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Women's March 2.0: Reports from across the country

Crowd fills Captiol Hill during Women's March on Washington, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Photo taken by Caroline Pa/ABC7-WJLA)

On Saturday, millions of men and women, young and old took part in the second Women's March.

Below are reports from around the country on the events and reactions from participants.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Thousands of people hit the streets in D.C. on Saturday.

“Women’s marches are the most hopeful thing that’s happening in the country today because this is really the spirit of America,” said Sara Nelson, a D.C. resident.

It’s a spirit that, on Saturday, showed through pink hats and homemade signs.

“The charisma here, the atmosphere, oh my Gosh, it’s incredible!” said Melissa Geroux, from Germantown.

Men and people from outside of the region also attended the Women's March.

“I just wanted to come up here and support women and support minorities and support the idea of diversity,” said Scott Friend, from North Carolina.

Speakers kicked off the event in front of the Reflecting Pool around 11 a.m.

“The fact that the government is shut down on the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration says a lot about the chaos of the way he’s running the government,” Democratic Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said. “But this is an anniversary, too, and it’s an anniversary of activism and an anniversary of peacefully getting off the sidelines and being engaged.”

The group started its march to the White House in the afternoon.

“This is my city and I love it!” said Lisa Robinson, standing in the middle of cheering crowds. “This is what democracy looks like!”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Tens of thousands of marchers headed for Seattle Center on Saturday morning for the Seattle Women's March 2.0.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke at the rally at Capitol Hill's Cal Anderson Park before marchers began heading downtown.

She tweeted, "It's inspiring to see so many of you out here for the second year in a row. This was the year of action - we marched, we organized, we ran, and we won. It's the greatest honor to be the mayor of this amazing city, filled with so many incredible people!"

From Capitol Hill, the marchers filled the streets as they passed by downtown buildings.

The march then headed to its final destination at Seattle Center.

There was plenty of enthusiasm and hope on Saturday.

"I think today represents the next step in activism," organizer Jannine Brunyee said. "All the people coming out here today because they have something they want to say."

The hope of the march was to engage and empower all people to support women's rights, racial equity, and human rights, according to organizers. Organizers said this year, they also wanted to encourage people to discuss the #metoo movement.

The event Saturday also prompted a counterprotest by the Patriot Prayer group. And police made at least one arrest for a person accused of assaulting an officer, Seattle police confirmed.

Seattle Police say about 120,000 turned out for last year's march. Organizers estimated that number was as high as 175,000 participants. The first ever Women's March happened the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated and coincided with marches nationwide and around the world.

RENO, NEVADA

Volunteers and leaders for this year's "Women's March" say they expected "10,000 women, men and children" to attend this year's event in downtown Reno on Saturday, Jan. 20.

The march followed the same route from the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Building located at the corner of South Virginia and Liberty streets to City Plaza and the BELIEVE sign.

"We plan to have several inspirational speakers, men and women who believe that women's issues today affect us all," commented Matthew Fonken, Women's March Leader. "Many people wanted the new Administration to know that we planned to fight to keep the rights that have been won. This January, there will be even more reasons for citizens to rally and march, as many of those rights have been discarded or eroded."

March organizers said that their goal for the day was clear: empower people to get out and vote. They said that voting is the best tool for citizens to force policy changes on topics that affect their lives.

Assemblywoman Amber Joiner, Assemblywoman Theresa Benitez Thompson, U.S. Congresswoman Jacky Rosen and many more were scheduled to speak during the event.

Lieutenant Scott Shaw with the Reno Police Department estimated that 10-20,000 marchers showed up on Saturday.

PORTLAND, OREGON

Thousands of demonstrators participated in a series of marches and rallies through Portland on Saturday, marking President trump's first full year in office.

The J-20 (Or January 20th - a year since Trump's inauguration ceremony) rallies were focused on several different causes, but they primarily were centered around women’s rights, immigration, and Trump. They

The National March for Impeachment was the first of the day, starting with a rally around noon in Terry Schrunk Free Speech Plaza.

Thousands then started marching through city streets, prompting Portland Police to close down some roads to cars. They ask drivers to use caution if they are going downtown.

Police also said there could be TriMet delays for city buses and MAX trains.

The event was organized by Direct Action Alliance and the International League of Peoples' Struggle. Police say they do not have a permit to march.

Supporters of the #metoo movement held a speak-out against sexual assault at 2 p.m. in Pioneer Square.

The group then marched through the streets to show solidarity for the victims of sexual violence.

The group marched through several blocks and returned to Pioneer Square roughly a half-hour later.

Last year, thousands filled city streets for Portland’s Women’s March.

Organizers say that this year the event has stepped aside to “create space for Indigenous Womxn to be seen and heard” at Sunday’s Indigenous Women's March. This rally and march will be held at Terry Schrunk Free Speech Plaza from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Portland Police officials said they'll work to make sure everyone can practice free speech, however they will still check for proper permits and prevent any violence or other illegal activity.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

More than 15,000 people attended the Tennessee Women’s March 2.0 in downtown Nashville.

The second annual march and rally started at Public Square Park and ended at Bicentennial Mall.

There were several families with young children in attendance.

Michelle Andrade brought her 8- and 12-year-old daughters.

“I want my girls to feel empowered,” Andrade said. “I want them to have their feet on the ground and tell people what they believe. I also want them to see that other people have other opinions than we do but it doesn't make them wrong and we can love them where they are.”

Also in the large crowd of people, Vanderbilt grad student Joni-Marie Cunningham and her 13-month-old son Victor.

“My husband is also a huge feminist so I made this sign and it says ‘Feminist like Daddy’ because Victor is going to be a feminist,” Cunningham said. “He’s raised by powerful women and a very supportive man.”

What’s different at this year’s event, the #MeToo movement that has swept the nation as women speak up about sexual assault and harassment.

“Whenever my Facebook feed and my Twitter feed was flooded with #MeToo that showed how prominent that problem is and that problem needs to be addressed,” Cunningham said. “I don't know a single woman in my life who cannot say #MeToo myself included.”

“I think it's beautiful that people are starting to feel safe to speak their truth about things,” Andrade said. “I think that's a really great peace that needs to happen for all of us.”

COLUMBUS, OHIO

Scores of women and men laced up and hit the streets of downtown Columbus Saturday to fight for equal rights.

It was all part of the second annual Women’s March being held in cities across the nation.

The event started at the Columbus Convention Center and ended on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse.

People took turns giving speeches on everything from the President Trump’s first year in office to the fight for more equality for all women.

“I came to the first women’s march last year and I thought it was energizing to be with a whole group of women who were really looking forward to making a change in our country,” said Jessica Thimdit, who attended the march.

A large Columbus police presence lined the streets of North High Street in downtown Columbus as thousands marched on sidewalks holding signs of solidarity.

ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

Thousands filled Memorial Stadium for the Asheville's Women's March.

Activists heard speeches from Mayor Esther Manheimer, Asheville High School students and other organizers. They touched on topics of equal rights, equal pay, immigration and the state of our government.

Stephanie Young and her daughter Sky were unable to attend the march last year but felt compelled to join in for 2018.

"I want my daughter to realize women should get everything that any other human being would get," Young said.

Her daughter made a poster that read "girl power." Sky said when she grows up, she wants to be a "real woman."

"I think a real woman is strong, independent and brave," said Sky. She said seeing the women march today made her feel like she can tackle important issues in the future.

The march continued 0.9 miles up to the Vance Monument. Along the way, marchers chanted "Love trumps hate, that's what makes America great."

"I'm here standing for history moving forward, and women being powerful and strong," said Kimball Davis.

Marchers were met by a handful of people opposing abortion and LGBT rights, but marchers refused to have their voices silenced.

"I think people are waking up, and I think they are saying enough is enough. I feel like [in] 2018 we are going to see a change, a much-needed change," said Kim Preish.

Caroline Bowers said she left feeling empowered after last year's march.

"I was really inspired last year, hearing all of the speakers and the mayor. I really want to go into politics myself, so it really inspired me, as [a] woman," said Caroline.

SENECA FALLS, NEW YORK

Thousands of people united together in Seneca Falls for the Women's March Saturday.

Mothers and daughters, along with fathers and sons were celebrating women and each other.

"It’s a life-changing experience,” said Jahangir Qazi, from Rochester. He is sharing this experience with his mom.

"We just have to treat each other with respect and admiration because women are awesome but so are men,” Lisa Toth, his mom, said.

They joined thousands of others rallying and marching together for this year’s Women’s March.

This year’s theme is "per-sisters." Its aim is to celebrate women who don’t give up and go for what they want.

That's something Julie Legnetto is teaching her 10-year-old daughter Sydney to do.

"If little kids can dream of big things when they grow up they can become them,” said young Sydney.

After helping to start this movement last year, organizers said they wanted to come together for a second time.

"It is so thrilling because working on an event like this is heart work not hard work and people from all over the state come, ” said Melina Carnicelli, an organizer.

With about 10,000 people in the crowd we found one little girl who one day could be president. "It’s really cool because everyone’s nice and high fiving,” said Anka Chiorini.

___________

Amy Aubert of WJLA reported from Washington, D.C. KOMO staff reported from Seattle, Washington. KRNV staff reported from Reno, Nevada. KATU Staff reported from Portland, Oregon. Rob Wells of WSYX reported from Columbus, Ohio. Samantha Singer of WZTV reported from Nashville, Tennessee. Adriana Mendez of WLOS reported from Asheville, North Carolina. Amanda Valdez with WHAM reported from Seneca Falls, New York.

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