3rd Annual Women’s March takes over Iowa City

A crowd gathered in the Pedestrian Mall Saturday morning for the 3rd annual Iowa City Women’s March.

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3rd Annual Women’s March takes over Iowa City

Attendees march on the pedestrian mall for the annual Women's March in Iowa City on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The Women's March is an annual event that started in 2017 following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march advocates for a range of issues including women's rights,  healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental issues.

Attendees march on the pedestrian mall for the annual Women's March in Iowa City on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The Women's March is an annual event that started in 2017 following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march advocates for a range of issues including women's rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental issues.

Grace Colton

Attendees march on the pedestrian mall for the annual Women's March in Iowa City on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The Women's March is an annual event that started in 2017 following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march advocates for a range of issues including women's rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental issues.

Grace Colton

Grace Colton

Attendees march on the pedestrian mall for the annual Women's March in Iowa City on Saturday, January 19, 2019. The Women's March is an annual event that started in 2017 following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march advocates for a range of issues including women's rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ+ rights, and environmental issues.

Alexandra Skores, News Reporter

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The heavy snowfall from Friday evening and 20-degree weather did not stop the crowds of people gathered in the Pedestrian Mall to take part in Iowa City’s third Women’s March on Saturday morning.

Past marches had brought in a large crowd of supporters in both 2017 and 2018, with 2018’s March having nearly 900 people present. People of all backgrounds arrived to hear the words of key speakers and join the movement.

“The mission of Women’s March is to harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change,” according to the Women’s March website.

Organizer Lisa Bergmann-Smithey said her involvement in the Women’s March derives from the need for change in the world.

“I got involved because we can and we should be better than we are right now,” Bergmann-Smithey said. “I don’t like what is happening in the world right now and how it’s being led.”

RELATED: Photos: 2019 Women’s March 01/19/19

The march began with three keynote speakers: Mary Mascher, State Representative House District 86; Iowa City City Council Member Mazahir Salih, and Johnson County Supervisor Royceann Porter.

Mascher, Salih, and Porter all emphasized the need for more women in government in their speeches and how women would influence the need for change.

“Now is the time to get involved in our community,” said Salih. “We need women in all areas of the world to do great things.”

Porter had just been elected in late December to the Johnson County Board of Supervisors and is the county’s first female African American supervisor.

“If you voted for me, thank you,” Porter said. “If you didn’t vote for me, I’ll earn your vote in the next election.”

Porter also commented on President Trump’s recent wall project.

“I’ll build my own damn wall,” Porter said. “A wall of love and inclusivity. Women are in power and we’re going to continue working until we make history.”

Students, families, and friends gathered around chanting and commemorating the history of women everywhere. Signs displaying female empowerment and unity could be seen through the crowds.

RELATED: Fourth Wave Feminism and its political implications

UI law student Mackensie Graham said the turnout was what surprised her the most with this year’s march.

“It’s great to see people come out even though it’s cold,” Graham said. “I am definitely on board with the Women’s March and its meaningful policies.”

Cassie Berta, a student at Boston University, was in town visiting friends and they had all decided the best way they could catch up would be voicing their opinions at the Women’s March.

“I get motivated to go to things like this, because I like knowing that I am not alone with my own thoughts and beliefs,” Berta said. “It’s really empowering to see the amount of people that are here, and it augments the fact that people are here to make a change and be the driving force in this movement.”