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Monthly Archives: January 2017
by PHIL MCCAUSLAND
Hundreds of thousands of men and women descended into the nation’s capital, meeting in the national mall on Saturday, to show their support for women’s rights a day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Some voiced their opposition to the new president. An estimated 500,000 people attended the massive march, D.C.’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice said, citing the event’s organizers.
Those who participated in the Women’s March on Washington said the event was much more peaceful and positive than the protests during Friday’s inauguration.
D.C. police said they had no reports of arrests as of 6 p.m. on Saturday, a stark contrast to Friday’s anti-Trump protest that saw 230 people arrested, the windows of businesses smashed and a limo torched. Witnesses said self-described anarchists were behind some of Friday’s violence.
“This is not about people doing stupid stuff and getting arrested,” said Robin Gilmore, a 56-year-old therapist who drove up from Annapolis, Maryland, on Friday. “Really, the police are cooperating. This couldn’t happen without police cooperation.”
Marchers reported that police were civil and participants were kind to one another, often looking after each other in the dense crowd. People were elbow-to-elbow and some said they couldn’t move for hours.
Steve La Croix traveled from Seattle to Michigan, where he met members of his family. They rented and drove a bus overnight to the Women’s March. He said that the atmosphere was collegial and participants were considerate.
“People were very polite,” La Croix said. “There was a lot of ‘Go ahead’ or ‘You first.’”
One criticism of the march has been that it seemed to have scattered ideas and took up too many issues, but those who were at the Women’s March said that is part of building a coalition.
Dana Gwinn, 36, traveled to the march from the Bay Area and said, though there were numerous ideas, she believed it important to discuss all of them.
“There were a lot of messages,” Gwinn said. “I felt today like I felt on election night. I want to be mad about 15 different things, and everyone says you need to choose what your battle is going to be and stick to that one thing.
“But I don’t know anyone willing to choose.”
Kristen Kramer, 29, a D.C. resident who lives close to where a limo was set on fire by protesters on Friday, said the march was very polite compared to the inauguration, which she described as a “surreal” environment. But Kramer didn’t think the civility was necessarily a good thing.
“It is really polite, and it kind of pisses me off to be honest,” she said. “Considering how the police yesterday became incredibly aggressive, it feels like this today is lip service to protest.”
She described protests on Friday as largely peaceful assemblies that suffered from a few violent individuals. Kramer thought the police treated protesters at the inauguration poorly and saw demonstrators suffering severely from pepper spray.
“I hope people don’t just forget yesterday,” she said. “I don’t know what will come of it legally, but for it just to disappear is not okay.”
The marches were not confined to Washington. An estimated 400,000 people marched in New York City, 250,000 marched in Chicago, over 100,000 marched in Los Angeles, more than 90,000 ink St. Paul, Minnesota, and 60,000 turned out in Atlanta among other cities around the world, authorities and organizers said.
They always try to give me a penis
simply because I have guts
Simply because I am bold
“That takes balls!” they say
it takes titties
And a vagina
It takes operating from a place
Higher than both, if you want to be technical but
My femininity is complimentary enough
When you do anything of substance, sir
I don’t tell you
“That took estrogen”
Even though I know the power of woman.
11/365 poemadaychallenge #chinyer2017challenge
By Perry Stein and Sandhya Somashekhar
Teresa Shook never considered herself much of an activist, or someone particularly versed in feminist theory. But when the results of the presidential election became clear, the retired attorney in Hawaii turned to Facebook and asked: What if women marched on Washington around Inauguration Day en masse?
She asked her online friends how to create an event page, and then started one for the march she was hoping would happen.
By the time she went to bed, 40 women responded that they were in.
When she woke up, that number had exploded to 10,000.
Now, more than 100,000 people have registered their plans to attend the Women’s March on Washington in what is expected to be the largest demonstration linked to Donald Trump’s inauguration and a focal point for activists on the left who have been energized in opposing his agenda.
Planning for the Jan. 21 march got off to a rocky start. Controversy initially flared over the name of the march, and whether it was inclusive enough of minorities, particularly African Americans, who have felt excluded from many mainstream feminist movements.
Organizers say plans are on track, after securing a permit from D.C. police to gather 200,000 people near the Capitol at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW on the morning after Inauguration Day. Exactly how big the march will be has yet to be determined, with organizers scrambling to pull together the rest of the necessary permits and raise the $1 million to $2 million necessary to pull off a march triggered by Shook’s Facebook venting.
The march has become a catch-all for a host of liberal causes, from immigrant rights to police killings of African Americans. But at its heart is the demand for equal rights for women after an election that saw the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major party.
“We plan to make a bold and clear statement to this country on the national and local level that we will not be silent and we will not let anyone roll back the rights we have fought and struggled to get,” said Tamika Mallory, a veteran organizer and gun-control advocate who is one of the march’s main organizers.
More than 150,000 women and men have responded on the march’s Facebook page that they plan on attending. At least 1,000 buses are headed to Washington for the march through Rally, a website that organizes buses to protests. Dozens of groups, including Planned Parenthood and the antiwar CodePink, have signed on as partners.
Organizers insist the march is not anti-Trump, even as many of the groups that have latched on to it fiercely oppose his agenda.
“Donald Trump’s election has triggered a lot of women to be more involved than they ordinarily would have been, which is ironic, because a lot of us thought a Hillary presidency would motivate women,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics at Chatham University in Pittsburgh. “A lot of women seem to be saying, ‘This is my time. I’m not going to be silent anymore.’ ”