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Women’s March: About 5,000 turn out in Downtown Boise, 500,000 in D.C. to show solidarity

By Katy Moeller and Nicole Blanchard

Thousands gather for Women’s March on Idaho

As many as 5,000 women and human-rights supporters gather at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse for the Women's March through Downtown Boise on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.
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As many as 5,000 women and human-rights supporters gather at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse for the Women's March through Downtown Boise on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017.

Women’s March: In Boise and in Washington, D.C., Idahoans turned out to make their voices heard as Donald Trump assumes the presidency.

From the Idaho Statesman staff in Downtown Boise.

There was a huge crowd today at the Capitol in Downtown Boise for the Women’s March on Idaho. Turnout was high, despite the heavy snow that’s falling in Downtown Boise today.

As many as 5,000 people turned out for the march in Downtown Boise, according to the latest estimate. Chants of “Social justice now” could be heard coming from the crowd on 8th Street. Many men participated in the Boise march today. One estimate believed that the crowd was about 40 percent male.

There was also an anti-abortion rally, with a handful of people taking part, in the back of the crowd.

Similar women’s marches were being held around Idaho today, from Moscow to Idaho Falls. In the Central Idaho mountain town of Stanley, legendary singer-songwriter Carole King joined the march of more than 30 people — about half the town’s official population of 63.

Read more about the background of the Boise march here.

From The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A city official in Washington says the turnout estimate for the Women’s March on the National Mall now stands at 500,000 people. That’s more than double the initial predictions.

Kevin Donahue is Washington’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice. He says on Twitter that organizers of the march are increasing the turnout estimate to half a million.

There were early signs across Washington that Saturday’s crowds could top those that gathered on Friday to watch President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The march’s National Park Service permit estimated a turnout of 200,000, but the District of Columbia’s homeland security chief had previously predicted turnout would be higher.

Hundreds of thousands of women massed in the nation’s capital and cities around the globe Saturday to send Donald Trump an emphatic message that they won’t let his agenda go unchallenged over the next four years.

“We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war,” actress America Ferrera told the Washington crowd. “Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the president is not America. ... We are America and we are here to stay.”

More than 600 “sister marches” were planned across the country and around the world, and plenty of men were part of the tableau, too. Organizers estimated 3 million would march worldwide. Estimates showed high turn-out at many cities Saturday, including:

▪  The tens of thousands of people who turned out for the women's march in Chicago have spilled into the city's downtown streets. Officially, organizers canceled the march portion of the Chicago rally due to overwhelming turnout. But after the event concluded in Grant Park, people began flooding nearby streets, chanting and waving signs protesting President Donald Trump.

▪  The massive turnout also affected the plans at the march in Washington, where so many people packed the original route along the south side of the National Mall that organizers couldn’t lead a formal trek toward White House. Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham says on Independence Avenue, “The crowd stretches so far that there's no room left to march.”

▪  In St. Louis, attendance was estimated at between 11,000 and 13,000.

▪  In San Jose, numbers were estimated at about 25,000 people early in the event, which was continuing to attract crowds.

From Carolyn Cakir, Medill News Service:

Idahoans Karen Meyer, a Boise philanthropist, and Karen Day, a documentary filmmaker, are in Washington, D.C., for the march.

Day said that she is marching to “demonstrate that we, as women and Americans, will not go backwards in our fight for equality.”

Meyer said that she hopes the sheer scale of the demonstration will be enough to get the attention of elected officials.

“I’m unfortunately feeling very unrepresented,” she said. “I almost feel like our elected officials feel like it doesn’t matter anymore what the voters think, because they win anyway.”

Boise attorney Terri Pickens, 44, is also in Washington, D.C., with her daughter Maya for the march.

“I want my daughter to know, at 12 years old, that this is the behavior that gets us somewhere,” she said. “Staying back and hoping someone else will take care of it for you doesn’t work anymore.”

Read more about the Idahoans in D.C. for the national march here.

Some women who attended the inauguration festivities in Washington, D.C., were upset by the Women’s March. At least 15 women interviewed by McClatchy said they objected to the name of Saturday’s demonstration. Read that story here.

The information used in this story was compiled and edited by Statesman editor Holly Anderson.

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