Thousands attend Womxn’s March and Rally

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Women took to the streets Sunday afternoon as part of the “Womxn’s March and Rally for Action.”

It was a peaceful march and many of those who attended said they were there to promote unity and gender rights. 

Organizers kicked off the event with presentations, music and indigenous speakers. Lawmakers including Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici were there. 

The event’s director told KOIN 6 News before the rally that there are a lot of incredible womxn doing incredible work and the event was designed to lift them up. 

According to its website, the Womxn’s March in Portland focuses on the following:

“The mission of Womxn’s March Portland (WM PDX) 2019 is to harness the political and organizational power of diverse womxn (and our communities) to create transformative social change. The Portland Womxn’s March 2019 is an intersectional, feminist, womxn-led movement.”

Organizers said the “x” in “womxn” represents inclusivity. Read more.

“I’m here today because we are in a dire time obviously, not that that’s new,” attendee Rae Dinello said. “But I think we need to dismantle white supremacy and everything that falls into that.”

“We need to create equity among communities and we need to come together to solve world problems such as environmental degradation and social justice,” attendee Lara Andenoro said. “So I want to come here and support in solidarity with women and people of color and everyone working to make this world a better place.”

Leaders of this event had been part of organizing the Women’s March on Portland in 2017. That march took place in January following the inauguration of President Donald Trump and attracted an estimated 100,000 people. 

Some groups involved in the original women’s march splintered in 2018 over accusations of a lack of diversity and fractured relationships. Jessica Beckett, the organizing director for the Womxn’s March & Rally for Action 2019, said many lessons have been learned since 2017 that have helped to shape Sunday’s event. 

“We really wanted our marchers to use this as an educational experience,” said Beckett. “I really strongly believe a march is not enough. That we have to, as I said, educate, engage and empower people.” 

Beckett said the goal is to build a strong foundation that lasts for years to come in order to build a relationship with the community.

Organizers of Sunday’s march and rally were happy to host another event and plan to make it an annual celebration of women in the Portland area.

The group is also going to host workshops throughout March, Women’s History Month, for those interested in activism beyond the event. 

This year’s march was originally planned to take place Jan. 20. Organizers opted to postpone it in order to “keep the focus of the January 19-21 weekend on long-planned community events celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.,” according to the event’s website. The march also coincides with Women’s History Month

More KOIN coverage: Women’s History Month

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