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Cleveland Women's March Draws a Smaller Crowd Than 2017, But Continues Resistance to President Trump

photo of Cleveland Women's March
OWEN M. MCCAFFERTY II
The crowd at this year's Women's March walked the half mile from Public Square to City Hall.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Cleveland on Saturday for the Women's March marking one year since President Trump took office.

Last year’s marches were partly a protest against Trump's inauguration. Laura Smith of South Euclid says that sentiment was still present at this year’s march in Cleveland.

“I think if we had someone who supported women and their rights, we’d still be active," Smith said. "But I don’t know if we’d still be marching and making our voices heard as loudly as we have in the past year and a half.”

One notable change since last year is the Me Too movement bringing to light high-profile cases of sexual harassment against women. Darrell Starnik made the trip downtown from his home in North Royalton to support women’s rights. Starnik says the Me Too movement changed the tone at this year's march.

“It’s good to see women speak out," Starnik said. "Men, even men who aren’t idiots, probably didn’t realize how bad it is for women. And they all pretty much have a story to tell that isn’t pleasant.”

The focus for this year’s march was to get more women into elected office. Betty Sutton, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor addressed the crowd, and Betsy Rader was also on hand collecting signatures for her 14th Congressional District run against Republican incumbent Dave Joyce.