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Cher Joins Intersectional Activists to Stir Crowds in Las Vegas

AP Photo/John Locher

Speakers talked about gender and racial issues, immigration, gun control, and more -- and exhorted attendees to vote and run for office.

A diverse collection of activists gathered in Las Vegas for Sunday's Women's March, hearing calls about the importance of political involvement from Cher, Cecile Richards, and more.

"This is one of the worst times in our history, and that's why I honestly believe that women are gonna be the ones that fix it," Cher told thousands gathered at Sam Boyd Stadium, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas's football venue.

"Stay strong and remember, if you don't have a vote, you don't have a voice," she added at the event, which launched the #PowerToThePolls drive for a million new voter

Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, noted that recent election victories by progressive candidates came because of votes by women of color, and she told the crowd. "White women, we've got to do better."

Tamika Mallory, national cochair of the Women's March, made a similar point. "Don't come to this rally today and sit here with your pink hat on saying that you're with us and you're nowhere to be found when black people ask you to show up in the streets to defend our lives," Mallory said, according to the Las Vegas Sun. "Our job in 2018 is to make good on all the times that you left us out here in the cold."

Paulette Jordan, a candidate for governor of Idaho, exhorted the attendees to not only vote but to run for office. "It's time for you to run," said Jordan, who would be the first Native American governor in the U.S. and the first woman governor of Idaho, The Arizona Republic reports.

Speakers discussed not only sexual assault, reproductive rights, and the need for equal pay, but a wide range of other issues. Astrid Silva, an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. as a child, talked about the need to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has brought legal status to people like her but which Donald Trump has threatened to end. "You can protect us, every single one of you. ... Those that are undocumented, estamos todos juntos [we're all together],'' she said, according to the Republic.

Christine Caria, a survivor of the October mass shooting in Las Vegas, noted the importance of gun regulations. "The last time I was in a crowd this size it didn't end up so well," said Caria, now president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Sun reports. She and two other survivors had testified in the U.S. Senate about the need to ban bump stocks, a device that enabled the gunman to fire faster.

"We felt and saw firsthand the power just three women can have when they have a message that is profound," she said. "We met with senators and House representatives from multiple states. We know who heard us and we certainly know who will get our votes."

Several members of Congress addressed the crowd via video, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, and Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada, and singer-songwriter Ledisi performed. Watch a video of event highlights below.

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