The march started out as something small but has grown into an event expected to attract thousands on Saturday.
Demi Wetzel was feeling ”lost and depressed” after the Nov. 8 presidential election, so she posted an event on Facebook calling for women to “march against hate.”
Wetzel, a 27-year-old freelance writer, thought maybe 20 people would respond to her “little Facebook event”; if 100 people showed, “that would be a real statement.”
Four days before the Saturday march, 5,000 have sent in their RSVPs. More than 20,000 said they might attend.
Something struck a nerve.
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“It’s really just blown up,” Wetzel said. “It’s been really incredible to watch the community come together around this and support each other and support this last-minute idea that I’ve thrown out to the internet.”
The idea, with Wetzel’s nurturing, has hatched into a community movement.
Wetzel said a crew of volunteers has popped up to help her organize the march, which has a slate of event speakers, a newsletter and a parade route from Volunteer to Cal Anderson parks in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Events begin at 1 p.m. and are open to all.
Wetzel, who has experience organizing corporate events and hackathons, has invited nonprofits and organizations who are “champions of women” to attend. Marchers are encouraged to bring pads and tampons to donate to Mary’s Place, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless women and families.
A Hillary Clinton supporter, Wetzel said the election of Donald Trump, whom she described as a “known sexual predator,” was gut-wrenching. She said women faced anguish and harassment throughout this election cycle.
Wetzel said she supported previous protests and rallies in Seattle, but wants this march to give women feeling “pain and anguish and confusion” their own space to make their voices heard.
“I wanted something more than just was anti-Trump. I wanted something to unite women,” Wetzel said.
“We’re going to march and speak our minds. To some people that might look like they’re crying, some — watching silently, and some shouting at the top of their lungs.”