Tens of thousands of people took to Seattle streets Saturday for the Women's March 2.0. A stream of demonstrators was already heading towards central Seattle at 9 a.m., an hour before the scheduled start.
Last year an estimated 100,000 to 120,000 people marched through the city after President Donald Trump's inauguration. This year's march took on new meaning in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Mary Jessen was in awe of the amount of people who showed up.
"I'm so proud of so many people here today. I can’t wait to hear the number of people out here protesting," Jessen said.
Advocates for a range of causes joined the march in support of women’s rights, immigrant rights, civil rights, and many other social-justice issues. The first group to speak at the rally was the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women group, which also led Saturday's march.
The rally started at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. Participants marched from the park to Seattle Center. The march was accompanied by a heavy police presence.
Some marchers dusted off their pink "pussy hats" that were a trade mark of last year's march. This year, marchers also donned ones made from black wool.
People carried signs that reflect events in the past year, such as, "#MeToo" and "I know I run like a girl. #TryToKeepUp."
Lydia Denning said she plans to go to every Women's March that takes place in the future.
“I used to protest when I was younger. Then I had kids; I became compliant. Then Trump happened,” she said.
Trump's election in 2016 was a wakeup call for her. “It ignited my passion for protesting, let me tell ya.”
Wendy Farrell said she came out because she's dissatisfied with the direction the federal government has taken.
"I'm here to stand up with other like-minded individuals to show the federal government that the citizens are not going to take what they're doing to our democracy and our country lying down," she said.
Farrell said she has felt since she was a child that women are treated as second best. She said that’s not how it should be and that’s part of the reason she’s marching.
Seattle’s march was just one of many taking place around the world this weekend. Local organizers also want to spur activism beyond the rally. On Sunday, January 21, a city-wide day of action is planned, called Womxn Act on Seattle. It’s intended to be a day of learning, acting and sharing, according to organizers.
Their website states: “This year, we seek to honor the anniversary of the worldwide women’s marches not by marching, but by supporting our communities and the people who have been fighting for fairness and equity for decades. We envision a day of action, not just demonstration.”
The day will include panel discussions and voter registration events.