Lilu Ray, 9, held up a sign that read “SAVE MY FUTURE IMPEACH!”
Normally, Lilu’s mom, Michele, wouldn’t bring her children to a march. When Michele attended the Women’s March last year, she left her kids at home with their dad, Jason. When Jason attended the March for Science, it was Michele’s turn to stay home.
The March for Impeachment in downtown Portland Saturday was a family affair. The stakes, Michele says, are higher now.
“They’re involved now,” Michele said of her two kids who are 9 and 7. “I’ve tried to kind of protect their innocence, and I see now that we’re going to have to start exposing them to what’s really going on in the world, partly because this fight is only starting, and they’re going to have to be the ones to finish it.”
To mark Trump’s first year in office, marchers spilled out of Terry Schrunk Plaza and onto the streets of downtown Portland, following a map that made 12 stops. “Welcome to the tour!” the map read. “Here is your guide to decolonizing Portland.”
Marchers carried signs that formed a year in review: “Support DACA” (the Obama-era program that gave temporary protection to thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as kids) one sign read. “Women’s rights are human rights,” read another.
“Descendant of immigrants from a ‘shithole’ country (And I vote)”
Linda Boyd wore a sweater from the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., last year, a protest that drew thousands of women in pink “pussy hats” immediately following Trump’s inauguration. This year, she was in Portland, where she’s lived since 1970.
“I thought I’d wear it in honor of a year ago,” Boyd said. “This is quite encouraging, really, that we’re keeping up the fight and that people are still expressing and are able to express, at least in the city of Portland, dissatisfaction and hoping we can make a better government.”
Boyd says that while the march wasn’t focused on one issue like the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the sentiment and the concerns are the same, “if not higher,” she added.
At Pioneer Courthouse Square, women took to a mic to share their stories about sexual assault.
“The most powerful thing that I heard from those in my classroom when I disclosed to them for the first time was ‘me too,’” one woman told the crowd. “Your stories matter.”
Back at the march, one end chanted “Black lives matter!” while the other yelled “This is what democracy looks like!”
A band played; people danced; a young girl asked a woman if she could pet her dog; shoppers walked, shopping bags in hand, in the opposite direction of tides of people.
Some jumped from one event to the next, their signs still applicable, still relevant.