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North Dakotans Mobilize for Third Annual Women's March

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About 3,000 people showed up to Fargo's first Women's March in 2017, and 1,000 showed up in 2018. (Courtesy of Nicole Mattson)
About 3,000 people showed up to Fargo's first Women's March in 2017, and 1,000 showed up in 2018. (Courtesy of Nicole Mattson)
 By Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND - Producer, Contact
January 18, 2019

FARGO, N.D. – The Women's March is back in North Dakota for its third year on Saturday.

The Fargo march will feature former Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Fargo-Moorhead Women's March Organizer Nicole Mattson says most of the rally will take place inside the Fargo Civic Center because of temperatures that are expected to be below zero.

She expects a similar crowd to last year, which drew about one-thousand people.

"I think it's going to be a day to both celebrate the progress that we've made so far, but also shine some light on areas where we still have a lot of work to do," says Mattson.

Mattson says she's proud of the gains women made in Congress during the midterms – up to 130 female members of the U.S. House and Senate. But she notes that's still less than a quarter of the total body.

This year's march also will include a food drive fund for federal employees out of work during the government shutdown. It begins at the Fargo Civic Center at 1 p.m.

This third annual event comes with some controversy. Some members of the national Women's March organization have been accused of anti-semitism, because of their ties to such controversial figures as Louis Farrakhan.

Mattson says the criticism did give her pause, but that her local group doesn't receive any support or resources from the national group.

"We use the name 'Women's March,' but that's all we get from them," says Mattson. “And so, I didn't feel like I wanted to cede this movement to the national organization because of the issues that they're having at the top."

Rallies are scheduled to take place around the country on Saturday, including in Bismarck and Minot.

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