Taking it to the streets

Wake up and smell the coffee, folks.  While I would like nothing better than to write only about travel and taking fun adventures around the world, I fear if we don’t all take action soon, there won’t be a world left to explore.  Or at least not a world we can be proud to live in.  So today, I took to the streets.  Loud and proud, taking a stand.

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As protest details started to be posted on Facebook, the Seattle march popped into my newsfeed. Done.  No discussion, no thinking about it, off we went with Thom in his Icky Trump protest shirt to Denny Park to march with the Solidarity Against Hate group whose motto is “an injury to one is an injury to all” .   Good stuff.

At 1:00 p.m., the crowd started to gather in the relatively small park, carrying banners and homemade signs to stand with Charlottesville where neo-Nazis incited violence yesterday.  Today across America, people showed up to make their voices heard at various quickly organized peace marches and prayer rallies.  “Hey, hey…ho, ho…white supremacy has to go” was the chant of the day in Seattle.  As Thom and I jumped in to help carry a huge canvas Constitution, we made our way with hundreds of others through the streets of downtown Seattle.

It’s unfortunate but now is the time for EVERYONE to get off the couch, put down the avocado toast at brunch and STORM THE STREETS.  Right now.  If we wait, the current administration will get us all killed.  Calling Congress and writing checks to progressive candidates and causes is all well and good but desperate times call for desperate measures which will probably involve the mobilization of citizens taking action like I have never witnessed in my life time.  “No KKK.  No Fascists.  USA!”  Chant with me.  March with me.

Yes, there was violence at the Seattle march when police formed a blockade and did not allow the marchers to advance.  Anarchists carrying sturdy signs that doubled as shields did eventually provoke the police as they shut down the progress of the marchers toward a neo-Nazi rally happening in Westlake Park.  We heard the loud bangs from blast balls and pepper spray cannons as the clashes began.  Unlike the anarchists who were protest-ready wearing bandanas on their faces and sturdy boots, I was absurdly styled in a dress and sandals.  Oops.  Protest fashion faux pas. Next time, I’ll dress more appropriately.

Leaving before more violence began,  I wish that everyone had stayed calm but the majority of people marching were peaceful and united against hate.  Together, we can make a difference before it’s too late.  Take a stand.

Women’s March Seattle Rocked!

Everyone now has had a chance to see the phenomenal turnout of passionate protestors at the Women’s March yesterday but let me tell you firsthand what it was like in Seattle.  AWESOME! Families, men, women, old, young, gay, straight, black, white-diverse as Hell-all walking quietly and peacefully to make a statement.  We care.  And what a statement we made with our pink hats and colorful signs.

Yes, perhaps I wouldn’t want small children to read some of the expressions on the signs but our new POTUS forced our hand to have the whole “pussy” and “golden shower” conversations with our elderly parents and our children.  Shame on him.  Not just despicable but deplorable and icky too.

 

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Thom on his soapbox, literally, along the March route.

 

But the March wasn’t about him or even Hillary on the whole.  It was about protecting our hard-fought rights for affordable medical care, the right to make decisions about our own bodies, to offer a safe refuge for immigrants, quality education and support for those in need and so much more.

As far as logistics, with little time and no money, the organizers of the Women’s March did a great job.  I was surprised at the lack of Seattle City support in the way of facilities and the police presence was underwhelming at best.  Thank God there were no incidents because I didn’t basically see any police support until we got to Seattle Center where groups of bike cops played with their cell phones, pepper spray cocked and ready to go.  They didn’t even clear the March route of vehicles-pity those who cluelessly parked on 4th Avenue.  Hope they didn’t need their cars all day as the crowd exceeded 100,000+ and dominated the streets for hours.

Pink pussycat hat purchased from a fellow marcher in advance and Thom resplendent and quite popular in his “icky Trump” t-shirt (people kept taking pictures of him), we made friends along the way sharing advice on how to get involved and encouraging each other to make a difference going forward  As voices raised and the silence ended, sporadic waves of joyful shouting rippled up the route, all of us rejoicing at just being together.  While there weren’t any formal refreshment stations, restauranteur Tom Douglas joined in with his staff by The Dahlia Bakery to hand out free water and cookies.  What a nice guy!

 

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Tom Douglas handing out water and cookies near Dahlia Bakery at the Women’s March

 

This will not be my last protest but it was my first with Thom.  Surprised?  Those who know Thom will not be surprised that this was just one of many protests he has attended through out his life.  Outspoken he is and fearless in his strong liberal ways.   I have been more moderate and less active.  But that all changes now.  It has to because The Resistance has only just begun.  We will not go silently into the night.  Affordable health care saves lives.  Our leaders should not lie or get elected with help from Russia.  People being kind and working together will make the difference that saves us all.  March on!