An estimated 275 people in Brookings and another 200 in Port Orford took to the streets Saturday in support of women’s, civil, religious, environmental and other rights the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated into office.
The local marches coincided with the main one on the National Mall in Washington D.C., where at least 250,000 people came to, in some part, protest the vitriolic statements Trump said on his campaign trail. Similar marches were held in cities large and small throughout the world, making the gathering the largest ever instigated by the United States, according to the BBC in England.
“The numbers just kept growing,” said Teresa Lawson, who coordinated the event in Brookings. “It was organized chaos, there were so many people.”
Marchers bore signs that read “Keep Trump’s hands off Mother Earth,” “Hell hath no fury — Try us!,” “Love trumps hate,” “Tweet everyone with respect,” “Women’s rights are human rights,” “No more hate,” “Girls just want to have FUNdamental rights” and many others along the same theme.
The Washington Post even made mention of the march in Brookings.
“As they rallied, many of the marchers took to social media, apparently amazed by the sheer numbers that turned out in their cities and towns, particularly in states like Kentucky and Idaho that voted for Trump, and in tiny towns like Marfa, Texas and Brookings, Oregon that rarely muster protests.”
Locally, people started trickling in to the Democratic headquarters in Brookings where the Progressive party was hosting a sign-making event. The crowds filled the sidewalks 20 minutes before the march was to start, Lawson said. They marched from the Democratic headquarters to Fifth Avenue and back. Head-counts indicated there were about 275 marchers.
“When was the last time Brookings had a march or demonstration with (that many) people?” Lawson said. “I saw teenagers with their parents, families with small children, I talked to 10 people from Crescent City. From 10:15 until almost noon there was a visible presence along Chetco Avenue.”
Up in Port Orford, a crowd of about 200 gathered at Battle Rock to make signs and march north on Highway 101 to the library.
“Men and women met and marched in solidarity with nationwide demonstrations of many millions of people opposing the policies, divisive rhetoric and appointments of the newly inaugurated President Trump,” said Tim Palmer of Port Orford. “It was likely the largest public demonstration in Port Orford history.”
Not just there, either. The Independent newspaper in London reported 100,000 marched there, police said 75,000 to 100,000 turned out in Madison, Wisconsin, another 150,000 in Chicago and 100,000 each in Boston and Denver.
Tens of thousands more gathered throughout the world — even in Antarctica.
Lawson said 1 percent of Americans participated across the country Saturday.
“In Brookings, one in 23 residents marched — four times the national participation rate. I don’t know which statistic I find more amazing, the Brookings turnout, or the D.C. turnout that was more than three times the turnout for the actual inauguration.”
The crowd in Port Orford listened to several short speeches in support of respect and equality of women, the fundamental rights of all people, and the need to engage in political action through the years ahead.
Many women at all the events wore “pussy hats” — usually pink, knitted and featuring two little cat ears — that referred to comments Trump made about sexual advances he’d made on women in the past.