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Thousands Pack Portland Streets For Women's March


Tens of thousands of people packed the streets of downtown Portland for the Women's March on Portland, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. The march was one of the largest public demonstrations in Oregon history.

Thousands of people flooded Portland’s waterfront for the Women’s March Saturday in one of the largest public demonstrations in Oregon history.

Drummers laid beats as crowds marched through relentless rainfall downtown.

“It’s incredible,” said Amy Miller, who attended the march. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s amazing.”

More than 50,000 people indicated on Facebook that they planned to attend Women’s March Portland. But some estimates Saturday said as many as 100,000 people showed up. Participants packed the streets and sidewalks of the march route, which spanned 44 city blocks.

Asked to describe the scene, Portland Police Officer Deshawn Williams said, “Looks like change to me.”

In spite of the sheer number of participants, the Portland Police Bureau said the march was “100 percent peaceful.”

TriMet reported large numbers of people filling MAX trains into downtown Portland around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, causing significant delays. At noon, the agency’s mobile ticketing app was down with requests overloading the system, but was restored shortly thereafter.

The Women’s March Portland is one of 20 sister events in Oregon. Huge crowds gathered in Bend while Eugene’s march closed streets, according to news reports. Even Oregon Gov. Kate Brown joined marchers in Salem.

The demonstrations come on President Donald Trump’s first full day in office and the day after Portland police pepper-sprayed crowds protesting Trump’s inauguration in the city.

“I’m out here to make sure that the United States and the world knows that we don’t support his policies at all,” said Shannon Jones, a Portland resident. “Don’t believe in anything that comes out of his mouth.”

Jones was at the march with her daughter, Sahara Jones.

“We don’t believe in misogynistic behavior,” Sahara said. “We don’t believe in anti-immigrant policies. We are here and we need to be woke; because we are not asleep.”

Women’s March on Portland organizer Margaret Jacobsen told “Think Out Loud” Friday the march’s intent goes far beyond protesting Trump. Jacobsen said organizers hope to spark inclusive, intersectional feminist discourse.

“We really have to think of Muslim women, and we have to think of immigrant mothers being taken away from their children if they’re deported,” she said. “There’s so many other issues that we have to think of that isn’t just our reproductive rights, and so I think that all of those intersect and we’re all affected by them.”

For some in attendance, it was their first time at a march or protest — especially one of such scale.

Seven-year-old Anna Shuping said she had mixed emotions at first seeing the crowd.

“[It was] kinda weird, cause there was, like, so many people,” Shuping said. “But it was also kind of comfortable because I wasn’t alone.”

Women’s March demonstrations were planned in all 50 states and cities across the globe Saturday — including Seattle, Boise, Spokane and other cities and towns across the Northwest, according to the Associated Press.


Updates

This story was updated at 12:34 p.m. to include information from TriMet.
This story was updated at 1:14 p.m. with information from Portland, Eugene, Salem and Bend.
This story was updated at 2:31 p.m. with information from Portland.
This story was updated at 3:47 p.m. with information from Portland.

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