Seattleites mobilize massive anti-Trump rally.
Organizers expect 50,000 to 100,000 people to join in the Womxn’s March on Seattle, the local expression of a massive national gathering in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.
The national march was announced just days after Trump’s election on Nov. 8 and the Seattle one soon followed, amassing more than 500 volunteers in just a few weeks. Roughly a dozen of them have been charged with leading subcommittees in various fields, including route planning and permitting; partnering with airlines and hotels to acquire discounts for people traveling to the march from out of town; and art- and sign-making parties to provide visual materials for marchers.
Liz Hunter-Keller, a public-relations specialist for the University of Washington, is leading the communications team in preparation for the event and the day-of.
“There’s nothing I would rather do than be in DC throwing shade at our President-elect, but I have a baby, and a lot of other people have reasons they can’t travel,” she says of the reasoning behind the local demonstration. After the sting of the election results, Hunter-Keller says, the formation of the Seattle event was crucial.
“There’s been enough planning time to go through the mourning process and feel like you’re doing something at the same time—something with a big payoff,” she says.
Marches have been planned in Spokane and Olympia, plus every state in the country and in 20 cities around the world. Though the national event in DC was intended specifically as an amplifier for women’s opposition to the incoming President, the Seattle incarnation has grown into something much more diverse.
“The goal of the Seattle march in particular is to be the most inclusive march that we can be, representative of all communities most affected by the incoming administration—women, people of color, trans people, non-gender-binary people, immigrants, low-income youth,” Hunter-Keller says. “We have an amazing community outreach team who’s making sure those groups are going to be complete partners in the march. That’s why were the Womxn’s March with an x.”
Kristen Ramirez, an artist and arts program manager for the City of Seattle, is helming the art and design subcommittee. She’s scheduled public art parties at the InScape building in SoDo for anyone to join in making signage and large-scale puppets. She’s also coordinated with the Powerhouse, the community collective who produces much of the art for the Fremont Solstice Parade, to provide floats.
“Plenty of people are making art on their own, but there’s a call to coalesce the movement centrally,” Ramirez says. “We’re trying to align with the national march on Washington, too.”
Until the last week of December, information about the Womxn’s March had been oriented largely around Facebook, but the event now has its own website at womxnsmarchonseattle.wordpress.com. The latter has detailed information for individual volunteers, organizations wishing to get involved, travel logistics and demonstration information.
While the entire route hasn’t been made public yet, the gathering will begin at Judkins Park at 10 a.m. and head to Seattle Center over a three-mile course. Several speakers will launch the march and music will greet demonstrators at the finish. At press time, none had been announced, but a member of the Seattle City Council had expressed interest as well as various feminist poets and activists.
“Throughout history, women have moved the needle whether on voting rights or civil rights, so why not have women lead this reaction to the Trump regime?” Ramirez says. “The messaging is largely just positive: Look across the intersection of causes and issues we’re facing right now and have women at the fore.”