Zee and I enjoyed attending the Women’s March rally in the nearby town of Greenfield. I had never been to a rally of any kind and was slightly apprehensive. I didn’t want to be around a bunch of angry people, no matter how much I might agree with them. She begged to come along, and I conceded, prepared to leave early if things didn’t go well. (Note: pictures lousy because little daughter was bopping around like a balloon without a string).
I’m guessing there were over 300 people there. Not everyone could fit on the little town common, and the surrounding street corners and sidewalks were filled to overflowing. The tone of the event was friendly and uplifting. Of the 100+ signs people were carrying, only 3 or 4 came across as overly angry or bitter. Most signs did not mention Trump directly. Many signs affirmed acceptance for minorities, concern about climate change, health care, and equal rights. I was surprised to see only 1 or 2 signs that even alluded to abortion. I was also surprised (and impressed) by the amount of men of all ages there. The whole event had a very peaceful tone. Everyone was very respectful of each other. Even though the small town common couldn’t adequately hold everybody, people were saying “excuse me” and taking care not to step on the small children that seemed to be underfoot everywhere. A small handful of policemen were politely directing the flow of foot traffic, and pedestrians were cooperating and thanking them.
The emphasis was clearly on love, kindness, and a recommitment to stand up for the rights and well-being of others. It wasn’t a “bash the opposition, blame the Republicans, hate the President” fest. I didn’t hear or read a single word criticizing Republicans or people who voted for Trump. To be strictly honest, I couldn’t hear everything that the speakers were saying because the microphones weren’t very loud, so if someone else attending heard otherwise, I stand corrected. However, from what I could hear, the words and the tone were meant to be uplifting. I didn’t hear any whining or anyone working themselves into a frenzy. I felt surprised that the speakers came across as kind, calm, and encouraging at a time when emotions were so high. After the rally ended, the crowds dispersed. Cheerful people flooded the nearby shops and restaurants.
Being surrounded by people committed to looking out for others left me feeling very grateful for our community, and hopeful about the future.
I’m so glad I brought my daughter.