— jseattle (@jseattle) January 20, 2018
Tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Capitol Hill, stretching from Cal Anderson Park to downtown Saturday for the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. It was the start of a weekend of activism and, officials, say the largest event the neighborhood’s central park has ever hosted.
“We stand together with one heart, one mind,” Deborah Parker, legislative policy analyst for the Tulalip tribes, said in her time at the microphone addressing the massive crowd assembled on the park’s Bobby Morris playfield.
Parker and tribal representatives from across the region began the day’s event with songs and prayers for missing and murdered indigenous women.
“It is time we stand together,” Parker said.
Saturday’s march comes after one year of Trump’s America with the federal government shut down in a budget impasse. It’s been a year of battles over women’s rights, immigration, and health care but also of movements like #MeToo against sexual assault. Sunday, neighborhood “hubs” and forums will focus on organizing, voter registration, and education at locations across Seattle. “March on Saturday, act on Sunday,” one organizer told CHS.https://twitter.com/SbuxMel/status/954821991122399232
— The Urbanist (@UrbanistOrg) January 20, 2018
Logistically, Saturday’s march went off about as well as expected. Marchers began arriving — many taking official advice and coming to Capitol Hill Station via light rail — around 9 AM and meeting up with groups and friends in areas of the park. Sign making stations popped up across the area including one in front of 24-hour diner Lost Lake. As Bobby Morris filled with thousands, thousands more began lining up along Pine. A giant wall of portable toilets was trucked in and installed along the southern edge of the field. Bobby Morris became a sea of pink. This year, a heavier presence of hired event staff and volunteers helped keep ares clear and Seattle Police again maintained a huge presence.
Speakers took their turns on the stage installed at the southern end of the playfield. New Seattle City Council member worker rights advocateTeresa Mosqueda rallied the crowd around the hopes of progress made in government over the past year despite Trump’s victory.
Mosqueda said there is more work to be done. “We say time’s up, because I’m tired of women making 77 cents on the dollar, Latinas making 44 cents, and our Black sisters making 61 cents,” she said. “That ain’t right.”
With Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal unable to speak as planned due to the ongoing budget issued in Washington D.C., Mosqueda did a pretty good job of her own rallying the crowd.
“Women have always been the backbone of the resistance,” Mosqueda said, building her speech to a crescendo, “Women are the backbone of every movement. That’s because we get shit done.”
The 2018 march also marks the one-year anniversary of women’s marches across the nation including Seattle’s where more than 120,000 are estimated to have traveled from the Central District to the Seattle Center. Numbers for this year’s march official or otherwise will take some time to shake out but police were estimating a crowd of around 25,000 in Cal Anderson and the nearby as of 11 AM. UPDATE: Some estimates are coming in at 100,000+ for Saturday’s march. It’s possible. We’ve also been crunching the numbers. Alex Garland, photographer on most of these great images on this post, used a mapping tool and came up with a crowd just under 100,000 filling Pine from Cal Anderson to Boren. If you go with a slightly longer stretch of people — say, Cal Anderson to Westlake — you’d end up with more. Using other calculations based on square footage required per person in crowds, we’ve come up with totals ranging from 50,000 to more than 90,000 on the day. The crowd was huge. Really huge.
— Alex Garland (@AGarlandPhoto) January 20, 2018
There were definitely more than 10,000 — so, President Trump, you’ll need a bigger truck than Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is telling you.
“This week, they threatened to arrest me,” Durkan said, addressing the Bobby Morris crowd before the march. “Yup, they were going to arrest the mayors of those cities that stood against his evil racist immigration policies. But I say if you want to come arrest me you better bring a truck for about 10,000 people here today.”
Durkan, a former federal prosecutor, the first woman elected mayor in Seattle in 100 years, and the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, came dressed for a fight.
“This is one of my favorite t-shirts,” Durkan said. “For those in the back who can’t see it, it says ‘Fight Like a Girl.’”
She couldn’t resist a jab at the president’s latest failure.
“You think you shut Washington D.C.,” Durkan said. “Wait until we shut you down.”
The crowds took more than an hour to clear Capitol Hill as marchers made their way downtown and then north to the Seattle Center. There were reports of small counter-demonstrations. UPDATE: A Crosscut reporter said one person was taken into custody.
SUBSCRIBE TO CHS: Subscribers help pay for the writers and photographers who provide CHS's daily news coverage. Join TODAY to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment. Why support CHS? More here.