Cal Anderson Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was buzzing with energy on Saturday morning as hundreds gathered for the second annual Women’s March. These numbers would quickly grow into the thousands as the day went on.
Flashes of pink from the now famous “pussy hats” (beanies with cat ears attached) and posters in all shapes and sizes filled the park as the audience stood to listen to guest speakers before the march officially began.
One of these speakers included former Tulalip Tribes vice chair, Deborah Parker, who took part in last year’s Women’s March in Washington D.C.
“Last year I had the time of my life in D.C. because there was so much love,” she said. “Millions of women and supporters all came together and it was the most peaceful march and one of the most peaceful times to stand united.”
The Women’s March launched last year in Washington D.C in the wake of President Trump’s presidency and grew into a worldwide movement to advocate for legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues including women’s rights, immigration reform and racial equality among others.
This year’s Women’s March in Seattle was organized by the Be The Change Network, a group of activists and nonprofits organizing events for progressive change, run by Janinne Brunyee.
“I loved being in the crowd with all the marchers, women and men of all ages and their children, feeling the energy and the passion,” said Brunyee after the march.
This energy and passion is something many marchers felt, including Jane Sato who was marching with her young daughter.
“Today I stand with all my fellow women and men to march towards a brighter tomorrow where my daughter will never have to feel ashamed of her background and embrace what it means to be a woman. Time is up,” Sato said as her daughter eagerly waved a #TimesUp poster.
Chants of “Women united will never be divided!” filled the streets as the march made its way from Cal Anderson Park to Seattle Center.
While last year’s march ran into controversy within the Chinatown International District where the march negatively affected businesses during one of the biggest shopping days before the Lunar New Year, this year the march steered clear of the area.
Instead, the march left Cal Anderson Park and headed towards Pike Street before turning onto 4th Avenue and ending at Seattle Center.
Cheers and high fives were sent all around once the marchers reached their final destination.
“I came alone last year and had a blast, but this year I convinced my friends to join in too,” said marcher said Daphne Zhou. “I think it’s a great way to promote equality and show Trump that even though it’s been a year since he was sworn in, we aren’t backing down.”
As thousands of marchers continued chanting and waving through their multicolored posters through the air, it was impossible for organizer Janinne Brunyee, to not feel immensely proud.
“People came from all across the state and further afield to let their voices be heard,” said Brunyee. “And now, we hope that they will take this energy and channel it into action.”