Union members were among the 100,000 people who marched Saturday in the Minnesota Women’s March in St. Paul – and filled the streets in cities across the nation, including Washington, D.C., where half a million people participated.
“We’re here not only to march, but we’re here to build a movement,” national AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler told the crowd in the nation’s capital. “It’s a movement for paid family leave. It’s a movement for equal rights. It’s a movement for workers’ rights. It’s a movement for immigrants’ rights.
“We’re going to march together and stand together in solidarity to make sure our voices are heard,” she declared.
In Minnesota, some unions organized groups to participate in the march, which filled John Ireland Boulevard from the St. Paul Cathedral, across the Interstate 94 bridge to the state Capitol.
“Why are we marching?” the Minnesota Nurses Association said in a statement. “Because the rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us. We will march in numbers too great for administration to ignore on their first day in office. We march and stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”
Teamsters Local 120 parked its semi-trailer truck near the march route, sounding the truck horn as demonstrators cheered. The Minnesota AFL-CIO and St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 both had contingents carrying banners.
“We march because women’s rights are human rights!” Mary Cathryn Ricker, vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, tweeted. Ricker took part in the Minnesota march in St. Paul.
Mark Gruenberg of Press Associates News Service contributed to this report.