Thousands Expected At Saturday's Women's March In St. Petersburg

Jan 19, 2017

Organizers say an estimated 17,000 people plan to demonstrate in St. Petersburg Saturday.

The event is one of hundreds across the country that will coincide with the National Women's March on Washington.

The march was conceived the night Donald Trump was elected President when a grandmother from Hawaii posted a late night missive on Facebook. Upset over Trump's victory, the retiree proposed a march on Washington.

That post quickly went viral.

Hundreds of "sister" marches have since been scheduled in all 50 states and around the world.

Suzanne Benton is one of the organizers of the solidarity march in St Petersburg.

"When things often get bad the women have to mop it up,” she said. “We are going to show the world that we are going to maintain our democracy and we are going to move ahead with social issues that are needed to make this a more perfect union."

Organizers say they're worried women's rights will be rolled back under a Trump administration and Republican-controlled congress. 

Credit Lynn Carol Henderson

Suzanne Young is on the local march committee. She hopes the event will inspire more women in Tampa Bay to become involved in social causes.  

"Trying to sustain this momentum is important,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to do that for as long as we need to but I think there's enough people of power to make it effective and to actually bring about change."

And local organizers say they support the official Women's March national policy platform which stakes positions on abortion, immigration, gay rights and worker's issues.

The St. Pete Women’s March is scheduled from 10 am to 3 p.m. Saturday. The march begins and ends at Demens Landing and will wind through downtown St. Pete. There will be music and speakers along with community organizations hosting information tables. The march itself is scheduled to step off at 1pm.

Mayor Rick Kriseman is expected to be on hand to present a proclamation honoring women’s rights.