Thousands are expected to turn out for tomorrow’s Women’s March on Seattle.
The 3.6-mile march will begin at 10 a.m. at Judkins Park at 2150 S. Norman St. and end at Seattle Center. While everything will be in Seattle, Mercer Island residents will be participating in the march.
Lisa Price, chair of the march’s speaker committee, said they are a sister march of the Women’s March on Washington in the nation’s capital, which will also take place tomorrow, alongside about 600 similar marches worldwide. There are 11 sister marches in Washington state.
The Seattle march is officially called the Womxn’s March on Seattle, with “Women” spelled with an “X.” Price said this is because the march is an intersectional one, open to people of all identities.
“Women and the people who love them,” she said.
The event will begin with a moment of silence at 10 a.m., which will be observed by the other sister marches simultaneously.
Price said after that, there will be a short rally around 10:25 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. featuring five speakers from local grassroots organizations who will discuss various issues currently at stake and what people can do about it beyond calling or writing their representative.
The actual march will begin at 11 a.m., led by indigenous and native peoples, followed by other people of color and vulnerable groups such as immigrants.
Price estimates that it will take anywhere between about an hour and a half to a couple hours, depending on the marcher. There will also be various entry points throughout the march route for those who may not be able to walk the entire way, for whatever reason. Seated areas will also be available at the beginning and end of the march for people wishing to attend but not physically march.
For more information on the route and these entry points, visit womxnsmarch seattle.wordpress.com.
According to a press release from march organizers, the march was a grassroots response to the 2016 election.
Paula Goelzer, a Seattle-based birth doula, started the Facebook event for the Seattle march after she and her colleagues heard about the march in Washington, D.C.
“We all agreed it would feel good to march, to be enveloped by like-minded community members spurred into action by the rhetoric of the election, but our jobs made the D.C. march impossible,” Goelzer said in the release. “The response on the Facebook event was instant, and overwhelming, with thousands signing up the first day.”
Price said organizers are requesting it be a silent march as a nod to Civil Rights marchers of the past. She said they want the focus to be on people, rather than words, which can get lost in translation or taken out of context. Price added that there will be speakers, poets and singers on soapboxes, using bullhorns.
While the request is for a silent march, Price said, they absolutely respect people’s rights to free speech.
According to the march website, the request for silence is only up to the final speaker along the route.
“Then raise your collective voices and chant, sing, and shout all the way to Seattle Center,” the site states.
Price said the march is more than about solidarity, it is about activism, with about 200 nonprofit organizations in attendance covering issues ranging from environmental and reproductive.
“Our march is a platform for activism,” she said.
For more information, visit the website and click on “Getting here” under the “About” section.
Several groups on the Eastside, including a group of Islanders organized via NextDoor.com, have chartered buses to get to the march. Islanders will be congregating at the Judkins Park Basketball court at 9:40 a.m.
For anyone taking the 550, 545 or 216 from Mercer Island to Seattle for the Women’s March, Islander Jim Eames created a map from the Rainier Freeway Transit Station to the meeting location next to the Basket Ball Courts. Via the Bike Trail the walk is just 0.3 miles or about a block or two.