Women march for power

The streets filled with chanting crowds, and anti-Trump and pro-feminism flags and banners flooded the muggy Portland air last weekend.

Hundreds of people gathered downtown for one of many marches that took place across globe last weekend on the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.

Countries from Australia to Italy, states from New York to California, and cities from Roseburg to Sandy contributed in the widespread rallies. More than 14 cities across Oregon alone held demonstrations.

Both women and men joined in solidarity, marching against Trump’s racism and misogyny, against sex abuse and harassment, and for equity across all races, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

According to The Oregonian newspaper, none of the four events in Portland were directly affiliated with the Women’s March but all were founded on the March’s general themes. There were events supporting the LGBTQ+ community and women of color, rallying for impeaching Trump, speaking out for on about #MeToo issues, and empowering indigenous women.

The #MeToo March and SpeakOut event sponsored by Portland’s Socialist Alternative group expected the biggest turnout according to FM News Radio 101 KXL. During the SpeakOut at Pioneer Square, students, actresses, nurses, moms, and others shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment.

One woman encouraged men to start by listening, and said “Women put their body on the line by just existing. Put your body on the line for us.”

Another said she felt threatened every day that Trump was in office, and called on the crowd to “refuse to accept him.” She continued by saying she doesn’t hate the man who molested her, but she wanted to speak out for change so her two sons could grow up in a better world.

“The system kills us inside. Depression is killing men too; we need healing in both directions,” she continued.

Speaker after speaker reinforced this message. After dozens of stories were told, the crowd transitioned to marching.

Signs of all sizes and messages flowed from march to march. Many participants from the impeachment rally and the LGBTQ+ rally came to the #MeToo event, creating a melting pot of supporters.

A group of friends held signs with Oprah Winfrey’s face with bold letters that read “Your time is up.” One dog had a cardboard box hung on its back reading “I will pee on your wall.” Others in the crowd held rainbow flags, and “Believe her” banners.

Although some of the participants carried milk, water, and first aid kits in case any violence broke out or tear gas was used like last year’s J20 protest, the marches remained peaceful, with Portland police quietly guiding the path ahead.

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