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‘All those pink hats’: Women’s March to return to downtown Fargo

Demonstrators rally Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in downtown Fargo for a local version of the Women's March on Washington. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO – A flood of pink hats will be returning to downtown Fargo.

On the anniversary of last year’s inaugural Women’s March on Washington, a rally at the Fargo Civic Center and a march through the city are being planned for Saturday, Jan. 20.

Organizer Nicole Mattson of Indivisible Fargo-Moorhead said the event was posted on Facebook Tuesday, Jan. 9. And within five hours, 500 people said they were going or were interested in attending.

During last year’s march, at least 1,000 demonstrators converged on downtown Fargo – far exceeding crowd-turnout expectations. After receiving many inquiries about whether there would be another march this year, Indivisible decided to host one, Mattson said.

“When you looked at the pictures of all those pink hats all around the world from Fargo, North Dakota, to Washington, D.C., to Antarctica, it showed how many people there are who are ready for things to change and who are ready to start working to change them,” she said.

Last year, locals joined an estimated 4 million people worldwide marching in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. Hundreds of thousands gathered at the nation’s capital to protest President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Demonstrators also advocated for various issues, including health care, climate change, equal pay, immigration, and criminal justice reform.

Mattson said Fargo-Moorhead’s theme for this year’s event is “A Step Beyond the March.” It’s meant to encourage people to think about what more they can do to get involved in the democratic process, she said.

“What we’re asking people to do is think about the actions they took leading up to the 2016 election,” she said, adding that if you didn’t vote, commit to voting in 2018. If you voted, she said, consider volunteering to help a campaign or consider running for office.

“I wasn't politically active at all, and now I find myself helping to plan this march,” Mattson said. Sara Watson-Curry had just been sworn in as a first-time Moorhead City Council member when she attended the march last year with her mother, Barb Watson of Grand Forks, who had never been to a demonstration.

“She didn’t know what to anticipate,” Watson-Curry said. “It was overwhelming how many people were there. Broadway was totally busting at the seams, which was really empowering to see.”  

More than 200 other anniversary marches are planned this year around the globe on the weekend of Jan. 20.

The rally at the Fargo Civic Center will start at 1 p.m. on the lower level in Centennial Hall. Mattson said details on the march route are still being worked out and speakers for the rally have not yet been named.

Information on the event can be found at http://fmwomensmarch.com or on Facebook by searching for “2018 FM Women’s March.”

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