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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March on Raleigh Draws 17,000 Supporters

Posted by on Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 7:21 PM

Yesterday, Donald Trump became the forty-fifth president of the United States. Today, the country fought back.

Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in cities across the country to protest Trump's inauguration in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. In Raleigh, an estimated 17,000 people crowded into Moore Square, far exceeding organizers' expectations of 5,000. Donning pink "pussy" hats and carrying cheeky posters, marchers called themselves the #NoisyMajority. They were black, white, brown, queer, straight, young, old — and unapologetic about their differences.

"We are not a monolith," said Nia Wilson, executive director of Durham's SpiritHouse. "We are undocumented, we are disabled, we are trans, we are witches, we are Muslims, we are Christians, we are Jews. And we can be alchemy. We can bring the most brilliant parts of ourselves together and create something so invaluable that we will never be beat."
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The rally kicked off at noon in Moore Square, where a panel of more than fifteen speakers awaited. Participants included Reverend Michelle Laws of the NAACP, MaryBe McMillan of the NC AFL-CIO, Sarah Preston of Lillian’s List, Jen Ferris of Progress NC, Omisade Burney-Scott of SisterSong, and Rev. Michelle Laws of the Union Baptist Church. Speakers were diverse not just in religion and race but in age. Durham High School student Asatta Goff recited a poem, while members of the Raging Grannies sang a song about health care.

"I am marching to show that without a doubt, women's rights are human rights." said march organizer Carly Jones. "I'm marching to show that we are the noisy majority. Aren't we noisy y'all? We will not stay quiet. This is our state. This is our country. Us women are going to mobilize, North Carolina."
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Among those also in attendance were Democratic Congressman David E. Price and State Senator Mike Woodard. Governor Roy Cooper also expressed his support for the march Saturday morning, tweeting: "As a proud dad, husband and son of strong women, I stand with North Carolina women in their fight for equality."

Chris Ryan, a veteran, also pointed to his female family members as a galvanizing force. "I'm here for my wife and my two beautiful daughters," he told the INDY. "I'm here because I fought for peoples' rights in Afghanistan, I sweat and bled so that they could have rights, only to come home and have my family have theirs taken away is not right."

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