Thousands attend Women’s March downtown, putting focus on 2018 elections

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the second straight January, thousands of people marched through downtown to support women's empowerment. Hoosiers joined millions of others who took part in similar rallies around the country.

The march, which began at the American Legion Mall Saturday afternoon, ended at the Indiana Statehouse.

Many marchers took part to show their opposition to President Donald Trump's views on several issues, such as abortion and equal rights for the LGBTQ community. Others attend to show unity among women and to learn more about several different issues.

Many organizations from the state had leaders speak, such as Black Lives Matter, the Hoosier Environmental Council, Planned Parenthood, and the Indianapolis PFLAG, which stands for Parents and Friends for Lesbians and Gays.

“We’ve had crazy momentum all year, starting with the largest gathering of women in history on January 21st of last year," said Savannah Pearlman, a board member of Women's March Indiana. "Now we are building on that, bringing communities together, and trying to figure out how we can take that momentum and work together to better Indiana.”

Last year in Indiana, there several rallies were held throughout the state on the third January in Saturday. This year, Women's March Indiana organized the event to bus in Hoosiers from other corners of the state to bring even more women together in one place.

A big message from speakers this year was encouraging Hoosiers to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.

“We have individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and communities," said Pearlman. "So, I’m really excited that everyone has their own unique reason for why we need to get out to vote in 2018.”

According to the United States Election Project, among of-aged Americans - no matter if one had registered to vote or not, Indiana had the lowest voter turnout during 2014 with 28.7 percent of Hoosier 18 and older going to the polls.

"We want to get the word out that we need to turn out for the mid-term election, and we need to power to the polls," Pearlman said.

President Trump took to Twitter to support those attending rallies, saying in part, "Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months."

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