My 3 Cents “Marching Onward”

 “Marching Onward”

I’m claustrophobic, so what was I doing shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of women, children, and men on Saturday morning the 21st of January, 2017?

The last time (and I think the only time) I ever marched was in the late 90s in opposition to a planned Ku Klux Klan rally in downtown Pittsburgh. But this Women’s March was different. I made myself listen to Trump’s inauguration speech the day before and was so appalled I couldn’t not go. I needed to “rise up.”

I had volunteered to be “Press” at the event and wasn’t sure if I’d even do that until I arrived on the scene. I met Ruben, a professional videographer who had volunteered to film events at a park I had never heard of in Seattle. Waking up pre-dawn, driving an hour, catching a transit bus for another hour, riding a free parade shuttle to the park and walking several hundred yards to the media tent was how the day began. I picked up my press pass and from that moment on life unfolded far differently than I had expected.

Ruben and I had been assigned to tape folks at two street corners along the route, but the march wouldn’t start for another two hours. We didn’t waste a moment. Ruben attached my body mic, I pulled out my slender notebook and pen, and together we “worked the crowd.”

By nine o’clock we had already interviewed a dozen people; a wife and husband with a young baby carrying a Palestinian, as well as a rainbow flag, a Latino family representing three generations, two high school girls who mid-way through the interview were joined by five friends giggling with excitement and who were thrilled to be interviewed, a 70-year-old black woman standing on the hillside overlooking the rapidly expanding sea of humanity in the park.

For the next two hours, we made our way through the marchers, talking to people, recording an array of concerns on so many fronts. People carried flags (Puerto Rican flags, rainbow gay flags, American flags and more) and banners (Planned Parenthood, Women Carpenters’ Union, Black Lives Matter, etc.). And signs? Thousands of signs. Some professionally printed, most likely made at home on the dining room table. Each with a different message, a different concern for the future.

I never felt this was an “anti” anything march. The voices raised were of concern for the future, fear of losing ground in so many crucial areas, and support for people that care deeply about this country and the world.

By 11 o’clock thousands of people stood shoulder to shoulder listening with intent to speakers who spoke briefly before the actual march started to make its way to Seattle Center across town. Because of the magnitude of people, exiting the park took hours, literally there were two hours where we moved maybe 100 yards.

Patience and good spirits were abundant. At one point, someone yelled “look!” and all eyes glances skyward where two bald eagles circled against the blue sky far overhead. The crowd cheered as the birds (who are a rarity in the city) soared for several minutes before flying off in the distance.

I don’t think I am alone for thinking that the eagles were a sign, a positive sign of hope for the future.  March on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Cathy Marshall

    Love this! Love YOU!

  2. Carlyn

    What a wonderful experience for you and for all those who had an opportunity to have their voices heard. I was impressed with the turn-outs in Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles.

  3. Charlotte Watts

    Thank you Rebecca–for being there, reporting, and sharing the strength gained from people of good purpose.

  4. Beverly Wood

    This was a great day around the world. I watched from my den in a small “Trump” town in Virginia. But, had friends from LA in DC at the march, ones in LA, Atlanta, NYC and in Raleigh out making the treks! We all talked during and after and it felt amazing. We as women have to be ready for anything and unfortunately, prepare for the clean-up in four years! These ideas of suppression are not new and they will not prevail. We will never have a leader again that can SAVE us. We must save ourselves. Start with your local governments!

  5. Catherine

    I’m so glad you had a good time! I’ve been loving all the posts, signs, happiness I see in the faces of the women, men and children marching. Thanks for interviewing and as always, for writing.

  6. Ann Waldron

    Wow! What an experience you had. We gathered in Port Townsend on a bright sunny day with about 50 people. The crowd swelled to 500+ by 10:00. What fun to meet new friends and hug old ones. It was such an eclectic group of men, women, babies and a couple of dogs. We walked only a few blocks to the fountain where several people spoke about hope. I was in the middle of a march for dignity, respect and above all HOPE! It was the first time I’ve felt hopeful since the election. I’m determined to become more active and am starting by attending my first Democrat meeting this week. You are right, “March On”.

  7. Marie Marrs

    Hurray, Rebecca!! March on!

  8. Lynn rosen

    Well done!!!

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