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Gallery: Women’s March Minnesota draws 90,000-plus to the State Capitol

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, state Rep. Ilhan Omar, state Rep. Peggy Flanagan and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith were among the politicians leading the march from St. Paul College to the State Capitol on Saturday.

One day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, millions of protesters across the United States and the world marched and rallied in protest. St. Paul Police estimate between 90,000-100,000 protesters attended the march from St. Paul College to the rally at the Minnesota State Capitol on Saturday.

Many wielded signs inscribed with messages like “Keep abortion safe and legal,” and “Keep your laws off my body.” And several thousand wore pink hats with cat ears — a nod to Planned Parenthood and the infamous leaked Trump video that many saw as advocating sexual assault on women.

Others, including several speakers at the march, talked of gender inequalities in the workplace and within government representation. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, for one, said now is the time to address pay disparities among the state’s women, and told the crowd that as a former executive for Planned Parenthood she sees protecting reproductive rights as a priority in Minnesota.

“We all march here for different reasons,” she told the crowd, which consisted of many different ages and ethnicities. “But I march here because I believe in economic equality.”

More than women’s rights

But women’s rights weren’t the only issue for protesters, who said they saw Trump’s policies as an attack on immigrant rights, gay and transgender rights, and racial equality.

“Today, I’m here because I’m a woman,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis. “But I’m also here because I’m a black woman, and I’m here because I’m a Muslim woman.”

Omar, a former refugee and the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker, told the crowd that everywhere in the world women are fighting for equal rights. But Omar said that fighting for equality also meant advocating for immigrants, people with different sexual orientations and identities, and those coming from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“I hope to give voice to all marginalized communities,” she said.

Minneapolis resident Christina Vang, who’s Hmong, said she marched for immigrant rights. Vang said she comes from a family of immigrants and refugees, and because of that, she doesn’t always feel welcome in the state — especially after Trump’s election. “My 8-year-old nephew told me that he didn’t think he looked American,” she said. “That was really heartbreaking to hear.”

Khadejia Norman, who carried a Black Lives Matter sign, said she was marching for racial equality that day. Norman moved to north Minneapolis from Pennsylvania last summer and said she was surprised to see the area lacked “access to resources and jobs.”

Solace and hope

But not all the messages of the day were fearful ones, and many speakers at the march sought to find solace and hope in the day’s record-setting turnout.

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray reminded the crowd during her speech that there were no women politicians in the state just a little more than 50 years ago. Now, there are 64 women in the Minnesota statehouse, she said, and today, she’s serving as the state’s first immigrant senator. “Take a look around,” she said to the cheering crowd. “We are not outnumbered by men anymore.”

MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Jana Freiband
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Kristoffer Tigue
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Bill Phillips on 01/23/2017 - 09:22 am.

    Brave new world

    An amazing event across America and the world, largely ignored by our new president (why didn’t these people vote!) in favor of whining about the press reporting on the crowds at his inauguration. Am I missing something? – he’s the president now, and should be working for all of us; instead, he and his staff are fighting with the press over crowd estimates and other trivia, and pushing “alternative facts” when caught in outright lies. Not a great start, or sadly, a great surprise.

  2. Submitted by joe smith on 01/23/2017 - 09:52 am.

    I agree that economic issues are

    women’s issues. The ability I for everyone to get a good paying job is something we should all be pushing our elected officials towards. As far as abortion goes, I don’t want 1 penny of tax payer money going towards ending an innocent life. I also don’t think you should make everyone pay for someone else’s birth control… That never made sense to me. That is why we have elections, Hillary was backing Obama’s push to continue funding to Planned Parenthood and keeping provisions in the ACA to make everyone pay for birth control…. That platform lost. In the words of Obama “elections have consequences” ..

    I am happy that women got together and protested peacefully for what they believe in. I think those of us who disagree with some of their stances should be able to voice our opinion also. It seems to me that the left thinks tolerance means you have to agree with them or you are a bigot. Tolerance means I will listen to you, debate you and if we disagree so be it. Somehow the liberals feel tolerance means agree with me or I will brand you some sort of evil term…. That is not very tolerant !!

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 01/23/2017 - 11:44 am.

      Tolerance? Please

      Joe, stop confusing tolerance with basic human decency. Let me put it to you this way. If I sat down at the Smith family dinner table and called you “Little Joey Smith”, called you and you family liars, horrible people, nasty and that your family should be locked up, should I then call you “intolerant” if you get offended? Should I say be stunned that you’d call me evil for the things I said to your family?

      Let me put it back at you and your President Joe, “being an —– has consequences”.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 08:36 pm.


        What about calling all Trump supporters deplorable, racists, homophobes, xenophobes, etc.. . Was it tolerance or human decency?

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/23/2017 - 03:20 pm.

      Being nice and playing by rules

      Not one penny of tax dollars does go toward funding abortions. But that’s not why the Right wants to defund Planned Parenthood. The Right wants to defund Planned Parenthood because it cannot abide an organization that has championed reproductive rights. Defunding Planned Parenthood seeks to destroy Planned Parenthood and quiet that voice even if means denying basic health care to millions of women who cannot afford or obtain access to it elsewhere. People will die or suffer unnecessarily because it offends those on the Right that Planned Parenthood champions reproductive rights and actually provides safe abortions for women affordably.

      If any issue has poisoned discussion in this country, political and otherwise, it’s been the abortion issue. The Right has pushed this issue to where if you are not on their side on that issue, you are equivalent to a Nazi supporting Jewish genocide. That thinking has driven them to their agenda of amending the Constitution not by going through the channels actually set out in Article V, but by packing the United States Supreme Court with Right wing ideologues who will overrule Roe v. Wade. But only “the left” must always be nice and play by the rules.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/23/2017 - 11:04 am.


    Glad to hear it, now can we sign up the man involved to support the kid until they are 26 years old? Just a little bit of hypocrisy in this equation, or since the life is so precious, shouldn’t our Government insure that each child has an equal opportunity at success? How about a $250,000 account waiting for each kid coming into the world. Shouldn’t we put our money where our mouth is? Or do we just want to tell other people how to live their lives and what to do with their bodies?
    PS: Birth control isn’t used for just birth control either, or is that fake science?

    Low tolerance? Should we be tolerant of folks that think the world is still flat? How about folks that think women should be subservient to men? Or that men have the right to beat their wives? etc. etc. etc. So what do conservatives think tolerance means? Please a few samples, because it sure isn’t equal health care for all, or equal rights for all. Because that is what this march was all about!

    Looking forward

    • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 08:35 pm.

      What coservativs think tolerance is

      Tolerance is not calling someone a racist just because he or she thinks that racism is not a problem in America. Tolerance is not calling someone who voted for Trump a fascist. Tolerance is allowing Ann Coulter to speak on campus. Tolerance is not cutting off your friends just because they didn’t like Clinton… More examples?

  4. Submitted by Brenda Doup on 01/23/2017 - 11:57 am.

    The Cost of a March

    From many generations to another, the United States Government will change regardless of the premise of our founders. The mature rational adults will prevail. Common sense is not dead and the idea that any “one” life matters more than another will be the hypocrisy of our society. Patriotism is not a punch line. Men and women serve our country on many levels and helps control the “freedoms” we have. Laws help protect our freedoms. Regardless of how any one of us voted for president, Trump is the President of the United States. The strength of character in the American people can only make America great. Protesting/Marches do not create that peaceful transition of power in our country. If the number of protesters – marchers put their energy into taking the right steps to change laws, results would be possible. It is very offensive on many levels when people are yelling in your face. . . this is not freedom of speech, its bullying. Many women in power actually hurt the women’s movement by being irresponsible and reckless.
    Remember: The Government is not here to run an individual”s life, Life will never be fair, Hard work pays off, Decisions affect more than yourself, Actions speak volumes and come in all forms; protesting are for the“weak”, “fears” and “haters” . . . and the self-absorbed who work as protestors for an easy buck$. These individuals do not represent who I am or what I am about. The less we pay attention to the protests, the more violent they will become.

    • Submitted by TONY NELSON on 01/23/2017 - 12:52 pm.


      protest & marches formed our country in the 1700’s. Protests got women the vote. protests ended the Viet Nam war. you say women hurt themselves by having power because they are reckless? really. protesting is what the strong do. Those that submit to the powerful are the weak. Between my wife & I we work 5 jobs & still found time to protest. They may not represent you but maybe if you took a moment to listen to their message you might find that they actually have something you agree with. None of these people were paid to do this, they did it because they love their country & want to keep the rights and laws that protect their kids & their country..

      • Submitted by Brenda Doup on 01/24/2017 - 09:27 am.

        Protests of the 1700’s

        Protests of the 1700.s do not work in the 21st century. My husband and I know about working several jobs to keep our family going and we made it a point to lift our self up, not by the hand of the government, but by the choices we made (the freedom to make the choices). The types of protest in today’s world are seen as bully tactics and the amount of paid protesters over-shadows the ones who want to make a difference. I encourage meetings with those you vote into local offices to find the avenue that speaks loud and clear your voice.

        • Submitted by Nick Foreman on 01/24/2017 - 05:03 pm.

          Where is your proof?

          For paid protesters? No proof of course.

        • Submitted by on 01/29/2017 - 08:24 pm.

          Paid Protesters

          Your spot on Brenda about the paid protesters. Even though I haven’t been with “MoveOn.Org for years,I was offered an all expense paid trip to Milwaukee, Cleveland, and DC. The DC one paid $50.00 an hour, + a $2600.00 signing bonus if you’d protest 5 more times a year.

          Frankly you can’t believe in anything in print, on the squawk box, or the idiot tube, aka the real fake media!

  5. Submitted by Curt Carlson on 01/23/2017 - 12:45 pm.


    I guess it’s natural for those who disagree with the causes espoused at these giant assemblies to try to minimize the events. The fact is that marches and rallies help build community and solidarity.( I imagine that’s why Trump promises to continue to hold rallies – he needs to feel validated.) You can bet that these marches are not the end of the story – they’re more likely to be the beginning. Many who attended have already been active in their communities, but many more have never before been active but will stay involved in resisting Trumpian autocracy. I suspect that’s why Trump and his toadies are so adamant about trying to minimize the size of these displays of resistance.

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/23/2017 - 02:26 pm.

    So pleased at the turnout in St. Paul for this anti-Trump protest! The pics here are wonderful to see. So many people, so many feline hats1

    Now that we know that President Trump gets really upset when the numbers don’t go his way–to the extent that he spends some of his precious first-100-days (or in his short-attention-span view, first week) having surrogates stamp feet and actually lie for him to the press [!!]–we should make sure that he keeps being reminded that most Americans do not approve of him.

    First, remind him that he lost the popular vote to the tune of almost 3 million ballots (that led him to assert, in a huge lie, that there were eleven million illegal voters!).

    Remind him of the photos that show that Obama 2009’s Mall in D.C. was crammed with celebrating people, while Trump’s in 2017 was full of empty white grass protectors with nobody on them.

    Remind him that the D.C. Metro system had tens of thousands fewer riders on the day of the 2017 inaugural than it did for Obama in 2009. Fewer people interested in Trump.

    Remind him of the national polls that say that more than half of America disapproves of the way he has conducted his transition period, mostly because of his tweets and some astonishingly offensive Cabinet nominees.

    Remind him that on January 21, 2017, there were more than a million Americans protesting his presidency in the streets across the nation–many tens of thousands more than applauded his downbeat inaugural address. Including the lively, diverse crowd in Minnesota’s capitol!

    And remind him that most of the Americans who are protesting him, and his refusal to release his tax returns to public scrutiny, pay individually more federal taxes in one year than he has paid over all the past twenty years. Dare him to prove those numbers wrong!

    Let’s keep stamping OUR feet against the bully! We’re out here, and our numbers are larger.

  7. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 01/23/2017 - 08:38 pm.

    Protesting the future

    This protest is the first of its kind since it protests the FUTURE.

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