2018 Women’s March slated in Kona

  • Scores turned out for the 2017 Women’s March on Queen Kaahumanu Highway. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Scores turned out for the Women’s March in 2017, taking to Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Palani Road. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — On Jan. 21 of last year, millions of people joined demonstrations around the world as part of the Women’s March, held one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

And in West Hawaii, a crowd of 3,800 people, according to organizer Lulie Cottle, marched from south of Henry Street to Kopiko Street, waving signs and chanting in solidarity.

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One year later, local organizers are planning a second march and rally, as well as a demonstration and art exhibition, on Jan. 21 at Hale Halawai.

“A lot happened in this last year because of the march,” said Cottle, citing an increase in the number of women running for public office and widespread campaigns like “#MeToo” and “Time’s Up” which focused attention on sexual assault and harassment.

In November, Axios reported more than 15,000 women have gotten in touch with She Should Run, a nationwide non-partisan organization dedicated to supporting women candidates for public office.

“It just encouraged a lot of women, particularly, to just really get involved,” Cottle said. “And we’re just hoping that doing it again and celebrating the anniversary is just going to keep encouraging women — and allies of women, too.”

The local march is one of countless marches and events planned across the country to revive the energy of last year’s events.

Organizers in cities across the country have planned events for that weekend, including Washington, D.C. A Las Vegas event, Power to the Polls, slated for Jan. 21 in Las Vegas, has been planned by the national organization to kick off a national voter registration tour.

The local march will go from and return to Hale Halawai. Upon their return, marchers will have a chance to hear talks from speakers. There’ll also be a women’s art exhibit, activities, women vendors and more.

The march will go from 1-2 p.m., with the rally to follow from 2-7 p.m. The event is free and open to everyone.

“And so we’re hoping that the march this year and this anniversary event will continue to awaken people to become progressive and activists during this time,” Cottle said.

Among the speakers will be Teresa Shook, a Maui woman who, on Election Day 2016, took to Facebook as the returns came in for Trump. According to the Washington Post, Shook posted about the need for a pro-women march to “Pantsuit Nation,” a pro-Hillary Clinton Facebook page.

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“By the time she woke up,” the Post article said, “10,000 people had RSVP’d to what would eventually become the Women’s March on Washington.”

Shook will be among many local leaders and artists featured during the rally portion of the event, according to a release from event organizers.