Hundreds turned out for the Womxn’s March in Port Townsend in 2017. (Peninsula Daily News file)

Hundreds turned out for the Womxn’s March in Port Townsend in 2017. (Peninsula Daily News file)

Women’s March set for Saturday on Peninsula

PORT TOWNSEND — This year’s Women’s March in Port Townsend is shaping up to be larger than last year’s, organizers say.

Libby Urner Wennstrom, who is organizing this year’s march, said she is hoping to see 2,000 people at the march Saturday.

“The message for the Women’s March movement nationally and internationally is getting people to take power in their own communities and make change where they can,” she said. “If people aren’t happy with Washington, [D.C.], what can they do locally?”

People will assemble at 9:30 a.m. at 1111 Water St., before marching at 10:30 a.m. to Pope Marine Park. Once there, they will hear from several speakers, including political activists and leaders.

As people prepare for Port Townsend’s march, several buses of protesters will head to Seattle for Seattle’s Women’s March, Wennstrom said.

Those wishing to bus to Seattle should call Deborah Steele at 360-379-2949. Her husband, Dennis Daneau, said he believed there was still room on the last of three buses, but it’s important to call ahead.

The group is meeting at the Haines Park and Ride, 440 12th St., at about 6:45 a.m. and leaving by 7 a.m., he said. Tickets are $27.

The Seattle March will start at 10 a.m. at Cal Anderson Park at 1635 11th Ave., on Capital Hill.

Port Townsend has the only registered Women’s March on the North Olympic Peninsula, according to https://www.womensmarch.com/.

Keynote speakers will be Sarah Van Gelder, co-founder of Yes! Magazine, Vanessa Castle of the Lower Elwha S’klallam Tribe, and Port Townsend High School Students for Sustainability members Ingrid Schultz and Hannah Marx.

Numerous elected officials are expected to attend, including Port Townsend City Councilmember Michelle Sandoval, Jefferson County Commissioner Kate Dean and state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger.

“It’s heartening how strong a support the local and regional and state legislators have for women’s issues and women’s rights,” Wennstrom said. “I feel pretty well represented in Olympia and Washington.”

Last year, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, spoke at the event.

Wennstrom said with national attention focused on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) action, immigration, a possible government shutdown, tensions with North Korea and a president making disparaging remarks toward African countries, she’s expecting quite a turnout.

“A lot of people are really fired up and angry,” she said, adding that mid-term elections are coming up.

Parking downtown might be difficult due to construction. There will be a designated handicapped drop off area at the assembly location and limited handicap parking near Pope Marine Park.

She said marchers are strongly encouraged to carpool, bike or walk. Jefferson Transit offers shuttle service from the Haines Place Park and Ride for a $1.50 day pass.

“It’s not protesting, it’s just coming together in solidarity,” she said. “It’s open to all genders.”

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

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