SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 23, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — An estimated 6,000 people converged on the Utah State Capitol Monday afternoon for Salt Lake City’s Women’s March, to deliver a personal message to Pres. Donald J. Trump on his third day in office.
The march, organized by Utah Women Unite, is being held in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., which occurred on Saturday along with hundreds of other “sister marches” worldwide that day, as far afield as Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris, Nairobi and Cape Town.
Monday’s event was planned for the first day of the Utah State Legislative Session. Marchers met at 2 p.m. at City Creek Park, at 110 N. State St., then walked up State Street to the Capitol Rotunda, inside the Capitol building.
Many marchers, who congregated despite heavy snow in Salt Lake City, wore the color pink to show their support, as well as pink hats with cat ears, known as “pussy” hats.
Speakers at the event included Kate Kelly, a feminist and former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is a spokeswoman for Utah Women Unite, and Utah Sen. James Dabakis (2nd District), chair of the Utah Democratic Party.
Planned speakers also include Utah representatives Angela Romero and Sandra Hollins, Sen. Luz Escamilla, and activists Noor Ul-Hassan, Lauren Wood and Carol Surveyor.
Actor and writer Topher Rasmussen, attending the march, told Gephardt Daily the march was “incredible.”
“We swarmed up the steps and got inside the Capitol and the place is packed, people on balconies two and three stories up, pink cat ears poking up everywhere,” he said. “It’s honestly overwhelming to be here. This is side of my city I wasn’t sure existed, but it does and it’s vibrant and I feel empowered and charged and proud that so many people are fighting for my sisters.”
On Saturday, a crowd of more than 500,000 — including a strong Utah delegation — descended on Washington, D.C.
At the march in Washington, iconic feminists and social activists including Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis called for respectful, fair, non-violent treatment of women, children, people of color, members of all religions, LGBT citizens and the disabled.
During his election run, Trump was accused of mocking a disabled reporter, a charge he denies, and of sexually assaulting numerous women in the past. A leaked, 11-year-old video clip from Access Hollywood featured Trump’s voice saying his celebrity status allowed him to kiss women without their consent, and even to grab their crotches. Trump later dismissed the video as “locker room talk.”
Among the women to come forward with accusations was former Miss Utah Temple Taggart McDowell, who said Trump kissed her and made unwelcome advances in 1997 when she competed in the Miss USA contest, which Trump owned at the time.
Trump has threatened to sue all the women who spoke out against him, some of whom made claims of more intimate violation. Their numbers stand at more than a dozen.
A few Trump supporters also converged on the Utah State Capitol Monday.
Utah Women Unite is a grassroots group formed after the 2016 election to organize Utah women to attend the D.C. march as a group. The group stated on Facebook it exists to “unite as an intersectional collective to address the political, legal, and cultural problems faced by Utah women and to elevate the status and dignity of all people.”