Women's March brings thousands to St. Paul

Thousands gather in MN, DC for Women's Marches

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thousands of people gathered in St. Paul Saturday for the Minnesota Women's March, one of more than 600 similar rallies being held around the world.

Organizers originally expected about 20,000 people to attend St. Paul's event, which was held in support of women's rights and in protest against Donald Trump's presidency. However, St. Paul Police estimate the crowd was between 90,000 and 1000,000.

The rally began around at noon at the state Capitol. After musical performances and speakers Rep. Betty McCollum, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, the events wrapped up around 1:30 p.m.



The event is likely the largest march in Minnesota's capital since the city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2008.

"There are more people up there than I thought could possibly come out on a cold January day. It's pretty crazy," said protester Liz Lonetti. "This says to me that people are engaged. They're not going to sit out and cry into their oatmeal very long."

"I see it as a time to teach my daughter that this is what a rally is. That this is something we can do in this country and one of the reasons I love this country," said protester Kathy Randall.

Police say they did arrest one man; a counter-protester who, marchers say, "sprayed chemical irritants into the crowd." He's been booked into the Ramsey County Jail for aggravated assault.

In Washington, hundreds of thousands gathered for a rally and march. Among them, women from Minnesota. Sen. Amy Klobuchar greeted some of the 2,000 Minnesotans that made the trip to D.C.

Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota also greeted DC protesters who made the trip from Minnesota.

"I feel, as a woman, that the election was extremely difficult to get through," said Molly Chase of Minneapolis, who traveled to the DC protest. "Even if you can look past other things, we have a president now that uses locker room language to describe violating women."

Karen Heintz of Minneapolis and her sister from Wisconsin flew to DC Saturday morning.

"It's very positive. It's very diverse. It's very human and police and it's just an incredible energy," she said describing the crowds. An estimated half-million people marched in DC. Heintz says neither are avid protesters; her sister hasn't attended a rally since 1971. Yet they felt compelled to demonstrate in the wake of the election.

"We both felt we had to do something. We couldn’t just complain and not do something and this is fantastic. I’m so glad we came," she said.

Those who attended marches used social media to back their message. Here are just some of the posts.

"I'm hopeful. It's America. We still have our laws, we still have our constitution. We're not done. It's a presidency. There were a lot people who didn't like Obama, but they survived eight years," Lonetti added.


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