Women's March

The Quad-Cities Women's March is planned for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in downtown Rock Island.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Around the country and world on Saturday, hundreds of planned events will mark the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March, in which millions of people gathered in Washington D.C. and other cities with the mission of sisterhood and solidarity on President Trump's first full day in office.

A group of Quad-Citians have banded together to hold an anniversary event here, too. 

The Quad-Cities Women's March is planned for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Schwiebert Riverfront Park in downtown Rock Island. 

Organizer Laura Rodriguez, one of about 10 women putting the march on, said the event is not an "anti-Trump protest or rally," but more of a "joyful gathering of women and their allies to get together and get to the polls." 

"I think this past year, a lot of people have been feeling like they don't know what to do," Rodriguez, a Quad-City based mother of two, said. "This is a way to say, 'Yes, we do have power and we do have a say in things.'" 

The event will begin with speeches from people in the Quad-City community, including representatives from groups such as Sage Sisters of Solidarity, Q-C Pride, the Rock Island County Democrats and the Rocky Riveters, a club at Rock Island High School.

Following remarks at Schweibert Riverfront Park, attendees will march to the Rock Island County Clerk’s Office a few blocks away on Third Avenue. Organizers have arranged to have several voter registration booths for Scott and Rock Island counties there. 

Sean Capdevila, another organizer, said response to the march on Facebook  has been "overwhelming," with over 1,000 people indicating they are going or interested in Saturday's event. 

Capdevila, who is 26, traveled to Washington D.C. with a small group of friends last January for the Women's March. She described the now historic march as "really cool and really crowded." 

While there wasn't an official sister march held in the Quad-Cities that day, residents got together for the Quad-Cities Equity Rally at United Steelworkers Local 105 hall in Bettendorf.

Other Quad-Citians joined the efforts by traveling in bus loads to Washington D.C. or attending sister marches in Des Moines, Iowa City and Galesburg.

A year later, Capdevila said "there are a lot of people still feeling voiceless."

That's why the Quad-Cities Women's March is mostly about "awareness and educating people," she said. "By getting registered to vote and knowing who is running and why they're running, you can have a voice."

Other anniversary marches are scheduled to happen on Saturday in nearby cities such as Galesburg, Des Moines and Iowa City as well as Rockford, Peoria, Springfield and Chicago. 

Meanwhile, the team behind last year's Women's March are putting on a Power to the Polls rally, kicking off a national mobilization tour with the mission of registering more women to vote and electing more women candidates to public office. That rally is set to start at 10 a.m. PST Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"We want to keep the momentum going and keep the fight going," Capdevila said. "We can all help empower each other."

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Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).