My first real march

Chalk one up for adventure. Yesterday, I joined around 1,200 other people, both men and women, for the Women’s March on Washington—Prescott, Arizona edition.

I’m no stranger to marching in a band. Did that all through middle and high school. But this is the first time I’ve taken to the streets in support of anything. Actually, it’s the first time I’ve felt compelled to take a public stand. This was also the first time I’ve donated money to a political campaign (thanks, Pussygate). As a journalist, I’m supposed to remain neutral. Stick to the facts. Keep the feelings out.

Of course, I’ll continue to do that in my job, but some things are too big and important to ignore. There’s nothing stopping me from sharing my disgust on my own time, on my personal social media accounts. I mean, have you seen what this clown is doing? In his first day in office, he spent his time trying to convince the public that the media reports of low attendance at his inauguration were fake.

And now his administration is presenting “alternative truths.”

Um … isn’t that how “1984” started? Doublespeak and groupspeak?

Not to mention the fact that he’s gaslighting everyone. How many times will he repeat something before people start to believe?

Scary, scary stuff, my friends.

Yes, in Prescott. Liberal-minded folks may not be as plentiful as they are up around Flagstaff, but I'm glad they do exist.

Yes, in Prescott. Liberal-minded folks may not be as plentiful as they are up around Flagstaff, but I’m glad they do exist.

The Prescott march started at noon. It finally snowed overnight (after trying all day Friday but succeeding in nothing but water-logging everything), so the sidewalks were a slushy mess. When I got to courthouse plaza just before noon, the crowd was singing “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.”

I whipped out my phone to catch a video—and promptly dropped it in a puddle. Crap. Luckily, it emerged unscathed. I snapped a quick selfie to prove I was part of the action.

Me, joining the crowd.

Me, joining the crowd.

Side note: Starbucks closed early Friday because once the sun went down, the snow that’d been in the air all day started sticking. So instead of writing longer, I taught myself to crochet a hat Friday night. This one took me a couple of hours to make.

A few of my favorite signs from Women's March on Washington—Prescott.

A few of my favorite signs from Women’s March on Washington—Prescott.

After some announcements, we took off chanting “A people united can never be divided.” We were only moving at a shuffle, but it was still a pretty powerful feeling. Beside me were older women who’d marched in the 60s and younger women holding signs with sayings like “This pussy grabs back.”

A couple more of my favorite signs. These were particularly excellent sentiments. Had I thought to make myself a sign ...

A couple more of my favorite signs. These were particularly excellent sentiments. Had I thought to make myself a sign …

Quite a few men joined the march, too. And other guys stood along the edges of the crowd holding their own signs of support. (A trio had signs I can’t recall, but I stopped and clapped for them.) Cars honked their support as they drove past. Only one jerk in a giant pickup leaned out of his window shouting “Donald Trump. Donald Trump.”

I tried to take a picture that showed the line stretching around courthouse plaza to show the size of the crowd … not sure I succeeded.

I tried to take a picture that showed the line stretching around courthouse plaza to show the size of the crowd … not sure I succeeded.

Another attempt to show the size of the march.

Another attempt to show the size of the march.

As I walked, I went through a bunch of emotions. Disbelief and disgust that we had to be out there, marching in support of things that should be a foregone conclusion. Women’s rights. Clean water and air. Immigrants rights. Health care for all. All endangered by an egomaniacal President Pussy-grabber, who thinks he can do and say anything he wants.

I also went on a crying jag. Some women marching behind me spotted their mother on the sidelines and called, “Mom, come march with us.” And she jumped right into the crowd.

I started crying because 1) my mom wasn’t here to march with me and 2) I have no doubt she would have been right beside me if she were alive. She was a child of the 60s, campaigned for Birch Bayh in Indiana and was so pro-choice that I remember her telling me while I was in high school that if I got pregnant at that time, I would be getting an abortion. (Not that she had reason to worry. There was teenage sex for me.)

So many people—1,200 in all—turned out in little Prescott, Arizona, traditionally a Republican stronghold.

So many people—1,200 in all—turned out in little Prescott, Arizona, traditionally a Republican stronghold.

While I’m sad we feel the need to march, I’m glad to know there are thousands if not millions who will be watching the new administration and calling the orange one out on his shit.

Stay vigilant, friends. I’ll be there with you. As I said to one of my friends on Facebook this morning, I’ve been a good girl all my life. Now it’s time to be a nasty woman.

Hmm… That’s probably what the sign I didn’t think to make should have said.

Or, as my Star Wars-loving friends keep posting, “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance.”

For my next act of rebellion, I’m crocheting myself a little pink hat. And writing more romances with stronger, kick-ass heroines.

2017-01-22-13-05-23

Yeah … they’re both going to take me a while.

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