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Hundreds Join 2020 Cleveland Women's March With Call to Vote

Hundreds of people marched through Lee-Harvard on Saturday during the 2020 Women's March
Kabir Bhatia
Hundreds of people marched through Lee-Harvard on Saturday during the 2020 Women's March.

Hundreds of people marched through Cleveland’s Lee-Harvard neighborhood on Saturday as part of the 2020 Women’s March.

Before the march, community activist Al Porter asked the crowd to remember victims of domestic violence by reading their names aloud. He was one of several speakers advocating for more funding for women’s services, and also encouraging people to vote in this year’s election.

State Rep. Juanita Brent – who represents parts of Cuyahoga County – agreed, and called on the crowd to get involved in local politics.

“I’m always very surprised when I show up to local meetings, and no one is there. But people will call and complain about what they’re seeing in their local community: why aren’t their streets being paved? They’re concerned about security. But we aren’t showing up.”

The march in Cleveland was one of dozens around the country held on Saturday in support of women’s rights, and in opposition to the attempts to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court before next month’s election.

Ruth Gray, Chairwoman of the Cleveland branch of the National Congress of Black Women, said the only way to affect real change is to vote.

"We have to address the 'isms' in this country. The systemic racism in this country. The systemic oppression in this country. The inequality in this country. It's time for it to end."

Members of the Cleveland branch of Refuse Fascism were also at the march. Dressed in outfits similar to characters in the book and TV show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” they voiced support for women’s rights and invited participants to another rally this coming Saturday, October 24, at 4 p.m. near the West Side Market.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.