While hundreds of thousands of women (and children and men!) were descending on Washington, D.C., they were also gathering around the globe. Small towns, big cities, single demonstrators, dozens, hundreds, tens of thousands - coming together for women's rights.
My parents, aunt and cousin flew to D.C. for the big one, but after much internal debate, I decided to attend the Portland march. Part of my plan is to donate the money saved to organizations who will continue this fight in the legislature and in the courts.
We had extra room in the car, so former student, Alex, and bestie, Lindsey, joined Brad and me for the downtown gathering. Knowing crowd expectations of 50,000+, we left really early, parked on the east side and walked to the pre-rally hosted by Families for Peaceful Protest.
Speakers addressed the growing crowd as we stood in the pouring rain, watching people stream across the Hawthorn Bridge and into Waterfront Park. Soon it was time for the main event, including more speakers and then the march.
The crowd became a bit restless because of the cold, heavy rain, problems with the sound system, and delays in the program. Finally, it was time to hit the streets.
It was overwhelming. Estimates put the crowd at at least 100,000! And the sea of pink Pussyhats was awesome! I even saw police officers donning the hats :)
I was also amazed at the creative signs! I didn't take a lot of photos, opting instead to live in the moment. But I had to snap this one:
And this one. Yes, that's what that looks like. And yes, Lindsey and I could not pass up the photo op :) My favorite part is the flexing biceps!
The positive energy was stunning as we walked and chanted through Portland.
Friday's protest was an expression of raw anger. Saturday's march was an expression of power and hope and determination. It was beautiful, and I will never forget the experience.
It was also a really long day, and we refueled with Mexican food at a favorite taqueria in Sellwood. (miss you, Sean!!)Day Two.
I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.