Women’s March

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Washington, D.C., January 20, 2018, The Women’s March in Washington — One year to the day from President Trump’s inauguration and 364 days from last year’s march, women and their supporters returned to tell the president that the resistance will continue, we are not going away, and we plan to win.

This year’s crowd skewed younger than last year, but was still diverse.  The mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial shown with bright faces of all colors and creeds.  From toddlers in strollers to little old ladies in tennis shoes, protesters turned out to send their message.

While some of those at the rally displayed signs that were angry, but most were not.  Instead, they were determined statements of fact calling out the president and his party for their actions, policies and intent.  As always, some were quite clever.

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The lady with this sign said, “Please leave a message.  I’ll call back with my vote in November!”

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The mall was splashed with cozy sunshine only a week from freezing low single-digit temperatures that left the reflecting pool as slick as a skating rink without a Zamboni.

As the crowd grew, people could not resist the ice.

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The whole world was watching.  This crew spoke a language I did not recognize.

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Every dog has its day.  This pup did a nice job.

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This year we offered free space to crash at our house.  Everyone was marching elsewhere or were otherwise engaged.  The good news is that my fellow 2015 Georgia ridgerunner took the offer.  Mary Thurman had never experienced a happening like this and vows to come back forever if that’s what it takes.

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We discovered a Brazilian drum band from New York. More from them in a minute.

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After a couple of hours we were hungry and hiked to the food truck area to grab a burger.  Good thing we did.  The action moved from the Lincoln Memorial in the form a march from there to the White House.  We had an ideal vantage point.

Here they come!

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The drumming added a ton of energy to the march.  Best of all, they could be heard inside the White House.  While the president watching Faux News may not have known much if anything about this march, he could not avoid hearing the drums.  Incessant drumming drove Nixon crazy during the Vietnam protests.  Maybe we should consider resuming the practice in Lafayette Park, across the street.

Once the drums passed, we could not resist diving into the stream of marchers.

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Passing my old office in the Clinton administration. The Old Executive Office Building.

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Pennsylvania Avenue just west of the White House in the center of this photo.

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While there were many themes, there was one universal message.  The crowed understood that marches make you feel good, but change only comes one way.

 

 

The Fempire Strikes Back!

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The National Mall, Washington, D.C., January 21, 2017 — It was as if an ocean of pink hats was flooding foggy bottom, an alternative name for part of our nation’s capitol.  This rising tide symbolized an amazing change in climate compared to the inauguration of the President of the United States only a sunrise earlier.

Millions of women across the globe marched to protect their rights and all human rights under threat from the seismic changes quaking governmental leadership in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.  Their spirit was bright, their energy strong, and their objectives earnest.

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The younger crowd crashed on the carpet.

When the march was announced we made it known to friends outside Washington that our basement would be a 60’s style crash pad from which they could launch themselves into the Million Woman March.  All told, nine folks accepted our hospitality while many more had alternatives elsewhere in the area.

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Our posse numbered 11 – six women and five men.  Each traveled from Trump country – representing Georgia, Oklahoma, rural Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Among them, two mother daughter combinations.  My wife and I were the only married couple.  Our daughter did her own thing with her friends.

Our group members trickled in starting late Friday afternoon.  After we found space for each of them, we fed and watered our herd ahead of an early crash.  After all, reveille would be at zero-dark-thirty, early enough to snag METRO parking and seats on the subway.

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Pancakes were on the griddle by five a.m. and our herd of cats tumbled onto the subway platform around seven fifteen for a rendezvous with our final partner in crime.

The early start paid off.  The trains had empty seats and the crowd near the meet-up point was thin, allowing us to snag a great location just behind the stage where we could watch the speakers prepare.  For example, former Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi walked right past us.

All across the nation, women knitted pink “pussy hats” that were handed free to the crowd.  The cat ears were the hat’s defining feature.  Their color definitely defined the crowd.

The crowd grew rapidly and topped out in the 600,000 range.  Of note, not a single person was arrested.  We met people from multiple states and from many foreign countries.  The marchers were polite and the conversation serious.  Most, but not all, were marching for rights and not against the president.

At a point we decided the press of the crowd was a bit much and determined it would be best if we were to swim closer to the edge.  To our amazement, the footprint was far larger than we could have ever imagined.  https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fstpetedessertbar%2Fvideos%2F1829944483955749%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>Crowd Video  It took nearly a half hour to struggle from our perch near the stage on Independence Avenue northward to the Mall itself.

Ultimately we returned to base for a CNN watch party late into the evening.  The animated conversation continued well past breakfast Sunday morning.  We met people who didn’t vote, people who were Trump supporters and mostly people who are motivated to protect individual and group rights.  You might call that freedom.

Here are a few examples of creativity including the good, bad and the ugly.  Warning, some are vulgar.

 

 

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This woman said Planned Parenthood detected her breast cancer.

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End of story.

*I haven’t posted here for awhile.  The mundane part of retirement continues, but I was hiking most of the summer.  All of that can be found on my sister hiking blog, A fork in the road.