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People from all across Nebraska gathered in downtown Lincoln on Sunday to participate in the third annual Women's March, which is intended to fight issues such as violence against women and those with disabilities. 

The crowd, which was estimated at more than 1,000 by event organizers, gathered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln student union at 2:30 p.m., chanting "women's rights are human rights" as they set out on the march to the state Capitol.

"The women who are going to speak today are women who speak truth to power," said Lory Dance, an associate professor of sociology and ethnic studies at UNL. "And they don't just do it today, they do it for as long as necessary."

The first Women's March was held in Lincoln on Jan. 21, 2017. That day, hundreds of marches occurred across the country, as more than 4 million people participated, making it the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. 

The first march was in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The now-annual marches are designed to advocate for human rights, immigration, healthcare reform, the environment and more. 

Sunday's event was also one day after the March for Life, an annual anti-abortion event that is held annually to advocate for unborn children. 

"The pro-life movement was yesterday, so we're here kind of in rebuttal to that," said Chandler Dulin, a young marcher. "The biggest thing is that it is always the woman's choice, so that's mainly why I'm out here."

Once the marchers reached the Capitol, several speakers awaited their chance to advocate for a specific issue. From racial injustice to immigration rights and rights for LGBTQIA individuals, the common goal of making a positive change was clearly the most significant priority. 

"To support, we must fight our fears about difference," said Amelia Montes, an associate professor of English at UNL. "At this Women's March, we are not the same and that's OK."

The march was supposed to be held last weekend but was delayed due to weather. However, the march went on as scheduled last weekend in Washington D.C. and around the country, as marchers everywhere fought through the bitter cold. 

The 'feels-like' temperature in Lincoln remained below freezing throughout the day on Sunday, but marchers were able to keep warm with chants and free coffee and hot chocolate from the Coffee House. 

"I think it's multi-generational," Dulin said of the attendees. "There's an older crowd and even children, too. It's becoming a big movement and I think it's going to get a lot bigger."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or zpenrice@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @zacharypenrice1

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City desk intern

Spring semester city desk intern at the Journal Star.

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