Thousands In Little Rock Join Nationwide Women's Marches

Jan 22, 2017

Thousands gather in Little Rock for Women's March day after inauguration.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR

Hoping to show solidarity with the Women’s March in the nation’s capitol, a large crowd gathered in Little Rock Saturday.

Thousands of people, many dressed in purple, chanted “Women united will never be divided,” and “This is what democracy looks like,” while marching down Capitol Avenue before a rally was held on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol.

Remarks about women made by President Trump, prior to his election, offended many and inspired a women’s protest march in Washington D.C. scheduled for the day after his inauguration. Not long after the announcement of that event, plans for sister marches sprang up across the country and world.

Little Rock organizer, Gwen Combs, told the crowd she “wanted to pull together maybe a hundred people to show solidarity,” when she began planning the Arkansas march.

The crowd, estimated at over 3,000 by state police and over 7,000 by organizers*, erupted in cheers at her introduction. The march lasted only two blocks, but was followed by over an hour of comments from elected officials and community leaders. Sophia Said, of Little Rock, was one of several speakers who made a connection between women’s rights and the rights of minority communities in Arkansas.

“I am a woman. I am brown. I am Asian. I am an immigrant. I am a Muslim. I am all of that and I am much more because I am a proud American,” said Said.

All speakers' comments focused on unity, human rights, and nonviolent political action . After the formal event, participants were encouraged to register with organizations representing a variety of issues ranging from environmental protection to LGBTQ rights and to attend a training session that followed.

Leticia Reta said she was inspired to make her voice heard on upcoming state legislation regarding immigration.

“It’s just so great for all the women to be unified in one voice fighting for human and civil rights,” said Reta.

No counter-protestors or Trump supporters were evident and the protest remained peaceful.

*NOTE: Crowd size estimates vary. Over 4,000 people indicated their attendance on the Facebook page for the event, with another 4,000 more expressing interest on the page for the event.