'International Women's Strike' rally, march held in downtown Portland

(KPTV/Bonnie Silkman)

Women’s voices were heard loud and clear in Portland for International Women’s Day.

“Portland, wake up!”

Chants exploded from downtown Portland as a large crowd washed over the streets.

“I’m here to support women’s rights, specifically women of color because they tend to be ignored,” said one marcher.

Many in the lively crowds said this is the time for women to wake and rise in the Rose City.

“What we're asking is for people to come out in the masses and join us,” said protester Angelica Lim.

With the “#MeToo" and “Time's Up” movements in full force, many say this year’s International Women’s Day is more important than ever.

“What do we do? Stand up fight back!” “Rise, resist and unite.” These were just some of the chants erupting from the crowd.

“Patriarchy is a huge problem, sexual discrimination, harassment and abuse is a huge problem,” said protester, Justin Norton-Kertson.

The group Don’t Shoot Portland organized the "International Women's Strike" rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Activists, students, stay-at-home moms and victims of sexual assault spoke to the large crowd.

After an hour, that crowd spilled onto the streets. The marchers moved through downtown Portland blocking traffic and holding signs. After an hour of marching, they ended their protest at the waterfront.

“I think it’s an invitation actually, a large invitation for people feeling frustrated, reminding them that we're still on the same side. We're asking everyone to come into the streets I mean, currently women make 70 cents to the dollar,” said Lim.

"We’re talking about rejecting old modes of feminism,” said Alyssa Pariah with Don’t Shoot Portland.

Pariah’s group also asked for moments of silence during their march to honor lives lost to violence.

“The clock starts now!” said Pariah.

Block after block, marchers continued moving through downtown during rush hour, testing the patience of blocked drivers. However, most Portlanders stayed silent and watched. The protest stayed peaceful.

“Really just taking the call of how people were feeling, if this is how people are feeling then this is what people will be talking about,” said Lim.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.



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