Thousands Turn Out For Philadelphia Women’s March

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Stacy Schilling attended the Women’s March on Philadelphia Saturday. A sign around her neck read “No one asked what my rapist was wear27-year-old caused dozens of people to request photos with her and one stranger even called her a hero.

Schilling is a 27 year old woman that lives in Green Lane, Montgomery, County. Four years ago Schilling was sexually assaulted by a man she became acquainted with through mutual friends. But it was the subsequent encounters with police officers that Schilling says retraumatized her.

Schilling explains that many of the questions posed to her during police interviews were clearly victim blaming in nature. She was asked questions like “How much did you have to drink,” and “What were you wearing?” Schilling says the experience is what led her to attend the second Women’s March in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Thousands of women were on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Saturday for the march which is part of a bigger national movement intended to draw attention to women’s rights and protest against the perceived discriminatory practices of Donald Trump.

Over half a million people took part in last year’s march in D.C. which took place the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president. There were 50,000 marchers last year in Philadelphia demonstrating there support for the movement. The event was looked at as a sister march to the event in Washington.

Organizers of the Philadelphia march believe that more marchers were in attendance this year than a year ago but no official numbers have been released by the city. There was some controversy regarding the event earlier in the week and some calls for a boycott was given in response to the announcement of increased security measures by authorities. Activist expressed concerns that the increased police presence would result in a stop and frisk exercise that could become dangerous for participants of the march.

Initial reports from both organizers and city officials stated that marchers would be required to enter the event through a security checkpoint but these checkpoints did not seem to be seen on Saturday. A heavy police presence was evident however and barricades were place at strategic points along the route of the march but there were no metal detectors and marchers with bags were not searched.

Saturday’s event was also attended by a number of local politicians that gave talks to an attentive crowd of onlookers.