Women's march draws more than 2000 in Downtown Wilmington

Women's march draws more than 2000 in Downtown Wilmington

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A cheering crowd peppered with pink hats and signs concentrated around Thalian Hall in Downtown Wilmington.

A rally, complete with an amplified podium, a food truck, and police presence, drew a large crowd.

"The message is voting power. We're going to vote our voice," said Lynn Shoemaker with Women Organizing for Wilmington (WOW). "It's about turning people out the polls. It's about empowering not just women, but our families."

WOW began organizing the rally after more than a thousand people attended last year's event.

The march coincided with several other movements across the country and was open to everyone in the public.

More than 30 speakers and performers shared their voices, advocating for issues including women's rights, LGBTQ+ equality, Black Lives Matter, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, and environmental health.

The crowd held up signs with phrases such as "Our bodies resist," My grandkids are watching," "Power to the polls," and "Women belong in the House and the Senate."

"It's one year after the largest march in history that took place after the inauguration of the current president," said Shoemaker. "The policies that are coming down the pipe are more supportive of dirty industries and businesses than they are about the people."

In total about 2000 people attended the rally, according to counts provided on Facebook by WOW.

Jennifer Witkowski, a woman at the rally, participated on horseback. She dressed to resemble Inez Milholland, a suffrage leader from the 1900's.

"For me, it's just being out here for women's rights," said Witkowski "I'm a major mental health and healthcare advocate, making sure that women get equal pay, and the main goal for today is making sure that women get out and vote."

"I hope our larger government really sees that there's a need for change, and we're not going to settle until something happens."

WOW said they plan to hold another event next year.

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