Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Anchorage on Saturday for the 2018 Women’s March, as part of demonstrations across the nation advancing female empowerment and protesting President Donald Trump’s policies.

Saturday’s event comes a year after the initial Women’s March, held in numerous cities in response to Trump’s Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration.

In Anchorage, demonstrators initially gathered at the Delaney Park Strip.

“I'm tired of the racism and the bigotry that Trump has brought on our country,” march participant Chris Young said.

 
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This year’s march drew additional urgency from Friday’s shutdown of the federal government, after senators were unable to reach a compromise regarding a short-term spending bill or an immigration proposal.

Marchers in Anchorage chanted slogans like “Love not hate.” Some of their signs read “Respect is not a 4-letter word,” “Elect women” and “Dissent is patriotic.”

“I think democracy only works when people are civil and work for the betterment of each other, and I think our current administration is not going that way,” marcher Sarah McCabe said.

For many, the event was about supporting female empowerment.

“It’s what we are meant to do. We are supposed to come together and make this world a better place,” demonstrator Aishwarya Crozby said.

Others used the event as a platform to denounce the president’s views on immigration, abortion, LGBT rights, and women's rights.

Organizers urged demonstrators to get involved in the political process and hope this movement will lead to more women in public office.

“What we must remember is that we as women must strive to elect people who truly represent us," Bessie Odom with the Anchorage NAACP told the crowd. "How much longer will we let rich white men make decisions for us about our bodies, our children and our lives?”

The rally ended with a march through downtown, and a hope from participants that this momentum will only get stronger with each step made towards equality.

The president did acknowledge the marches on Twitter, but said they should be in celebration of the accomplishments of his presidency.

Shannon Ballard and Jared Mazurek contributed information to this story.

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