Hundreds expected to participate in first Women’s March in Lawrence this weekend

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A national women’s rights movement is making its ways to more and more cities, and this weekend, the Women's March is coming to Lawrence, Kansas.

On Saturday, hundreds of people are expected to march down Massachusetts Street in Lawrence for the city’s first Women’s March.

The event comes on the one-year anniversary of the inaugural Women’s March in Washington D.C. where millions of women took to the streets in one of the largest single-day demonstrations in American history.

This year, the Women’s March is back, and it’s spread to dozens of cities across the country including Lawrence.

“This year there are two different kinds of marches," said Christine Smith, co-organizer of the Lawrence march. "There’s the #MeToo Movement marches about sexual harassment and safety in the workplace, and the other one is Power to the Polls to get out and vote.”

Smith said hundreds of people have already committed to Saturday's event. Some spent Friday evening making signs to prepare for the demonstration.

“The first march was really propelled by the momentum of the election and that turbulent time, and now it’s important to show that we’re still resisting. We’re still fighting. These are still issues that we care about,” said Jamie Hawley, a sophomore at the University of Kansas.

Members of the University of Kansas Young Democrats Chapter said, over the past year, issues affecting women have really come into the spotlight.

“The #MeToo movement, even here on campus, was so powerful," said Mattie Bieverly, a KU senior and member of the university's Young Democrats club. "It was so inspiring to see not only my peers but my professors standing up and saying, 'Me too,' and I think that has really fueled (the) Women’s March to keep going."

The purpose of Saturday’s anniversary march is not only to continue fighting for change, but also to celebrate the expanding roles of women in politics.

“There are more women than ever running for office," Smith said. "There are more women than ever campaigning for people."

“I hope that the numbers here in Lawrence are going to be great, but it’s going to be so nice marching in solidarity with all of the women across the United States too,” Bieverly said.

The Lawrence Women’s March will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the South Park Gazebo, located at 1130 Massachusets St. in Lawrence, Kansas.