Less than 24 hours after President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office, nearly 3,000 of Bend community members attended the Women’s March of Bend (WMOB) in Downtown Bend. Sister marches were held all across the country and world to march in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington D.C.
The sunshine diminished shortly after the march was due to begin, and soon snowflakes began to fall, but protestors did not let this stop them as they took over the streets of Bend. The march began at Drake Park and continued down Wall and Bond Street, which were shut down for them to march. Protesters chanted and carried signs that stated their opposition of the new president and many potential policies and potentials that he stands for. Several signs stated “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”, “Girl Power!”, “Make America Kind Again” and “Fired Up, Ready to Go”.
“I am here because it is important to make a political statement for the incoming president to see,” said Central Oregon Community College student, Jessica Smith. Students from schools across town filtered in to Drake Park from every direction as the march began.
As the crowd began to grow, several speakers including Carina Miller of Warm Springs and Gena Goodman-Cambpel encouraged the crowd to “not back down” as loud drums continued to play. Many protesters were there supporting women’s rights, the LGBT community, healthcare, and minorities. Women across the country continued to show and prove to the president and government that they will not be backing down and they will keep fighting for their rights.
“I think it is my right to protest Trump who is taking away all my rights as a woman and rights of other people. This is my country, this is America, and he says to make it my own,” said Isabel Nevel, first year COCC student.
Throughout the country, citizens have watched violent acts take place, but Nevel stated that “We can’t turn to violence to protest violence. It’s not okay.”
“I think that is is very unconstitutional and disrespectful to anyone who has ever served to burn [flags],” said Smith. One of the highest priorities for the WMOB was to peacefully protest their opinions, she said.
As the march came to an end, protestors were welcomed to the rally in the Crow’s Feet Commons in Riverfront Plaza.
Olivia Webb | The Broadside