in downtown Madrid.

They chanted slogans and held signs in Spanish and English decrying Trump and encouraging a global feminist "revolution".

"We stand here united to find our way towards equality and to demand our rights", said Cristina Rodriguez-Carretera, a 40-year-old university professor in the United States on a visit to her native Spain.

"We are more united than we think," she added, noting that women feel under attack by Trump's constant "misogyny".

In the United States, protestors took to the streets en masse on Saturday, hoisting anti-Trump placards, banging drums and donning pink hats for a second Women's March opposing the president -- one year to the day since his inauguration.

Hundreds of thousands of marchers assembled in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Boston and other cities nationwide, many donning the famous pink knit "pussy hats" -- a reference to Trump's audiotaped boast of his license to grope women without repercussions.

They were joined by actresses including Whoopi Goldberg in New York and Natalie Portman in Los Angeles.

Other demonstrations were held elsewhere in Europe including Paris.

pau-burs/rjm-jj/gd

by Pauline FROISSART

© 2018 AFP