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Women’s March draws thousands to downtown Dayton

A few thousand women and supporters gathered at Courthouse Square Saturday on the near one-year anniversary of the marches that took place the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The event was organized by Dayton Women’s Rights Alliance, along with Dayton Indivisible for All and others.

The rally is designed to engage and empower all people to support women’s rights, human rights, civil rights, disability rights, and many others seeking equality, according to the event’s Facebook page.

RELATED: Thousands rallied in 2017 March

This year’s event occurs in the midst of the #MeToo movement and the same week as the sentencing for former U.S. Gymnastics team Dr. Larry Nassar, who is accused of sexually molesting dozens of young girls under his care.

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Sarah Powell of Fairborn said she came out for the event out of concern for her children’s future.

“I’m concerned that we’re taking things in a direction in our country that’s going to make it very hard my daughter and also my son to find equal footing. And really achieve what it is they want to achieve,” the 40-year-old mother said.

Powell also said she was concerned about the Trump administration’s reversal of business regulations that are designed “protect us” and passing issues “to keep rich people getting richer and to keep the little guy down. It affects women and minorities a lot more than my son … but being from a poorer background it does affect us, too.”

People also were at the march to support immigrants.

Edda and Reinhard Koppen immigrated legally from Germany in 1990, but they don’t see why illegal immigration is getting so much “hype.”

“We went through the process,” said Edda, a 53-year-old Springboro resident. “And we do absolutely believe people should have a way to become a legal immigrant on this country.

“Right now there’s no reason for this hype of getting all of the immigrants out because we are very much at a pretty low unemployment rate and if these people would all leave I think it would not necessarily be good for the country,” she added.

While crowd estimates were unavailable Saturday afternoon, the event seemed to draw a similar number of people as last year’s event, which attracted about 3,000.

The Dayton march was one of many around the U.S. and the world on Saturday.

Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon that it was a “perfect day” for women to march to celebrate the “economic success and wealth creation” that’s happened during his first year in office — while women across the nation rallied against him and his policies.

“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months,” Trump wrote. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

But demonstrators denounced Trump’s views with colorful signs and even saltier language.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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