Sunday, January 22, 2017
World Unites in Opposition to Trump Presidency
Seattle and the World March in Opposition to Trump
Yesterday, I awoke at 5:40AM energized and ready to participate in my democracy with the fullness of my mind, body, and spirit, by marching in the Seattle Women’s March against the Trump Administration. Cycling onto the ferry for my commute into the city, I expected to see a few dozen other women like me, the outliers in society. Instead I was greeted by an armada of pink-pussy-hatted faces, representing almost the entire ferry population. There were so many women protestors, the ferry had to open the men’s restroom on the ferry for women, because the lines were too long in the women’s facilities. An air of friendship, comradery, and generosity permeated the air as people walked through the boat giving signs, stickers, and other protest materials to wear. Upon exiting the boat at the Coleman Dock, I parked my bicycle and decided to walk with the group, two miles to the start of the march, in Judkins Park. A sea of people, from all walks of life, black, brown, caramel colored, purple haired, red haired, and everything in between made their way to the start of this historical occasion. The Pacific Northwest weather even managed to grant us one of the rare sunny warm days of the past two months.
As a lifelong political activist and someone who marched for the ill-fated Equal Rights Amendment in the 70’s, I am no stranger to demonstrations, marches, and expressions of free speech. This demonstration, originally designed as a women’s march to protest the policy positions of the Trump Administration, was expected to draw 75,000 people, and there were 130,000 souls marching shoulder to shoulder in Seattle. Aside from the sheer size of the group, I was awestruck by octogenarians with walkers, canes, and wheel chairs who were going to march up to eight miles in protest to the new presidential administration! As we rounded the corner past Judkins Park onto Jackson Street, looking down the hill toward Elliott Bay there was a continuous sea of people for blocks. A massive wall of humanity, shoulder-to-shoulder, consumed four traffic lanes, and spilled over onto the sidewalks unbroken for the four miles to Seattle Center. The creativity of the protest signs was museum worthy and I was gifted a hand-painted one with a single image about reproductive rights, which I am preserving. Though viewpoints varied from the environment, healthcare, reproductive rights, education, immigration, and fair treatment for all people regardless of race or social orientation, everyone was peaceful, kind, and engaged. There were many children in the march, with their parents and grandparents, holding handmade signs. I spoke to as many children as I could, thanking them for participating in the march and telling them about their 1st amendment rights. One little girl, who was eight-years-old, said, “Oh, I thought that was going away.” I told her, well with Trump and some of the Republicans, they would like to make some of our 1st amendment rights go away (freedom of the press) and that is why we need to be here. It is so important that you stand up for your free speech, because that is what makes a true democracy. She said “Oh, I see, with a solemnity rare in someone her age.”
The extensive presence of the Millennials, bodes well for the future of this nation, for they will be paying the price for our mistakes in stewardship. These young people are our future and it was a revelation to see them in full force. And the young parents, figuring out the logistics to bring not just one, but often two children, including infants and toddlers to the event was inspiring. Throughout the entire day, I never heard a single parent berating their children. Which, if you travel in the U.S. you will find that public displays of repudiation and disciplining children are common fare.
Recognizing the “Women’s March” was not a local event, but a national one, and globally represented in hundreds of cities throughout the world, from Paris, to Brasilia, millions marched against the Trump dogma. The sanctity and preservation of our world depends on cooperation among peoples and nations which are vastly disparate and hope is realized through the millions who dedicated their time to the belief in democracy on this day. This march best represented our America, inclusive, engaged, peace-loving, and generous.
And this is the healthpolicymaven signing off a bit more encouraged than on November 8, 2016. Please continue to read this column for critical information on healthcare under the Trump Administration.
Healthpolicymaven is a trademark of Roberta E. Winter and Praevalere Inc, in continuous use since 2007.