Members of Brunswick Area Indivisible march in last year’s Women’s March in Augusta. The group also hosted a sister march in Brunswick, which will take place for the third year on Saturday.  (Photo courtesy of Brunswick Area Indivisible)

BRUNSWICK — Women across Brunswick, Maine and the country will march this weekend to support equality and reform for women and minorities in both social and governmental capacities during the third annual Women’s March.

In Brunswick, at least, the march will also serve as a “huge celebration in what we’ve accomplished this year as far as getting women into elected positions,” said Laura Lander, a member of Brunswick Area Indivisible, the host of the march.

In 2018, Maine voters elected Janet Mills as the state’s first female governor and saw 72 women elected in the legislature – claiming 39 percent of the total 186 seats. This was the largest increase in women elected since 1992, according to the National Conference of State Legislature’s Women’s Legislative Network.

The midterm elections showed signs of a “blue wave” of democratic voters coming out to the polls and this year, the women’s march is calling for a “women’s wave.”

The first women’s march in 2017 saw more than 5 million women across the globe march in solidarity following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It was, according to the national march’s website, the “largest coordinated protest in U.S. history.”

“The first one was more gigantic than anyone would have thought,” Lander said, adding that the Brunswick march is intended to bolster the movement and support other marches across the state. Currently, there are larger marches scheduled in Portland and Augusta, as well as smaller ones in Bar Harbor, Machias, Bethel and East Port.  

“It’s one part of a huge awakening that has been decades in the making,” Lander said. “We want to keep that forward momentum because we’ve got work to do.”

The Brunswick march will go on rain, snow or shine, and attendees will gather from 11 a.m. to noon and march around the Maine Street Mall. The Rev. Sylvia Stocker will speak briefly as she has at the previous marches and the group will sing its anthem, “We Shall Be Known.”

“We want to keep it short and sweet,” Lander said, adding that she did not have any estimates for the turnout. “It could be a few dozen or a few hundred,” she said. Brunswick Area Indivisible, a volunteer group aiming to promote action, peace and equality, also hosted last year’s March For Our Lives to protest gun violence, which drew a crowd of more than 1,000, far more than they anticipated, she said.

“We want to be joined with those of us who want to see a better way,” she said, and to include the voices of women and minorities in making decisions for the country. “We are working from the ground level up” to create change but are also “celebrating something positive,” she added.

While the march celebrates women, it is an event for everyone, and Lander asked that people please bring family-friendly signs, as there may be children present.

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