Hundreds of people marched through downtown Las Vegas on Saturday as part of the Empowering Women March 2020.
The event coincided with dozens of other annual women’s marches across the country, including a similar march in Reno. The original Women’s March began in 2017 as a protest of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Many marchers wore pink hats or shirts, chanted and carried signs as the group snaked from Fremont Street up Ninth Street, then along East Ogden Avenue and finally down Las Vegas Boulevard to the Lloyd D. George Courthouse, where they rallied for about 90 minutes.
“I just felt like if we don’t do this, then we aren’t really doing anything,” Henderson resident Pam Pace said as she carried a sign criticizing Trump.
Her 87-year-old mother, Georgia Pace, was visiting from Missouri and decided to join in the march. She sped ahead of her daughter as the march turned onto Ogden with the help of a walker adorned with a sign reading, “you have gone and pissed off this old woman.”
Representatives from various groups partnered with the march, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, spoke at the rally.
Cori Bush, a congressional candidate from St. Louis, Missouri, seen in the Netflix documentary “Knock Down the House,” also spoke on behalf of the Democratic Socialists of America and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., participated in the march with a sign reading, “Women’s rights are human rights,” but he did not speak at the rally.
The event was periodically rattled by a small group of counterprotesters, who used a megaphone to shout various things at marchers — from vague religious references and chants of “Trump 2020” to racist and homophobic comments.
The man who did most of the group’s shouting wore a camouflage sweatshirt with a visible handgun holstered at the front of his waist.
The two sides shouted back and forth but rarely came within 20 feet of one another as Metropolitan Police Department officers stood between the groups on the court’s front sidewalk.
As the speeches went on, Molly Lynch and her daughter, 4-year-old McKenzie Fink, held pink signs and stood near the back of the crowd. McKenzie was an infant when she first joined her mother in the inaugural march and has not missed one since.
“We have so many rights as women today, but plenty of other women in this nation and around the world don’t,” Lynch said. “I march for them and the people who came before me.”
McKenzie’s sign noted she would march in 2020, vote in 2034 and run for president in 2054.
“She doesn’t have to live in a world where a more qualified woman is passed over again,” Lynch said, in reference to Trump’s defeat of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. “She can wake up every day and be princess if she wants to. Be a CEO if she wants to. Be president if she wants to. Love another woman. She can do anything.”