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Hundreds attend Grand Forks event inspired by national women's march

Photos of an event held at Archives Coffee House on UND's campus on Saturday, Jan. 21. The event was inspired by the Women's March on Washington. (Submitted photo)

Three hundred and four.

That's how many people organizers of a Grand Forks event inspired by the Women's March on Washington brought to Archives Coffee House on UND's campus, there to share stories and talk about important issues and rally around what organizer Tori Johnson described as a "human rights" message.

"There were some people that talked about healthcare, and their concerns that they have a preexisting condition and they won't be able to afford the medication they need," she said. "We had some people of color that talked about feeling like they—wanting to be part of the American patchwork, the American dream."

The meeting came while demonstrations unfolded around the country and the world in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. That event drew more than 200,000 people to the nation's capitol in an event aimed at affirming support for women's equality on the first day of President Donald Trump's administration.

During his campaign, Trump was accused repeatedly of sexist rhetoric, perhaps most notably when a recording of him surfaced in October on which he makes lewd remarks about women and said that "when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

Johnson stressed, though, that the Grand Forks event wasn't about Trump, and wasn't held in support of a specific set of policy goals.

"Our goal today was really to take a stand in support of human rights—not take a stand against someone. It's more than one man, one policy, one party. It goes beyond that," she said. "Most of us, I believe, at this meeting, are tired of not listening to one another, of shouting insults."

Johnson said, as well, how pleased she was with the turnout for the event. A photo shows the coffee house packed, with ample numbers of guests—both men and women—seated and standing shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the building.

"It was a lot of people—way more than I anticipated," Johnson said.

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108
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