'Women's rally on Raleigh' march returns

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Despite the chilly temperatures Saturday morning, more than a thousand people were expected to protest during the "Women's Rally on Raleigh: Women Leading the Resistance" march in downtown Raleigh.

Saturday's event at Halifax mall celebrated "women leading the resistance and uplift voices and stories of communities that are affected by the current administration and its oppressive policies," organizers said.

Sue Koehler of Raleigh spoke with us as she arrived with her daughter and her friend, Heather Weaver.

"It's a great way to start the year," said Koehler."It's positive and encouraging. It's inspiring! It's better than doing it on Twitter and Facebook! It's actually coming out face to face, listening to people. These are my neighbors, these are people I live with."

They all had a lot to say, with many holding signs criticizing President Trump on the anniversary of his inauguration. Jason Noble's sign said he's endured the longest year of his life and documents key events that happened since January 2017 including the mass protest in the streets of Washington D.C.

"Absolutely. The march is on there," Noble showed us, "right there, one day after the administration, and I've kept up the energy ever since."

Diamond Davis, a student at North Carolina Central University, marched in DC in 2017 and had the same objective on Saturday in Raleigh.

"Get my voice heard and be around other empowered people," Davis said."When I got here I was definitely wondering how it was gonna be. It seems to be a good turnout."

Organizers predicted at least one thousand participants here, as hundreds of related marches drew massive crowds across the nation. While nearly every sign we saw criticized the president, not everyone at the Raleigh rally leaned left politically.

"I don't exactly fit in with everyone there," said Weaver, who opposes abortion. "But I wanted to be part of that communication. I don't believe exactly as you do, but I want to be open to hear what you're saying and listen to you. I think we need more of that in the United States! "

Sue Koehler said, "I don't think you need to be in one party to come out as women and encourage each other."

Diamond Davis said there's more work ahead after the rally ends.

"We go back to our communities, to our neighborhoods, and we start doing things there," she said.

There's also another Women's March in Fayetteville on Saturday at 1 p.m at the Downtown Market House and one in Hillsborough at the historic courthouse at 3 p.m.

In 2017, the first year of the event, there were about 17,000 participants in Raleigh, according to event organizers.

PHOTOS: Women's march on Raleigh in 2017

Thousands of women and their allies took to the streets Saturday in many cities across the country, vowing to show up at the polls this year for midterm elections amid outrage over President Donald Trump's agenda. The main event for the 2018 Women's March entitled "Power to the Polls," will take place Sunday in Las Vegas where organizers are expected to launch a national voter registration and mobilization initiative.

PHOTOS: Women's Marches across the country
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