Women’s March, January 20, 2018

The Sebastopol Women’s March of 2018 was supposed to start at 12:00 on Saturday, January 20. I thought that meant the march, which was really more of a walk, since we were only to go a block, started then. It didn’t. We didn’t walk until 1:30.

Clearly I am unfamiliar with events.

You tell 'em, sister. Girl with "Girls can do anything" sign

You tell ’em, sister.

I got to the plaza about 11:40 and there was a small gathering of men and women, mostly wearing pinks, carrying signs. Mr. Music and the Peacetown group (which is also, I think, the Love Choir) were already set up in the pavilion. There were one or two booths, notably a Peacetown booth.

What was not there; voter registration. I thought that was odd, but it might be that most eligible voters in Sebastopol are registered. Wouldn’t you think, though, that it would be the primary thing form our outreach you’d want to make at this kind of event?

They started playing music shortly after I showed up.  And people started arriving. And arriving. And arriving.

One view of the plaza.

One view of the plaza.

There was lots of pink. There were lots of signs. There were lots of men, too, many carrying signs or wearing them. It’s nice to live in a town where so many men consider themselves feminists and are willing to give up a Saturday afternoon to support women.

Another crowd view.

Another crowd view.

When I was in the crowd or on the fringes I couldn’t hear a word being said over the speakers. When I left the crowd and went across the parking lot, every word was as crisp as fresh lettuce.

A speaker from the Graton Day Labor Center talked about the work done by undocumented women and how it is foundational. As she put it, “Without the work they do, the other work would not get done.” That’s a little extreme, isn’t it? Well, if you consider the people who care for your children, fix your meals, make your sandwiches, clean your hotel rooms, wash and bundle the vegetables you buy at the store, pick the vegetables you buy at the store… it’s not far-fetched.

The front was a standard "Vote" sign. But the back... Animal collage on back of sign.

The front was a standard “Vote” sign. But the back…

Another speaker noted that within the Downtown Merchant’s Association in Sebastopol, nearly half the small-businesses are woman-owned. That was inspiring. Later, when I was over at Second Chances, Emma and I made a list, and it is impressive.

On Main Street and within a block in either direction:

At least one of the yoga studios. There are three.

I think but don’t know that Reenie Bird’s has a woman owner, and I don’t know about Kitty Hawk Gallery.

One protester was against reproductive autonomy for women.

One protester was against reproductive autonomy for women.

There was one anti-reproductive-rights person there, with a friend and her son in a stroller. I don’t know if her sign was a common “sign-making” error, or a clever strategy to lure people in close enough that she could talk to them. Still, I admire her courage. Several times, she was close the “I support the 1 Amendment” person, and that seemed apt.

There were funny signs.

"I've seen smarter cabinets in Ikea."

Of the funny signs, the Ikea one is my favorite.

Dumbledore's Army Still Recruiting

Dumbledore’s Army.

There were serious signs.

Climate Reality, not Reality TV

There were inspiring signs.
Notable women in America History

We the People

We, the People

There were signs that were bitter and true.

"We are the daughters of the Brujas you didn't burn."

These are the witches that Trump warned you about.

After singing, some speeches, and more singing, then some pep-rally-level chanting, we went on our march.

Cowboys love the Goddess.

The Hub-bub Club started us off, including playing over the final speaker who was rousing the crowd, but then I lost track of them. It was a quiet march. The women next to me said we had agreed to be quiet since we had to be on the sidewalk and we didn’t want to disturb the merchants (who supported us). Still, as demonstrators go, we were pretty docile. There were a lot of us, though. I maintain, although there are no numbers provided, that about 1200 people  attended.

My favorite moment came as we walked east on Bodega Avenue, a tide of mostly-white, many gray-haired, mostly women, many in pink, most with signs. A family group came out of the ramen restaurant. The two kids had dark skin and shiny black hair. The adult woman had dark skin and long black hair. The man behind her had dark skin and  black hair. They stepped right into our group. (They had no other choice.) The man cupped one hand around his mouth and stage-whispered to the woman, “Blend in! Blend in!”


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2 Responses to Women’s March, January 20, 2018

  1. I love the little girl’s sign at the beginning.
    Thank you for chronicling this – it’s an important message and I’m so glad it’s getting so much attention. And thanks for contributing to that attention:)

  2. Marion says:

    I loved her sign. I liked almost all the signs, actually. I did not get a picture of the one that said, “Free Melania” but it made me snort with laughter.

    I thought the event was very well coordinated and I was disappointed that the coordinating group did not loop in the local daily. Even a phone call with the census of people would have been good. I was sad to see that West County was not included in the next day’s article.

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