Thousands descend on Public Square to support women’s rights

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CLEVELAND -- A march in Public Square Saturday morning drew thousands of people to support women's rights and protest President Donald Trump's agenda.

"Love trumps hate," was the chant heard throughout the streets of downtown Cleveland.

The event, which is one of nearly 300 worldwide, began at 10 a.m. in Public Square, then proceeded down Ontario Street and Lakeside Avenue, before stopping at City Hall and Willard Park. Participants then circled back to Public Square for closing remarks from event organizers, Laura Johnson and Claudia Pasmatsiou.

Johnson and Pasmatsiou are graduate students studying physics at Case Western Reserve University.

"One afternoon while taking a break from research in our office, we discovered the Women’s March on Washington," Johnson and Pasmatsiou wrote in a joint statement. "We saw that many cities were hosting sister marches, but were disappointed to find that Cleveland wasn’t on the map. So we decided to take action and organize a local event."

The main message of the event was the importance of women's rights and there is much fear about President Trump's views on a range of issues.

"I don't agree with the values of the man elected to be president," said Glenn Goodman, who attended the rally.

Those issues include healthcare, LGBTQ rights, and views on abortion.

"I want to love who I want to love and I want to be proud of my body no matter what it has been through," said Claire Leff, who held a handmade sign at the event.

Speakers included U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, along with other state and local officials.

One marcher tells Fox 8 she wants to stand strong and is tired of feeling bullied by politicians.

"Let him know that we will not be moved, stand up to him, intimidate him, don't let him intimidate you," said Elizabeth Billingsley.

Cleveland police tweeted that 15,000 people attended today's march, peacefully. There were no arrests.

**More coverage, here**

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