By Beverly Griffin
I was fortunate to have connected with Beacon Unity and traveled on one of their chartered buses on Jan. 21 to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
I’m 62 and just had my gall bladder removed, so why stick with my plans to go? Because I have lived my entire life in the changing climate of how woman are viewed and treated. Donald Trump is rude and dismissive and that does not even cover any of his political aspects.
I served in the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s, dealing with a system that was not comfortable with women as soldiers. I worked in the business world where the “glass ceiling” was a reality for us all. I have been a single mom with no health insurance using Planned Parenthood as a provider. I have been a teacher for more than 25 years, a mom, a grandma, a union activist and a community volunteer.
For many of my students of varied sexual orientation and/or different religions or cultures, Mr. Trump is the bogeyman. I grew up in a world expecting nuclear Armageddon. My grandchildren and students should not have that burden nor their reasonable fears about their sexual orientation or ethnicity.
I served my country and have continued to serve it after I was honorably discharged. I resent the part Mr. Trump has played in fracturing our country by promising things he cannot deliver and for fomenting hate in word and deed.
Why I Marched
By Joyce Blum
On Jan. 21 I had the privilege of attending the Woman’s March in Washington, D.C., with 55 women and men from Garrison. Another group of 55 attended from Cold Spring.
Washington was packed with attendees of all races and creeds, families with young children, people in wheelchairs and older folks. This was truly a multiracial, multi-generational gathering. Many wore pink “pussy hats” with cats ears. The interesting and meaningful signs carried by most reflected the united stand against the dismantling of our civil rights, voter suppression, environmental protection issues, immigrant rights, equal pay, sexual assault and other longstanding women’s issues.
It was truly uplifting to participate in and see firsthand. There were at least 700,000 attending the rally and march and many others attending marches elsewhere: Los Angeles (500,000); Chicago (250,000); New York City (400,000); Denver (100,000); Boston (175,000); Austin (50,000) and so many more, including Poughkeepsie (3,000) and Beacon (75). Internationally there were 600 sister rallies and marches, including in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam, Cape Town and Auckland.
All told, an estimated 5 million people attended rallies and marches all over the world.
By all of us coming together – Americans of all races, faiths, sexual identities and immigration status – we sent a powerful message that collectively we will continue to fight for woman’s rights and health issues and to protect our communities and, most of all, protect the progress made on the issues that matter to the majority of American voters.
We will not be driven back and we plan on moving forward as a strong and vocal group. We will continue to make our voices heard and create the changes that matter to the true majority of citizens in this country. We will not be driven backward.
We marched as one for the true moral core and values of the nation.
Great coverage! One of the best days and experiences ever!
I attended the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, as well, and can count it as one of the best experiences of my life. Two completely-filled buses left for the March from Philipstown along with many of our neighbors who traveled to D.C. by car, train or airplane. A large number of others from our area marched in NYC, Poughkeepsie and Beacon. I’ve seen reports of more than 500 marches in the U.S. and more than 100 internationally. Millions of women, men and children marching for civil and human rights.
We marched for the protection of healthcare (something the current president has already signed an executive order to take away and Congress has started to repeal), women’s rights, preservation of Social Security and Medicare, the right to practice religion without losing your right to be in the U.S., the right to equal treatment regardless of race or ethnic origin, freedom of the press, and all the rights that we in the U.S. should hold dear regardless of political persuasion.
I was struck by the kindness, good humor and dedication of the attendees in D.C. –- no arrests and the only calls to the police (four times) were for medical emergencies. The police in D.C. were helpful in answering questions – serving the public in a professional manner. There were many delays getting to D.C. from the place our bus left us off – it took at least three times as long to make the trip as it would on a normal day because of the huge crowds. But no one was cross, we chanted and sang and talked to each other, learning where people had traveled from and a little about their lives.
I wish all could experience the joy of community that many of us felt on Saturday!
I am glad I made the trip to D.C. on the Garrison bus. From photos in this issue of The Current, I now see all my neighbors who were there as well! I’m proud that women, men and children from the Hudson Valley (as well as other regions of New York) marched together with millions and millions around the country. It seems fitting that our state was so well represented since the first wave of feminism was launched in Seneca Falls.
When will your so-called “without fear or favor publication” cover the Right to Life March? Your party and agenda favoritism will be difficult to hide now.
Did busloads of residents from Philipstown and Beacon attend the March for Life? We were not aware of any organized local efforts, and the March for Life site didn’t list any (http://marchforlife.org/mfl-2017/find-trip-leader). If there were, or if there were local marches on Jan. 28, and we missed it, please let me know.
The Highlands Current