BEND, OR -- Organizers of Bend’s “Love Trumps Hate” rally in November plan a similar event Saturday, to coincide with the large Women’s March in Washington D.C. Melissa Adams says she and four other women began planning the Bend event after the success of the post-election demonstration. "Shortly before Christmas, one of the organizers for the Women’s March on Washington who lives here locally approached me and said, ‘would you guys come under the women’s march umbrella?’ And, reading their mission statement with our own, there was so much overlap that we decided to be part of something that was larger than just Bend."
Adams is a local therapist and tells KBND News, "For me, a lot of this is about standing up as a voice for my clients who don’t have a voice, as well as to be a beacon of light and hope for everyone in our community who has been left feeling fearful, anxious and isolated in the wake of this presidential election." She says those groups include women, the disabled, survivors of domestic violence and minorities.
November's "Love Trumps Hate" rally attracted about 400 people and drew some counter-protests. When they began preparing for Saturday’s event, Adams says they knew not everyone would be supportive. "We anticipate there will be some pushback and some counter-protest but we’re prepared to deal with that. Our message is about unity and solidarity and we’re going to have another lawful and peaceful event." She says they are working with Bend Police to make ensure everyone’s safety.
The Bend Women’s March
is open to everyone and begins at the Drake Park Amphitheater. About a thousand people have so far RSVP'd on social media. They'll gather Saturday morning at 11; the march starts at 11:30. It’s expected to weave through downtown and end at Crow’s Feet Commons with a number of speeches and presentations.