"Look, complain to all those protesters out there, alright?" the exasperated security guard snapped back at a woman making bitter comments about the blocked streets in downtown Vancouver.

It's not hard to see the source of the drama. To a casual visitor, parts of the city appeared to have been completely shut down by protests around noon.

Roads west of Burrard Street were blocked by police motorbikes and cars, as around 15,000 marched in protest against newly-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump. In Washington, D.C. around 500,000 people attended the rally today, while major cities across the U.S. and around the world held solidarity protests.

Men and women of all different ages and backgrounds and ethnicities held signs and slogans, many dressed in pink "pussy hats" — in reference to Trump's now-infamous comment about grabbing women without consent.

"F*ck Trump!" some people shouted, holding signs that mocked the president's distinctive hair. Others waved signs preaching love and tolerance, urging Trump opponents not to fight hate with more hate. People cheered loudly and improvised dance as tuba players and drummers played songs to accompany the march.

Musicians light up the Women's March on Washington rally in Vancouver on Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Despite the mid-day disruption to traffic, drivers honked horns repeatedly in support of the rally.

One young woman said she was hopeful the new U.S. president would shift his position on banning Muslims from entering the country and creating a 'registry' for existing Muslims in the country, much like the U.S. internment of the Japanese during the Second World War.

"I really hope maybe Trump will change his mind about Islam, and other religions in the world," said Ahlam, a student from Saudi Arabia.

She said Trump's inflammatory rhetoric had already had a major impact on people's lives, and that some female students who wore the hijab (a headscarf worn by some Muslim women) had cancelled their plans to study in the U.S., and were instead going to universities in Canada. Asked about her own experience in Vancouver during the U.S. elections, she smiled widely and said no one had discriminated against her in Vancouver.

A student at Vancouver's Women's March on Washington march on January 21, 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Vancouver resident Ian Weniger said while the election of Donald Trump was "horrible," there were multiple factors contributing to his success among U.S. voters. He said he thought economic inequality, which was aggravated under previous administrations, was partially responsible for Trump's populist appeal in the 2016 election.

"It was the financial crisis, the foreign wars, the lack of interest in supporting whistleblowers and fairness. The staggering wealth that Barack Obama courted, then refused to hold accountable," he said. There were concerning signs in the politics of Vancouver as well, he added, pointing out that empty condo towers were being built all over the city despite the lack of affordable homes for local residents, and that young people were having to work multiple jobs to be able to pay rent in the city.

Ian Weniger at Vancouver Women's March on Washington rally on Jan. 21, 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Musician at Women's March on Washington in Vancouver, B.C., 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Woman at Women's March on Washington in Vancouver, B.C., 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Women at Women's March on Washington in Vancouver, B.C., 2017. Photo by Jenny Uechi

Crowd shot by Jenny Uechi

Keep reading