As the testy, defensive and contradictory reactions pouring from the White House and GOP bigwigs attest, Saturday’s Women’s March—which started as a March on Washington and quickly spread throughout the country and then the world, in major cities and small villages and everything in between—has put the new administration and Congress on notice that millions of us are not on board with what the GOP power triumvirate plans for us, and the planet. Sussex Democrats took part, and shared their stories.
The historic movement began with a tweet from a woman on Maui and culminated with more than 2 million people throughout the world speaking up for women’s rights, civil rights and human rights.
Among them were Leslie Huhn, chairwoman of the SCDC, and her daughters, who joined hundreds of thousands on the streets of New York City on Saturday.
“We had so many fun people around us; we were dancing and clapping,” said 13-year-old Shannon. “My favorite parts were the chants: ‘We are the popular vote, no mandate!’”
Eileen, 16, took a long-term view: “One day I will tell my child that I was there, that I took part in the historic moment that he or she will read about in their history book.”
“It is so easy to believe that history was made,” noted Leslie Huhn. “NYC was a sea of people holding signs. There were plenty of moms and daughters like us; we are concerned about the future of our girls. We want our children to understand we will stand up and say NO to having our rights taken away. We want them to know bragging about sexual assault is not acceptable in a locker room or anywhere else. That is just a small part of why we march!”
SCDC member Pat Morris marched in Washington, D.C., under the banner of the Women’s National Democratic Club.
“My bus buddy was a woman who immigrated here from Poland 30 years ago, has been a citizen for decades, and told me this was her first march,” Morris said. “She said she’d never been involved in politics before but now she feels she has to be, and she’s become involved in her local group lobbying for change, including demonstrating outside their U.S. representative’s office every Friday.
Marching on my left was Frantz Wilson, a veteran of the original Selma march with Martin Luther King.”
Which gives an idea of the range of diversity in the half-million-strong crowd.
Now that we all know who we are, and how many of us there are, the challenge is to harness the momentum and, as one marcher said, “work locally. We’re not going to change Donald Trump, so we have to do what we CAN do.”
Among those things in joining the Sussex County Democratic Committee to continue to work for a progressive agenda at all levels of government, from municipal on up.
March organizers have also started the “10 Actions in 100 Days” campaign, suggesting simple but effective ways to stay engaged and keep up the movement and the solidarity.
And organizers are already beginning to plan a follow-up event, proposed for April 15, which would focus on a demand for Donald Trump to release his tax returns, and thus provide the American people with an idea of his foreign financial entanglements.