Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Whether you adore or abhor Donald Trump, you have to admit he has the questionable talent to ignite sparks among women all over the world.
Sparks of protest, of outrage at the insulting remarks he has cast on females in general, and sparks of deep concern that everything that women have fought for will slip away as he wields the pen of power.
It is estimated more than 3 million people joined marches all over the world on Saturday, the day after President Trump’s inauguration. Their goal was to let the new president know that his agenda won’t go unchallenged, that they were not going to go away, that they had a loud voice and were prepared to get even louder.
In Denver, 100,000 people marched around downtown and Civic Center Park. Some of them chartered buses, most car-pooled and gathered with their signs, proud signs, humorous signs, angry signs. The goal of the event was to target conservative opposition to abortion rights and Planned Parenthood. Mothers brought their daughters, showing them it was important and possible to stand up for their rights.
Local Nederland resident Janette Taylor and at least 40 other Nederland residents attended the march in Denver. Taylor stayed overnight to ensure she was able to join in the event. She walked to it, but said she was disappointed that the 16th Street Mall Shuttle had been stopped; that small children and disabled people couldn’t get to the march.
“It was a very energetic, upbeat event. I talked to many people who had never been to a protest before. I would try to reach the larger groups with a call and response action but most of them just looked at me. Eventually I trained them. Most were new to protests and were young. We chanted: ‘This is what democracy looks like,’ and ‘Hey, hey, ho ho: misogyny has to go.”
Taylor says that it was a completely peaceful protest, that even the policemen wore pink pussycat hats. The marchers applauded the officers and thanked them. Taylor said she overheard one young woman say that she had never felt so empowered before.
“I think we scared the white house to bits. Two to three million people marching in protest? The DC march crowd was two or three times larger than the inauguration.”
On Saturday, Nederland women joined their sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends and neighbors as the country’s females and their supporters joined the protests against Trump in their own home town. About a dozen women, young girls, a few dogs and a couple of men stood at the intersection of Hwy.119 and First Street, waving signs at the traffic flow.
Some of the signs were angry: “Trump in the Dump.” “Trump is rude.” A dog with sign around his neck warned, “Don’t grab my. . .” a picture of a cat. “We want Trump fired.”
Other signs were thoughtful: one that read: “Courageous and strong. Responsible for what I say and do; Respect others and myself and Make the world a better place.”
The marchers asked for peace. “Peace on earth; good will to women.”
“Together we stand; It is day 1.”
“Girls just want to have funding.”
The marchers wore bright clothes and carried neon colored signs. They were seen and acknowledged by the traffic. Honks and thumbs up as the travelers joined the march if only for a few seconds.
Then the protesters left the intersection, marched down First Street and stopped at Salto where they gathered round the fire for a few minutes. Their last stop was at the roundabout where they stood on top of the mound and continued their chants.
Local resident Laurence Delauney says that the march was not really organized, it was a group of friends who decided spontaneously that they should do something to show their support to the women’s March. “We were unable to go to Denver, but we could do something in Nederland. Even something small would count. We wanted to be part of this march we are women who are worried. We heard and saw the new president of the United States mock the disabled, insult women, insult Mexicans, insult Muslims, insult blacks, reject science, and deny climate change.”
A few signs and some determination and Nederland women, as women all over the nation, let their voices be heard. Delauney and the other Nederland women and girls felt good to have been part of a historic day.