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A show of solidarity marks second Women’s March in Durango

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Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 11:34 PM
Participants in the 2018 Women’s March on Main Avenue wave to drivers as they honk their horns showing support on Saturday morning before turning onto 17th Street heading to Durango Public Library.

A year after millions of women across America took to the streets in droves to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Women’s March was back Saturday, and in Durango it was more than 500-people strong.

The crowd gathered in cold weather at Rotary Park was a mix of young and old, women and men, united in the belief that everyone deserves to be treated equally. They wore pink, cat-eared hats and carried signs that read, “The Future is Female” and “Love Trumps Hate.”

“I am 80 years old, and this has been going on for too long,” said Marilyn Sandstrom. “We need unity. I have been fighting this my whole life; there is so much misogyny.”

The cold was no deterrent for the crowd, which was similar in size to the group that gathered at last year’s rally despite foot-deep snow.

The Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango and Shelley Silbert with Great Old Broads for Wilderness spoke before the march, invoking passion and motivation from the crowd through speeches and chants.

“If anyone can put in place a Congress that cares about liberty and justice for all, women can,” Silbert said. “If anyone can protect the lands we love, women can.”

Every time Silbert said “women can,” the crowd repeated the sentiment louder than the time before.

The first Women’s March was organized on Jan. 21, 2017, to promote equality and advocate legislation regarding women’s rights, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights, health care reform, racial equality and more.

What was initially organized in Washington, D.C., to send a message to the Trump administration grew in size to become the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Across the United States and the world, people of all ages and genders stood together in solidarity.

The second Women’s March, organized by Indivisible Durango, comes amid the #MeToo movement, which sheds light on the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.

Durangoan Katherine Burgess, 72, was drawn to the Women’s March in part because of the #MeToo movement.

“This (sexual assault) has been hidden for too long,” she said. “Solidarity with women brings me out today.”

The march along Main Avenue from Rotary Park to the Durango Public Library attracted many repeat marchers who attended the Women’s March last year either in Durango or elsewhere.

Friends Mo Murray, 16, Molly Christensen, 18, and Becca Murray, 13, marched last year Santa Fe. This year, they opted for solidarity closer to home.

“This is so important because there is power in numbers and it gets the message across,” Becca Murray said. “People are facing discrimination under this administration, and it is important for them to know their voices are being heard.”

The message for equality was not lost on men, many of whom made up a large portion of the crowd.

Dale Kraemer, 63, was marching because “we are all American citizens.”

“I’m here with the women for solidarity, and to show that we are all one,” he said. “We have this conundrum of having a world leader who is a misogynist and inciting this hate. The environment and minorities are under attack. Religious choice is under attack. All the issues that were here a year ago are still here.”

mrupani@durangoherald.com

Gallery: Women's March

The Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris, of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, was one of several speakers supporting women’s rights and peace during the 2018 Women’s March that started in Rotary Park on Saturday morning. About 500 people attended the rally then and marched from the park to the Durango Public Library. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
With temperatures below freezing, a large crowd still gathered for the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Signs showing support for health care were held at the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
About 500 people attended the 2018 Women’s March that started in Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Carolyn Hunter speaks on Saturday morning during the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Signs showing support for many causes were present at the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
From left, Mo Murray, 16, Molly Christensen, 18, Sophie Hughes, 17, and Abby Schell, 16, brought their message on Saturday morning to the at the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Numerous signs showing support for many causes were present at the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Dale Kraemer and Marjorie Coates deliver their message and try to stay warm on Saturday morning during the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The crowd at the 2018 Women’s March begin to line up before leaving Rotary Park on Saturday morning walking to Durango Public Library. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Participants in the 2018 Women’s March on Main Avenue wave to drivers as they honk their horns showing support on Saturday morning before turning onto 17th Street heading to Durango Public Library. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
The Durango Street Band brought live music to the 2018 Women’s March on Saturday morning while making their way down Main Avenue and turning onto 17th Street to the Durango Public Library. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
All kinds of signs were present at the 2018 Women’s March at Rotary Park on Saturday morning. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
Robyn Cascade, of Ridgway, holds a sign in support of Rosa Sabido, who has taken sanctuary from deportation in the United Methodist Church in Mancos, as the 2018 Women’s March makes its way to the Durango Public Library. Cascade is active in the Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition and the Hispanic Affairs Project. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald
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