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Monday, January 23, 2017

Nothing but Strong Women Around Me

She was so proud to pose for my photo.

Nothing but Strong Women Around Me

I stepped outside my comfort zone, Saturday in Sacramento, while marching in support of human rights, and it turns out that I was in good company. Though I had been following posts on social media about the multitude of available opportunities to protest, I was staggered by the web of connectedness, that exists within my universe. 

From London to Washington DC; from Alaska to Hawaii; from Vermont to North Carolina; from Michigan down to New Orleans; from Seattle to Los Angeles; from Ft. Bragg to Laytonville; from Sacramento to Oakland; from Bend to Napa; from Arkansas to Ukiah; the web that connects us together in this time of crisis, is so intricate, so strong and above all, so all-encompassing, that it electrifies me.

Included in our web, was Bernie Sanders, speaking Saturday in in Montpelier, Vermont. Also included in Saturday's epic protests were a whole lot of other men, marching in solidarity with our sisters, daughters, aunties, nieces, grandmothers, daughters-in-law, mothers and every other possible connection there could be. 
The children turned out in force, thousands of them, brought along to the rally by parents who wanted to teach their children about democracy in action.

In numbers there is strength. Whereas 20,000 strong in Sacramento seems impressive to me, how does seven hundred and fifty thousand in Los Angeles sound to you? Three-quarters of a million angry people turned out and there were how many arrests? 


You can find crazy people everywhere in this country and they are scary. To me three-quarters of a million, angry but controlled and focused people, are a lot scarier. With the power of social media, people found that organization is infinitely more efficient than it has ever been.

This web of connectedness is essential, now that the White House has made it official: We have come face-to-face with Orwellian times, when we are told to ignore what our ears and our eyes tell us, and instead, focus on what is being bleated into our skulls by a petulant bully.

That I am personally connected to so many parts of our Planet A, (There is no Planet B) gives me the brightest ray of hope that I have encountered thus far in this crisis. My sense that there is mounting frustration at the audacity of the farce now serving as our President, is hammered home by how tightly sculpted this web of connectedness is.

My initial feeling of insignificance has passed.

Instead of wondering how much impact one aging hippie, male at that, could possibly have on an event of such magnitude as the Women’s March on Sacramento, I focused instead on the importance of simply providing support for Gluten-Free Mama.

You see, when it was first announced last November 17th that there would be a Women’s March in Sacramento, Gluten-Free Mama spent exactly 24 hours contemplating the universe, before making up her mind that she had to be there. 

Why Sacramento, when there were marches in Eureka, Santa Rosa, Ukiah and even Laytonville, not to mention most every other major city in the country? Because Sacramento is the capital of California, and GF Mama thought it to be the most appropriate venue for her to march.

Like millions of other Americans, she feels frustrated and betrayed by the actions of an individual who has made it clear that he has nothing but contempt for the very people he is supposed to represent. Sitting back and griping about it wasn’t going to be enough this go-round.

Yes, the sign asks, “Didn’t we settle this in the ’70s?” And then I see the meme that has the Suffragettes depicted, and I get it. Or take the man with the sign in Spanish that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, “I stand here, half-naked, in the midst of thousands of the opposite gender, and I have no fear, I am not intimidated, and I feel safe.” 

Point well-taken.
One aging hippie: ARG! Acknowledge, Respect; Guarantee
Human Rights
People need to feel safe and they need to know their kids are safe. How can any family not pristinely white, ever expect to achieve that feeling of safety in an environment of hatred, bigotry and greed? A world where ratings and appearance means infinitely more than ensuring that children and elders do not go to bed, cold and hungry.


No, not sigh. ARG! Human Rights: Acknowledge! Respect! Guarantee!


So many diverse individuals put aside their personal agendas, even on a rare sunny Saturday in London, in the snow in Alaska and Oregon (and countless other places), in the cold, driving rain in Laytonville (and countless other places), that I cannot help but feel jubilant at the results of our efforts.

Being the language arts guy, I don’t do numbers. That being said, the fact that this worldwide effort is being labeled the biggest protest in history, thrills me to the marrow of my soul. 

Whew. We’re done, right? We got out and marched, we set the world on fire and now we can go back to fuming, silently, in our little boxes.

I don’t think so and neither do others.

Tomorrow: The first Women’s Roundtable

Thank you so much for the shout-out on face/book; it was truly inspiring:

Alice, her friends and her sister: Anacortes, WA; Mt. Vernon, WA and Palm Springs, CA

Angie, married to my nephew TJ: dear friends of hers marched in Sacramento.

Brady: Eugene, OR

Kris: Bend, OR

Moorea-Rose: Kailua-Kona, HI

Carly's step-daughter marched in Ukiah

Sean reports that Bakersfield supporters turned out.

Fawn: Kathi, Shannon and others marched in Santa Rosa, not to mention Laytonville.

Roz: Guinevere in San Francisco and Shanti in Santa Rosa

Rebel said Janet was in Santa Rosa, also.

Karen: Family marched in Sacramento, San Francisco and Winters, CA.

Missy: Marched in solidarity in Ukiah.

Colleen, my cousin: Marched in Los Angeles, where people were "cordial and patient" all day, despite the turnout of 3/4 of a million people.

Keoma: Laytonville, Baby!

Evan: Eureka

Apple: Montpelier, Vermont, a city of 8,000, where 20,000 turned out to hear from Bernie Sanders (!).

Jason, my nephew: Charlotte, North Carolina with the quote of the day: "Nothing but strong women all around me. How could I not support!"

Michelle: Eureka

Allison also marched in Eureka.

Joanie was in Oakland, and Biasha marched in San Francisco.

Jenny marched in London, and we had a picture!

Jove was part of the March on Washington DC. Zounds!

Lynn marched in Seattle.

Gloria marched in San Francisco.

Stacey marched in Ukiah.

Lindsay: Laytonville! (Loved the banner!)

Cheryl: Laytonville!

Ericka left a link for protests worldwide.

Laura: Ukiah

Tim, with his son Miles on his back: Los Angeles

Lu: Three generations strong, daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ended up on the University of Michigan campus.

Stephen: Eureka

Paul, my cousin: Bridge Together Golden Gate Friday, in San Francisco

Shannon posted a photo from Santa Rosa. (Kathi's sign: "I can't believe I still have to protest this fucking shit.") Word

Rebel's mom was in Santa Rosa and he reports there was a good turnout in Ft. Bragg.

Mare marched in Santa Rosa along with Sisters of Perpetual Mercy.

Aurelea: New Orleans, Louisiana

Lisette marched with her daughters in Ketchikan, Arkansas. One of her signs: "We stand with Standing Rock."

Yvonne marched in Eureka.

Wayne and Mary marched in Ventura, 3,000 strong in "Cowtown."

Stacie: "Folks braved some nasty wind and snow in Haines, Alaska."

Dreama's mom marched in Santa Rosa.

Jon was in downtown Laytonville.

Louann marched in Napa.

Leslie marched in Eureka with over 7,000 peeps.

Peggy, my cousin, marched in Portland among 100,000 strong.

Tim mentioned the great turnout in Laytonville, proud to have been a part of it.

It goes without saying that many others communicated with me in countless venues so I know I do not include all of my brothers and sisters who marched. Know, however, that we stand united, in solidarity, for human rights for all.
Whatever it takes


  1. What a great post, Mark. I appreciated the list of all the people who marched. Like others are shouting, "This is just the beginning." Our world can be reinvented by all these people who marched and who cared and who will not stop caring.