Women’s march planned Saturday in Kalispell

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Love Lives Here, the Flathead County Democratic Women plus Big Sky Rising and Indivisible Flathead are hosting a women’s march from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Kalispell’s Depot Park.

The Kalispell event corresponds with the women’s marches planned in Washington, D.C. and other cities around the nation. Other women’s marches in Montana will be held in Eureka, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, Billings and Bozeman.

The first women’s marches took place in 2017 on the day after President Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Organizers of the Kalispell event, who have secured a permit from the city of Kalispell to hold the rally in Depot Park, say the mission of the event is to elevate diverse community voices and unite in defense of women’s rights, democracy and the environment. The event’s theme is “Be Seen, Be Heard.” A focus of this year’s march is the tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women and people attending are asked to wear red in honor of these women.

Pre-event activities start at 11 a.m. Participants may bring signs that can be considered for judging in a sign contest. At noon, Northwest Montana Peace and Justice Community Choir will open the official event, followed by speakers and musical guests Jamie Wyman and Mellow Waters. Speakers include Amanda Curtis, a teacher and former representative of Butte’s House District 74; Santana Kortum, a local attorney; Tara Walker Lyons, a child-abuse prevention activist and speaker on missing and murdered indigenous women; and Bree Sutherland, an LGBTQ activist.

Several organizations will have information at the event and food trucks will be on site.

For more information, contact Kwen Shirley at kalispellwomensmarch@gmail.com or Cherilyn at info@loveliveshereflathead.org.

Also on Saturday in downtown Kalispell, a separate group has organized a counter-protest to the women’s march.

The Daily Inter Lake received an email of a Facebook post, indicating that event is intended to show local support for President Trump. That event takes place from noon to 2 p.m. across the street from Depot Park.

People attending the counter-protest are advised to refrain from entering Depot Park during the women’s march.

According to Kalispell Parks and Recreation Director Chad Fincher, no permit has been issued for a counter-protest group to use a city-managed property. He said his understanding is that the group will be using public sidewalks across the street from Depot Park, near Starbucks.

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