Port Townsend will join in the nationwide Women’s March on Jan. 18 by hosting a local march, called the Womxn’s Wave, down Water Street at 11 a.m. that day.
Now in its fourth year, the Women’s March movement began when hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Washington DC, and in cities all over the world, the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
The original march was organized in response to the election of Trump, who has a history of making sexist comments as well as multiple allegations of sexual assault, and was an effort to stand up for the rights of women in particular. Speakers at the original march included Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Michael Moore, Scarlett Johanson and Janet Mock, among many others.
In Port Townsend, the first Women’s March attracted around 1,000 people. Last year, the event had doubled in size: nearly 2,000 marched down Water Street accompanied by music from local bands and speeches from local activists. It had also been rebranded as the “Womxn’s Wave,”—the word “women” was spelled with an “x” to show inclusion of all genders.
This year, the Port Townsend march is all about solidarity with the nationwide movement, said one of its organizers, Penny Jensen.
“The national theme this year is administration change,” she said. “But people come to the march for their own reasons, whether that is to show solidarity for women or to encourage people to vote.”
The national Women’s March organization is focusing their march this year on removing Trump from office, following the impeachment vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The local march will echo that theme, Jensen said.
“We’re trying to keep it really simple,” she said. “But the focus will be on impeachment, to show our support for that. Also, no war.”
Marchers will gather at 11 a.m. at the Flagship Landing Building, in the Quimper Mercantile parking lot. The march begins at 11:30 a.m. and marchers will walk down Water Street to Pope Marine Park.
All are invited, Jensen said, to show solidarity with marchers across the nation that day.
Other marches are planned in nearby cities, although Seattle organizers have re-scheduled on account of snowy conditions there.
The fourth year of the march is significant—it could be the last year the Women’s March takes place.
“Three years of marching, training, organizing, and building power,” states the website of the official Women’s March “It’s all been leading up to this. In 2020, we have a chance to finish what we started three years ago and remove Trump from office.”