Approximately 70,000 – 100,000 women and men from points north, south, east and west converged on the fair city of Portland Saturday to show solidarity and support for the rights of women.

Braving stormy weather, the crowds gathered at Tom McCall Waterfront Park where the atmosphere was jubilant, festive and at all times, peaceful.

Portland was just one of dozens of cities across the country where marchers took to the streets to support women’s rights and voice their displeasure about the policies of the new administration in Washington.  Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, New York, Seattle, Amsterdam, Mexico City, London, Paris and dozens of other cities ’round-the-world hosted similar protest rallies.

In Portland, marchers carried signs with slogans similar to those seen all over the country, including “Women’s rights are human rights,” “Women are the future” and “A woman’s place is in the resistance.”

Why a march?

During and following the marches, many participants took to Twitter and Facebook to share stories and experiences of the day’s events.

Sylvia Harrington from Waco, Texas – who joined the march in Austin – was asked on Facebook why she marched.

We thought her reply most eloquent, and re-post it here:

“I marched for all women who are afraid of losing their health care when the Affordable Care Act is repealed with absolutely nothing to replace it. I marched for every attractive young woman who is sick and tired of being catcalled in the streets, including my daughter. I marched for every rape kit that is sitting un-analyzed on an evidence shelf somewhere while a rapist goes free and a victim tries to get her life together. I marched for every college age victim of sexual assault whose school refused to investigate, refused to expel the rapist, refused to have consequences.

I marched for all Muslims who are afraid of being attacked. I marched for all LGBT people who daily suffer attacks, fear and discrimination. I marched for every black person who is terrified of being killed when they get stopped for speeding. I marched for every Native American woman who is putting her life on the line right now for the sake of clean water for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. I marched for every property owner who owns a coastal home that will be flooded out by rising oceans if we don’t act to stop climate change. I marched for every woman who knows that “grab her by the pussy” IS sexual assault.

I marched for every woman who every day makes 79c to the dollar that her male colleague makes for doing the same exact job. I marched for every mother and father of a disabled child who is afraid now that the Affordable Care Act is going to be repealed, their child will have a pre-existing condition and will be unable to get health insurance. And for every parent of a disabled child who fears their child’s special education will be taken away and they will never learn up to their ability.

I marched for every child who is about to see the public schools stripped of federal funding and will no longer stand a chance at a decent education. I marched for every woman who gets her basic health care from Planned Parenthood and is about to lose that medical care.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but those are the ones that sprang to mind.”

Thanks to Portland Radio Project’s Robert Parish for this video with highlights from Saturday’s march!

Cynthia Orlando
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