A small union hall in Bettendorf could not contain hundreds participating in a local version of the national Women's March on Saturday, the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.
The hall at the United Steelworkers Local 105 headquarters quickly filled to capacity until there wasn't even standing room. Participants spilled outside, lining Devils Glen Road and State Street to chant and hold up signs.
Emilyne Slagle, one of the rally organizers, said she was "overwhelmed" at the sight of the packed hall.
Lisa Killinger, past president of the Islamic Center in Bettendorf, was the first of multiple speakers. But she was without her head garb.
"When a Muslim woman takes off her scarf, you know we got work to do," she said.
The "sad truth" about American history, Killinger said, is that there has always been a group that it is OK to hate, and this time it is Muslims. She referred to the latest presidential campaign as having "brought out some ugliness" and said that since Trump was elected hate crimes have been on the increase.
Speakers touched on civil liberties, gay marriage and abortion rights. Statements were often punctuated with a call to action.
"When you fight fire with fire, all you get are ashes," said the Rev. Christine Isham of Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ, Davenport. "Fight with love, justice, compassion and non-violence."
Isham mentioned the Women's March on Washington, D.C., happening at the same time to cheers from the crowd and then shared how she came to Iowa after it allowed same-sex marriage.
"The government has finally come to realize that love is love is love," she said. "We are not going back in time."
Rabbi Henry Karp of Temple Emanuel, Davenport, said he's concerned what's happening in the country under a Trump presidency.
"There's a dark, ominous cloud of prejudice engulfing our nation," Karp said.
There were calls for women to join forces to fight discrimination, regardless of background or political preference.
"You need to unite with one another," Vera Kelly, president of the Davenport chapter of the NAACP, said. "You are somebody. Don't let anybody put in your head that you're nobody."
Melisa Marroquin of Davenport, a member of Sage Sisters of Solidarity, thanked the Trump administration, sarcastically, for "uniting us."
It was estimated that at least 300 attended the Bettendorf rally.
Annette Hutto, who owns Cool Beans coffee shop in Rock Island, was among the demonstrators outside. She opposed calling the event an "anti Trump" rally.
"I think it's important given the rhetoric after the last election that people express their distaste for targeting certain groups while sharing we want to support continual equality for all," she said.
Hutto said all were welcomed to attend the rally. "I saw on social media women posted, 'If I'm pro life, can I attend?' Absolutely," she said.
But the head of one local women's group felt excluded from the rally. Vicki Tyler, executive director of the Women’s Choice Center, an anti-abortion organization in Bettendorf, said in a phone interview that she wasn't invited.
"They're purporting it's about women's rights," Tyler said. "Who knows. I'm sure it will come out what, really, they're all about. Obviously, they have a pro-abortion agenda."
Jamie Fetty Ward of Silvis, who was outside the union hall with her husband, Dustin, and son, Isaac, 4, said Trump does not represent the views of the majority of Americans as 3 million more voted for Hillary Clinton.
"We're here to remind (Trump) and local officials there are multiple issues that unite us, not just a single issue," she said. "I feel very united."
Christa Axnix of Rock Island held up a sign stating, "Beware of" next to a picture of a cat. Underneath it stated, "If you grab her, she bites."
"I believe in equality for all and hope we get it," Axnix said.