Thousands of people turned out in Austin today to march in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington. Austin's march was one of more than 600 marches around the world organized to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump and rally around a variety of issues, including reproductive rights, civil rights, immigration and the environment.
While there are no official estimates, organizers say at least 50,000 people participated in the march. Volunteers who passed out stickers to people as they arrived ran out of the 30,000 stickers on hand by 11 a.m., lead organizer Melissa Fiero said.
KUT’s Ashley Lopez and Kate McGee followed the march, which took off from the state Capitol around 12:30 p.m. The march covered at least 20 blocks, down Congress Avenue to Sixth Street, toward Lavaca, and then looped back to the Capitol for a rally.
4:25 p.m. – KUT’s Kate McGee reports that many parents used today’s march as a lesson for their children:
3:26 p.m. – The march ended back at the Capitol for a rally featuring addresses by former state Sen. Wendy Davis and motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez. Local musicians Tameca Jones and Gina Chavez were among those who also took the stage.
3:05 p.m. – Former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett led the marchers down Congress Avenue.
2:26 p.m. – A look at the crowds from KUT photographers Martin do Nascimento and Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon. Speeches on the Capitol steps have begun.
2:03 p.m. – Protesters continue to march downtown, with estimates putting the number of attendees at at least 30,000. KUT's Ashley Lopez says that number is a conservative estimate, as the march's organizers printed out 30,000 stickers to keep a headcount but quickly ran out of stickers as more and more attendees showed up.
1:20 p.m. – The march appears to be headed back to the Capitol.
12:45 p.m. – The tens of thousands of demonstrators have blocked Congress Avenue.
Pedestrian march now blocking Congress-6th St-Lavaca-11th St. Take alternate routes; expect heavy delays. #ATXTraffic pic.twitter.com/BaIiEnJbDo— ATX Mobility Depts. (@austinmobility) January 21, 2017
12:41 p.m. – The march has begun.
Crowds continue to gather in downtown Austin, with some estimates putting the headcount at around 50,000, though KUT's Ashley Lopez spoke with an APD officer who estimated around 30,000 demonstrators had gathered around the Capitol.
Cop with APD says there are at least 30k folks at this march. Says he's been here 13 years and "never seen anything like it." #WomensMarch pic.twitter.com/OPtpoXxm5m— Ashley Lopez (@AshLopezRadio) January 21, 2017
11:48 a.m. – The Austin Police Department is urging those heading downtown to expect delays. Shortly before the march is set to begin, a crowd has already started to gather at the Capitol.
Riders are reporting packed Capital Metro buses ahead of the event’s kickoff, and Capital Metro is suggesting those heading downtown to join in the march utilize the Republic Square Park station to get to and from downtown.
This post has been updated throughout.