Hundreds of Minnesotans, mostly women, boarded buses before the sun rose Friday at departure points across the Twin Cities and around the state — bound for what’s expected to be a massive demonstration for women’s rights on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

About 200 people gathered in a light rain outside Minneapolis Community and Technical College with pillows, duffel bags and homemade signs, waiting for their transit to arrive. Buses will be their hotel rooms and meeting space for a 17-hour journey to the nation’s capital, where hundreds of thousands are expected for the Saturday protest.

Cheers met every new rider dropped off at the Minneapolis gathering point. Some passing cars honked. When the buses rolled up, people clustered at their doors.

“You can feel the electricity,” said Anne Katrina Karlsen, of Northfield, who stood with a sign that read: “Not again, but finally, make America great for all.”

Trump’s election compelled her to make her way to D.C. “It’s the right thing to do,” Karlsen said, “to stand up and be counted.”

For Kaitlyn O’Shea of East Grand Forks, Minn., the journey and the march would be opportunities to meet like-minded people. It’s the 17-year-old’s first time attending a political rally.

“I live in a more conservative area, and I’m bullied for being into feminism and social justice,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being around people who share the same feelings as I do, so I don’t feel uncomfortable sharing my beliefs.”

Her mother, Lorraine O’Shea, is going with her. “It’s nice to go and be a part of history,” she said.

 

@SharynJackson