"No Hate, No Fear," Declares Crowd of 100,000 at Women's March on Portland

There was no tear gas. But this felt like a revolution.

Women's March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)

They came with glitter-glue and pom-poms glued to signs. They came with flowers. They came with canes and wheelchairs, in sumo suits, in Wonder Woman pajamas.

While they waited, they danced. They sang. They chanted. A woman with a wicker basket handed out pink roses. They ate cupcakes.

The Women's March on Portland wasn't like other protests.

Less than 24 hours before, at the intersection of Southwest Taylor Street and Naito Parkway, the Portland Police Bureau had deployed a chemical irritant at the thousands who'd took to the streets to protest President Donald Trump's inauguration.

By noon today, easily tens of thousands more gathered for the Portland Women's March. Where Friday's protesters dressed for the night — in black, bandanas over faces — Saturday's march drew a tenacious, patient, resilient crowd who waited hours in a torrential rainstorm for a signal to begin marching.

Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)

March organizers expected a turnout of some 30,000, and the unanticipated number of protesters—as many as 100,000—was easily felt in the crowd.

In the downpour, packed tightly and unable to move, people started talking. They huddled under strangers' umbrellas. A woman with dreadlocks pushing a crying baby through the crowd was met with a steady stream of sympathetic gazes. People leaned over to smile and coo the baby. As the rain came down, homemade signs bled and bowed to the rain.

Laurie Elliott, 63, is a recent transplant to Portland from Tennessee. "I'll tell you what, nothing like this is going to happen there."

Trump, she says, is not what America needs. Voters confused him "for a good change."

Mark Becker, 62, of Cedar Hills, says he came to show support — "support for the rest of us. That we're not Trump."

Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)

Vanessa Sanchez, 29, and her sister, Lisbeth, are appalled by Republican actions they fear will defund Planned Parenthood. "They're trying to take our birth control," Lisbeth says.

Dee Wright, 62, stood with a group of retired teachers wore "Resist the Orange One" buttons on pink hats. She hugged a former student. "She was my first grade teacher," he said.

Nicole West, 28, says she voted for Hillary Clinton, and when Trump was elected it felt "like I got punched in the gut."

Related: An interview with the Women's March on Portland organizer, who changed the direction of the event.

Cindy Ede, 64, of Scappoose, snapped photos with people standing around here. She's worried about what Trump will do to federal lands. "I think we're all blindsided that protections on our federal forest was so insecure."

Packed light-rail train on way to march. (Joe Riedl)

When the crowd finally shook loose into downtown streets, the crowds overtook the city, breaking from the planned 44-block route, snaking down Second and Naito, up Jefferson, up Salmon, up Main.

"Everyone is welcome here! No hate! No fear!" they chanted.

The chants were the same as Friday: "Donald Trump has got to go! Hey hey! Ho ho!" "No Trump! No KKK! No fascist USA!"

On Friday, protesters were eager to scream "fuck pigs!" at Portland Police. On Saturday, marchers posed for selfies with motorcycle cops.

Portland's Resistance organizer Gregory McKelvey tweeted Saturday that "protesting isn't supposed to be cute," and taking jabs at "white women taking selfies with the same cops who beat protesters yesterday."

But on Saturday, the screams and cheers that would roll like a soundwave across the city didn't feel cute. It felt powerful. It felt like it had a clear point.

Four hours into this protest, there was no tear gas, no flash grenades.

But this? This felt like a revolution.

Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)
Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)
Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)
Women’s March on Portland. (Joe Riedl)

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