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Women to march Saturday in Iowa City building on success of 2017

William J. Adams/Freelance

A large crowd gathers at the University of Iowa Pentacrest on Jan. 21, 2017, for the Iowa City Women’s March. The 2018 march is planned Saturday morning through downtown Iowa City.
William J. Adams/Freelance A large crowd gathers at the University of Iowa Pentacrest on Jan. 21, 2017, for the Iowa City Women’s March. The 2018 march is planned Saturday morning through downtown Iowa City.
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IOWA CITY — A year after millions of people around the globe took to the streets for the Women’s March, activists are planning marches again, including one in Iowa City on Saturday morning.

The day begins on the Pedestrian Mall near the Weatherdance Fountain at 9 a.m., with speakers at 9:30 a.m., including newly elected Iowa City Council member Mazahir Salih.

The half-mile march through the downtown begins at 10 a.m.

Seven Iowa City-area women decided to organize the 2018 Iowa City Women’s March almost on a whim, said Beth Gier, one of the organizers.

“We were texting each other, asking if anyone wanted to go to Des Moines,” she said.

Someone suggested an Iowa City march, and the group talked about the idea Jan. 6, created a Facebook event, applied for a city permit and ended up with more than 1,000 people on Facebook saying they were “interested” in the event.

“It’s a little crazy there is so much interest,” Gier said.

Last year’s event drew a large crowd to the University of Iowa Pentacrest.

This year’s event will feature a voter-registration drive, dovetailing with the national event’s theme, “Power to the Polls.”

The national march will take place on Sunday in Las Vegas, with marches planned in all 50 states and six continents this weekend.

In Iowa, the Women’s March website lists events in Bettendorf, Decorah, Des Moines and Lamoni, all on Saturday.

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The Des Moines march will be at noon at the Iowa State Capitol, and the Decorah march will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Mary Christopher Park, 306 E. Water St.

A year ago, the Women’s March attracted millions the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Organizers encouraged marchers to continue political activism throughout the year. That was how Gier and her fellow 2018 march organizers got together.

“We came together after the election last year to write postcards (to lawmakers),” Gier said. “We can get really isolated, especially in Iowa in the winter.

“ Hopefully, the experience of a lot of different people coming together wanting to change things will help people kind of carry on, and maybe it will pull in some new people, too.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

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