EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- In Eau Claire, hundreds of people hit the streets to march around town to support the national Women’s March movement.
Just one day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office, more than 250 marched to show their support, here in Eau Claire.
Several speakers kicked-off the event at 10 a.m., followed by the march as demonstrators made their way from Water Street, around Phoenix Park and back.
“I’m very proud to be part of this community to stand up for everybody,” said demonstrator Crispin Pierce of Eau Claire. Pierce explained it took him nearly an hour to create the sign he held at the rally which could be seen high above the crowd. “I grew up with women, I care a lot about women,” he added. “I have a beautiful wife and daughter. I want her to grow up making the same amount as a man; I want her to have the same opportunities that men have in this community and in this country, so I care very deeply on a personal level.”
Although hundreds showed up, Saturday’s rally in Eau Claire was not initially on the calendar. Organizers say it was kind of a last minute thing, but decided after hearing many people say they were traveling somewhere else to participate in the rally, that they would get something going in our own community.
“We’d rather show solidarity no matter how late and we want to show Eau Claire that there are people out here who exist and care for the same things that a lot of other people are feeling,” said Eau Claire’s march organizer Serena Wagner.
With fears of what could happen under the new administration of President Trump, demonstrators marched under an umbrella of issues -- women’s rights, civil rights, immigration rights -- all human rights according to Wagner.
“I don’t really know where to begin,” Wagner said. “There’s a lot of things myself, as a white female, fears with the new administration; but there’s also a lot of hateful rhetoric that's been passed around toward my black brothers and sisters, my native brothers and sisters, all sorts of races, genders and creeds, that I don't think is helpful to perpetuate.”
While supporting their right to protest, Eau Claire County Republican Party Vice Chair Mike Conlin says their fight is a bit premature.
“I don't think they'll be less safe; I don t think they'll be rounded up; I don't think their freedoms are going to be denied,” Conlin said. “I don't think it’s going to be gloom and doom for them, life will go on and they can continue to fight for their issue another day.”
Hundreds also gathered in Menomonie Saturday for the Women's March on the UW-Stout campus.