Thousands descend on downtown Denver for women’s march

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DENVER -- People voicing concerns over the policies laid out during President Donald Trump's campaign came to downtown Denver by the tens of thousands on Saturday, the day after the new president was sworn in.

"I want to be part of the hope and part of the solidarity," said Ruth Petrick of Arvada. "And people coming together for human rights and that we need to ... this has given us a call to rise to action.

More than 40,000 women, men and children were expected to meet at Civic Center Park and march downtown in an event organizers hope will remain peaceful.

Reports indicated the crowd grew to more than 100,000. The Denver Police Department said it was unable to provide accurate crowd numbers.

"Women's rights, human rights, civil rights I think we're going backwards with the new administration and I think we want him to know how we feel, " said Pamela Nicholson, who was there with her teenage daughter Dominique.

Police closed many streets because of the enormous size of the crowd that spread throughout downtown. Most streets in downtown were open again by 2 p.m.

"The people who I think in some ways were complacent imagining that we had gained some civil liberties and that those were safe and now that those are in question people are rising up," said Jeannie Shero, who attended with her church group.

Police said they made at least three arrests. All were men. One had an active warrant, one was accused of assault on a peace officer and a third was accused of carrying an illegal knife.

The Denver demonstration was an offshoot of the Women's March on Washington,which also took place Saturday with at least 200,000 participants.

According to the organization, there were 673 sister marches, including two marches internationally.

The founders of the events said the demonstration was less about demonizing politicians and more about empowering citizens -- particularly women -- to protect their rights.

“I think people have come together in solidarity, more now than ever before and if he has given us that, at least we have that,” said participant Cassie Pennings.

"We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country," according to a vision statement by the organization.

The 1.3-mile march went from Civic Center Park to Glenarm Place to 17th Street, 17th to Champa Street, Champa to 15th Street, and Welton to 14th Street.

Performers and speakers continued throughout the day, ending after 3 p.m.

The goal, according to the local organizers, is a long process and doesn't end with a single demonstration.

"We have built up a fabulous community of people committed to the protection and advancement of human rights. We are already planning collaborative meetings for the weeks following the march," according to organizers.

Five cities throughout the state held their own sister marches.

Police and volunteer security were present throughout the Denver march.