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There will be many protest rallies held around the nation and the world next week after Donald Trump takes the oath of office as President of the United States. The Women’s March on Washington has inspired over 380 “sister” marches around the country and the world. According to the Women’s March on Washington web site, “the Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
Margaret Jacobson is organizing the March on Washington Portland Sister March. Jacobson who has organized solidarity marches in the past and is the creator of a discussion and education series, “Let’s Talk” that focuses on community building and racial justice.
Jacobson said that the Portland March organizers have gone to great lengths to make the event accessible and safe for all members of the community including people of color, children and the elderly. She said they shortened the Portland March route to make it easier for children and older people to participate. Prior to the official program there will be a family hour with speakers and music and ample space for children to play and move before the majority of the expected 20,000 Portland March participants arrive in Downtown Portland.
The Portland March is permitted and there will be a Portland Police presence supporting the protest. Jacobson said, “if you are a white family you will find comfort in the permitted march. But if you are a family of color, having a police presence might not necessarily feel safe. It is a bit more intimidating.” The Women’s March on Washington and the sister Marches hold a philosophy of non-violence. In Portland there will be Peace Keepers volunteers wearing armbands to support the marchers if necessary.
Some families may wonder why they should bring their children to a protest march at all. According to Jacobson, she thinks marching is an important part of her children’s education. “It will be really empowering for my children to see all the people and to see what is happening in the world. I think it is really important in 2017 for kids to recognize all the differences between people in our community. It might seem scary to put our kids into spaces where there could be a threat but they are our future and we have to teach them why standing up for people and fighting for our rights is important.”
Women’s March on Washington – Portland, January 21, 2017
The official programming will begin at 12 noon with speakers and the March is expected to begin at 1:15 pm and will end with a rally at SW Pine Street and Waterfront Park.