Nationally, women and supporters marched in solidarity in Washington D.C. and other parts of the country. An estimated 2,500 people attended the 3rd Annual Women’s March Saturday in Eugene. But things got off to a rocky start when one of the speakers at the rally used what some called "divisive" language.
Before the march began from the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse, there was a short kerfuffle when a speaker identified as “Mariah” had to give up the microphone while encouraging a boycott of the Israeli block party at the University of Oregon.
“Might not Palestinians and Lebanese, Arab and Muslims seeing Israel’s flag feel the same as blacks seeing the confederate flag?" she said before the crowd. "I’m here to resist.”
Organizers asked Sarah Grimm to take the mic.
“Very sorry," she replied. "We have heard enough.”
State Representative Julie Fahey brought the focus around to women in politics. She said this march isn’t just about resisting Donald Trump but building a movement where the voices of women and minorities lead the way.
“In 2017, we marched,” Fahey said. “We marched with our sisters and our mothers and our daughters. We marched.
"And in 2018, we ran.”
Fahey noted for the first time in history, the majority of executive positions in Oregon government are held by women.
Speakers also included newly-elected Lane County Commissioner Heather Buch. And Oregon’s U.S. Senator Ron Wyden was acknowledged in the crowd.
Marchers hit the pavement as local dance troupe Rise! Dance! Resist! (Grimm is one of the dancers) shook to a familiar beat: Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT".
Eugene’s Women’s March concluded around noon, an hour earlier than expected.
Participants included women, men and children of all ages. KLCC reporter Tiffany Eckert met Mirabella Garcia along the route.
“I’m 7 years old. I home school,” said Mirabella.
“Why do you think you came today?” asked Eckert.
“Because I wanted to march!” Mirabella answered.
“So what does that say?”
“This is my sign and it says ‘Girls Rule.’”
Many other marchers waved homemade signs. Messages ranged from feminism to immigration to Donald Trump.
Hundreds of people marched in Corvallis Saturday as part of a nationwide day of Women’s Marches. KLCC’s Chris Lehman reports:
Women, men and some who don’t identify with either gender listened to speeches then marched in a loop along several downtown Corvallis streets.
Passing motorists honked their horns in support of the procession. Teddi Crotti of Corvallis is a retired Spanish teacher who took part in her third Women’s March. She says overall she’s feeling better than she did two years ago.
“I do feel hopeful, because of the last election," Crotti tells KLCC. "But in many ways, I am discouraged, just seeing how it sometimes seems as if every day there’s something else, and it gets worse.”
The Corvallis event was one of many held around Oregon Saturday.
Women’s Marches also took place in Eugene, Salem, Portland and Medford.
Copyright 2019, KLCC.