Yesterday I joined the Women's March on Denver, one of the many "sister marches" which took place around the world in support of the Women's March on Washington. This morning the news is full of stories describing the success of these marches. Here's mine.
I don't like crowds and the idea of spending a day with a few thousand other marchers wasn't something I had on my A list, but I felt I had to be counted as one of the many who are concerned about losing ground in the ongoing struggle for women's right.
My friend Lotus and I planned to meet a group of marchers at the Boulder bus station at 6:30. We arrived fifteen minutes early and there was a group of maybe fifty people waiting for the bus. By the time our group was together a big line had formed and by the time we got on the bus, about 7:00, the line stretched all the way around the bus station! Clearly the march was attracting a large number of participants.
It was still fairly dark when we arrived at Union Station in Denver. As we walked up towards the Capitol we were joined other marchers heading for the rally point, and the excitement was building
Once up at the Capitol we milled around waiting for the march to begin.
It began to dawn on us that there were going to be a lot of people.
We amused ourselves by reading all the signs and giving away the fifteen pink fleece "Pussy hats" that I had made.
We liked her sign and he readily accepted a hat. It takes a strong man to wear a pink pussyhat!
We liked her sign, both the front....
...and the back.
Finally we got up to this point where we realized that all of us were supposed to funnel through the arch.
That wasn't going to work, so we fanned out and headed up through the columns. Not so easy as there were stone walls to climb up and cross and then places where you had to get down over icy little hills.
But everyone was polite, no one pushed, and people took the time to help each other. I was so impressed by this. It's one thing to write on your sign that "Everyone deserves respect" and another thing to show it by offering a stranger a hand as they skirted an obstacle, or to wait patiently as a parent pushed a child in a stroller ahead of you up a hill when your feet are cold and cramping from standing still for fifteen minutes.
When we got through the arched building we landed in this little intersection where we were again stalled. I had ample time to study more signs, all of which I agreed with.
Finally we were on the street and actually marching! Wheeha!
We stopped for a break and watched the marchers go by, making guesses about how many people there might be. I read this morning that 100,000 people attended, which certainly explains why it took us so long to get marching.
We also checked in on other marches via Facebook. It was exciting to know that so many people around the world were marching for women's right. I had several friends marching in D.C., my brother was marching in Cincinnati, and my cousin was in Austin. All reported much larger crowds than expected.
In Denver there was little outright protest against President Trump. As you can see from the signs, the message was about maintaining and expanding women's rights/human rights. There were a lot of families with children, a lot of people younger than us, people who appeared to be of many different racial backgrounds, and many men.
And this being Colorado, there were many dogs.
It was an inspiring day.
Out of all the signs we saw, this one captured best why I marched. I'd like to see this say "In This Country, We Believe..." Wouldn't that be a great country to live in?
When we got back to the rally point we listened to some speeches and then decided it was time for a late lunch at the Denver Art Museum. Then we walked back down to Union Station and caught a bus back to Boulder. We arrived home about eleven hours after we left, having walked six and half miles, and were sore but happy.
Now comes the hard work of paying attention and doing something everyday to help bring about the goals I marched for. I've made some progress; I now know who my Congressman and Senators are and have emailed them about specific actions I want them to take. It's a start!