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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Hundreds turn out for Salt Lake City Women's March

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue, KSL | Posted - Jan 19th, 2019 @ 2:30pm


7 photos

SALT LAKE CITY — A young adult activist group founded just three years ago by a 16-year-old girl turned out hundreds of people Saturday for the 2019 Women's March in downtown Salt Lake City.

People For Unity founder Colette Raptosh told the crowd their work is not done.

"Keep showing up," she shouted.

Raptosh founded People For Unity while a resident of Boise and has since moved to Utah to attend school.

It now has a chapter on campus at the University of Utah.

The march, which started at Washington Square Park at Salt Lake City hall, ended at the Utah State Capitol where several women spoke, including Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

Biskupski told the crowd she repeatedly encountered gender discrimination as she campaigned for elected office by people who asked why she wasn't staying home with her son.

The march, she emphasized, is a way for women to speak with one voice.

"We are united and we are strong."

She noted the strides women have made, despite obstacles.

At the Utah Legislature, 25 women now hold seats — the most in history.

"It is not enough," she said, noting that there are more than 100 legislators in Utah. "We must keep going."

Marion Lindner, 8, sits on the shoulders of her stepfather, Chris Polk, at the Women's March on Utah at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL)
Participants in the Women's March on Utah walk up State Street to the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL)

The Salt Lake City march coincided with others around the country, including in Washington, D.C., where the inaugural event was held two years ago in a rebuke to President Donald Trump.

Since then the movement has been mired in controversy because its co-president, Tamika Mallory, has ties to the Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan, one of the country's leading anti-Semites.

The Women's March has issued statements denouncing anti-Semitism.

Saturday's crowd in Salt Lake City ignored the national controversy and instead engaged in boisterous chants and waved their signs.

"Love, not hate, makes America great," they yelled.

Participants in the Women's March on Utah gather at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL)

One man held a sign that said, "Men of quality don't fear equality."

Speaker Jennifer Boyce spoke of the plight of indigenous women around the country who end up missing or murdered — and overlooked.

Boyce, who leads the PANDOS Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women + Relatives Committee, has been working with the Salt Lake City Police Department to bring awareness to the issue and partnering with other native-led organizations.

Martie Goodrich from South Salt Lake braved the weather to participate in Saturday's event.

"I have always been for women's rights. It has improved, but we still have a long ways to go."

Photos

Amy Joi O'Donoghue

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