Women's Marches In Montpelier And D.C. Attract Thousands
Hundreds of thousands participated in the Women's March on Washington or in satellite marches across the country Saturday. Throughout the day, VPR will be with Vermonters participating in Washington, D.C., at what is expected to be the largest of the marches, as well at a "sister" event in Montpelier.
VPR's Rebecca Sananes is traveling with a Vermont group headed to the march and will provide updates throughout the day.
While final estimates are still unavailable, Montpelier officials expected as many as 7,000 Saturday, for the Women's March and Unity Rally, held in solidarity with the Washington march. The event included remarks from Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and 2016 gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter, as well as a performance by slam poetry group, Muslim Girls Making Change.
Saturday Jan. 21 10:40 p.m. (final update)
The estimate for the turnout at Montpelier's march now stands at 15,000. Read the full story from VPR's Annie Russell here.
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 4:10 p.m.
Exit 8 is now open in both directions.
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 3:45 p.m.
According to the Vermont State Police, exit 7 is now open in both directions. Off ramps for exit 8 and 9 remain closed at this time.
Crowds at the Statehouse are beginning to disperse, though at their peak the lawn was jam packed with marchers:
Sen. Bernie Sanders shared a message of solidarity with women during his remarks to the packed Statehouse lawn.
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 3 p.m.
At this time, exit 7, 8 and 9 off ramps from I-89 are closed. On ramps at all three locations remain open.
— Peter Hirschfeld (@PeteHirschfeld) January 21, 2017
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 2 p.m.
The Vermont State Police have announced they will be closing I-89 exit 9 (Middlesex) shortly, and exit 8 at Montpelier remains closed. "Traffic is backed up for miles both north and south bound in the travel and passing lanes in the area," police said. Montpelier City Police Chief Tony Facos says "travel within the city is highly restricted and city roads cannot support any more people or vehicles."
Among those in the crowd at the Statehouse are former gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman:
As well as Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Just after 1 p.m. Saturday, the Vermont State Police closed Montpelier exit 8 on I-89 in both directions due to the congestion caused by motorists trying to make their way to Saturday's march in Montpelier. Commuters are advised at this time to seek alternative routes.
Those who have made it to the march route are making their way to the Vermont Statehouse:
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 12:30 p.m.
Vermont State Police say there are long backups north and south bound on I-89 near Montpelier due to today's events. They advise motorists to seek alternative routes or "use care and caution when approaching exit 8."
The Women's March on Montpelier is expected to begin around 1 p.m. at Montpelier High School.
In the nation's capital, the Women's March on Washington is well underway.
VPR's Rebecca Sananes is with a group of Vermonters participating in the march and says spirits are high and "the energy is really positive" among those gathered.
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 11 a.m.
After a 13-hour bus ride, the D.C.-bound group arrived in Washington and is on their way to the starting point for today's march:
Saturday Jan. 21, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
Having traveled over 530 miles through the night, eager passengers on the Washington-bound bus begin to ready themselves for the march as they pass through Maryland.
Traffic into the nation's capital is heavy this morning so the last 15 miles of their journey will likely take them at least another half hour.
Friday Jan. 20, 2017, 9:15 p.m.
The Washington-bound bus filled with Vermonters headed to the Women's March on Washington started its journey in Berlin, Vt., Friday night. Passengers brought signs and hats they've made for tomorrow's march:
This post will be updated throughout the day with highlights from both the Montpelier and Washington D.C. events.