Thousands pack downtown Raleigh for Women’s March

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – More than 10,000 people attended Saturday’s Women’s March on Raleigh, and it wasn’t just women.

Many men and children joined to make the a march a major family activity.


The crowd packed City Plaza on Fayetteville Street before they marched to Moore Square.

A Raleigh police officer on the scene Saturday afternoon said that between 10,000 and 12,000 people were at the event. Organizers announced that 17,000 people participated.

Michael Pugsley joined his daughter Megan on the short trip from Cary to Raleigh.

Megan Pugsley, a 17-year-old from Cary, participated in the rally as a way of taking part of the political process. She said she looks forward to voting in the mid-term elections and for president in 2020.

“I didn’t get to vote (this year) and that was a big deal. I wanted to get my voice out,” Megan said.

Megan brought her father Michael to the march. She said they disagree on a lot of things, but asked him to take part with her.

“I came because it was important to my daughter. She described it as an event for unity, and that’s something I can get behind,” Micheal Pugsley said.

“It was really nice that he would show an interest in wanting to come,” Megan said.

Others brought children who aren’t old enough to realize what was happening.

Stephanie Richardson of Raleigh carried her nine-month-old son Theodore in a sling on her chest.

“We’ve got to get him involved early. Got to raise them up knowing how to fight for their rights, and knowing about social justice,” Richardson said.

“Got to raise a man who knows how to take care of the rights in our country and how to take care of his fellow citizens and himself,” she added.

Cuda Currie of Goldsboro had his toddler son Rhett on his back. His wife, Rachel, carried their daughter inside.

“He’s beginning his political activism at the age of 20 months, and then in utero for this one,” she said while pointing at her belly.

“We need to come out and show solidarity for people who feel differently from the administration. He is not preferred by the majority of the American public, and we need to take to the streets to demonstrate that in a peaceful manner.”

Evette Sadohounme said she considers herself one of the few marchers who wants Donald Trump to do well.

“I know that if he does not do well, we will not do well,” Sadohounme said.

However, she had a message for the new president.

“I am not a part of the ghetto, I am not part of the hood, I am not part of the inner city.”

The Desimone family came from Durham with several signs. Elementary schooler Benjamin held one that said ‘This is what a feminist looks like,’ which he shouted many times.

“It’s important to set an example for everyone, especially our children, that everyone needs to be treated with respect. Everyone needs to be treated equally, especially women,” their father Andrew Desimone said.

“In this environment we need to just raise awareness that women are very near and dear to everyone.”

Kelli Williams said she was interested in taking part in the march in Washington D.C., but made sure to go to Raleigh’s City Plaza for Saturday’s local event.

Williams said she hopes all of the people who participated in the march and subsequent rally will be proactive.

“I really want to be positive about this and not focus on the negativity anymore. I think we need to move on and make the best of what we have, and be positive, and work together,” Williams said.

Her 10-year-old daughter Grace Koves said she heard some negativity toward women during her school studies of the election.

“I feel like we all need to be equal in world, and it’s important that we should all have the same rights,” Grace Koves said.

“I think that the more people are here, the better it is for our community to have equal rights.”

Gary Clark said he came to the march to support women’s rights as he views that as equal rights for all.

“If we take women’s rights away, we’ll start taking away rights of the LGBT community, we’ll take away the rights of people of color, people of other nations, so I stand in solidarity with every woman that’s marching today, and every man that’s marching on behalf of women,” Clark said.

He carried a sign with a photo of his goddaughter and the message I March For Her. Clark said he hopes she will someday see pictures of the Raleigh, and that she will grow up in a world of equality.

“I hope that democracy is still strong. I hope that we are all recognized as being equal. I hope that there is fair pay for her, I hope there are rights for her and the glass ceiling has been broken,” Gary Clark said.

There was also a march in Hillsborough, among others in North Carolina.

Saturday afternoon, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Tweeted his support for the various events.

“As the proud dad, husband and son of strong women, I stand with North Carolina women in their fight for equality,” Cooper wrote.

The march in Raleigh coincides with the Women’s March on Washington.

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