Marching

Two weeks ago I published a post called 2017 where I outlined some of the things I am going to do this year.  Yesterday I did item 7 – attended a protest march.

Yup, I joined Heather and members of her art class at the San Jose Women’s March.  Well, they and 25,000 of our friends (give or take a few thousand).  Early in the week I heard estimates of 7,000 signing up to attend and I’ll admit I was a touch afraid that I’d be the only man there.  By Friday, I’d heard of a few guys I knew who were planning to attend and the sign ups for marchers had grown to 15,000.  During the march one police officer told us that she thought there was 40,000 there, but the official police estimate came in at 25,000.

Getting there was a big adventure of it’s own.  There is a light-rail line near our house that goes right downtown to the start of march.  No brainer right?  Yeah, also no room on the train.  The transit people had been told of the march and put extra trains out, but the first one that came by was too full for either of us to get on.  Another train came about 15 minutes later that there was only room for Heather to get on.

So, being a noble soul and not thinking clearly, I told her to stay on and I’d get the next train and would catch up with her.  The next train was so full that it didn’t even open its doors.  Having to wait got my brain working I realized that line we’re on is a spur that dead-ends three stations to the south where the train reverses directions and goes back north into downtown.  There were several other people with me on the platform and when I walked to the south bound side, one said, “You’re getting the south train, right?”

“Yes,” I said and most of the people on the platform crossed over and we got on a nearly empty south bound train, which in due course became a north bound train and delivered us to the march.  Some marchers called for Uber and the transit company sent out busses to get people downtown. 

When I got off the train Heather and I texted madly to find out where each other was.  It took me almost ten minutes to fight my way through the crowd to where she was.

Once united, the march started, or rather the long slow shuffle started (warning there maybe another post and/or poem with that title in the future).  The route was planned to be seven tenths of a mile – a distance that Heather and I could normally do in 12 minutes.  The crowd was so large that it took almost and hour and a half to make the distance, but we stayed the course and finally made it to the end.

Along the way we saw a lot of great signs, heard some great chants and often took up a cheer from the front of the line.  Most of the time we had no idea what they were cheering about, but that really didn’t matter and we just cheered along.  The real point was a community gathering in common purpose.

As you can imagine most of the chants were standard protest stuff (come on, we’re Californians, protesting is one of our specialties).  I have to say my favorite of the day was, “This is what democracy looks like!”  Really great when you can get a couple of thousand screaming that as one voice.

Heather made a great sign for the day.  Here she is at the start of the march with it.

Heather geared up and ready to march.

Heather geared up and ready to march.

I would hold the sign from time to time and here’s a picture of me with it:

I am smiling. That is my happy face.

I am smiling. That is my happy face.

Here is just a picture of the crowd and one of the funnier signs:

We shall combover

We shall overcomb

And finally here is the back of Heather’s sign with her reasons why she’s marching.  All of which I agreed with.

Why we marched.

Why we marched.

In case you can’t see the picture on your device here are the reasons:

  • Honor our differences
  • Equality for All
  • Respect/protect environment
  • Defend LGBT rights
  • Civil rights – social justice
  • Stronger together.

Well, I hadn’t intended to write much tonight as I am a bit tired, so the review of the play we saw after the march, my preaching at church this morning, and the long-winded version of why I marched will have to wait till at least after pizza.

Peace to all,

Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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51 Responses to Marching

  1. Cracks me up that you two texted furiously back and forth. People seem to forget actually talking on the phone is an option too. If it was too noisy to hear each other, that’s a different matter. Just a general observation I’ve made about the world. We don’t talk when we can text.

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    • That’s a true observation and likely a phone call would have been better. However, I actually don’t mention this much on my blog, but I do have a hearing problem that makes it hard for me to hear when I am in a noisy environment so I’ll claim a personal exemption. Yup, I am that old guy in the apartment next door with his TV on full blast asking, “What did he say?”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sundry says:

    Way to go, Andrew! So glad to see you among the ranks!

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  3. Debra says:

    Fabulous, and good for you! I did not participate directly, but donated some money towards the pink hats! My daughter-in-law went to Washington DC and kept sharing photos with me all day, and certainly as time went on I was wishing I had participated. Locally we had some of the same situations. The crowds were so large the trains just couldn’t keep up with the need. I am confident there will be more of these events, and next time, I need to get out there! Love your photos.

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  4. That’s awesome, Andrew! I’m cheering. Have a thriving Thursday!

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  5. Way to go! Now you’re part of history 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. LuAnn says:

    I marched in San Diego and hubby joined me. It was a proud moment, very moving, and all very peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good for you and Heather, Andrew. My 13 year old grandson attended the march in Providence, Rhode Island with a group of friends to support the cause. There too were unprecedented crowds.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done, you! Love the sign, and your happy face is remarkably similar to my own. 😏

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  9. I am so proud of you to go with your wife. I pray the powers that be listen to people also.

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  10. George says:

    My guess is you’ll have plenty of opportunity to protest walk in the coming months.

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  11. Congratulations on thinking outside the box and finding a way to utilize the Transit system to your advantage. It’s not a retreat, it’s advancing in the opposite direction.

    It is going to be an interesting four years and that will not be the last protest march.
    Ω

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  12. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love that you both were out there marching despite the obstacles of getting there. Good on you!

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  13. GP Cox says:

    These are all the ideals Americans have held dear since the beginning. But just think, if all the energy, organization and ingenuity of these marches had been used to do something good for this country like habitat for humanity, defending the country, supporting our veterans, ending our countless and endless wars, protecting our children, the list is also endless….

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    • Couldn’t agree more and that’s the point I’ve making with my fellow marchers. This was a great energizing event. It was a way for many to release their emotion and feel like they’ve done something, but the real work has yet to begin. My message is that if you believe the slogans on the signs your waving, then tomorrow you have to join one causes you just mentioned.

      One of the things they did at our march was that at the end of the march they tables with various local community organizations. Each group had info on what they did and how people could join and support. Marchers were asked to look at the tables and get involved. It will be a wasted effort if all that happened was a march and the real action never happened.

      And one of my first letters to my senators will include asking why we don’t take better care of our veterans.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. We had a “women’s marching” as well in here, Portugal. It was in the 3 major cities.
    Maybe all of this will turn up a good thing because people are getting involved around the world to make things happen… It’s what I hope…. crossing my fingers 🙂

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  15. Annika Perry says:

    Andrew, wow, this is one powerful post! I feel uplifted reading this, the force of democracy out on the streets in peaceful protest. Yep, “This is what democracy looks like!” Kudos to you and Heather. I love her sign and the reasons for her marching. A real day of celebration amongst the serious message! Warmest wishes to you both.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  16. jfwknifton says:

    The more people involve themselves in political comment, the better. It will avoid, hopefully, having such dreadful people as candidates in the Presidential elections as there have been since, probably, the late 60s early 70s. The first step, in my humble opinion, should be to get rid of the weird electoral college system. It seems to me just a controversy about to be triggered.

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    • I would like to see a better system in place, but getting ride of the electoral college is difficult to do. It would take a 3/4 majority in congress, plus 3/4 of all the state legislatures would have to agree. Not impossible, but a long uphill road.

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  17. It’s great to hear everyone’s stories from their marches and I love Heather’s sign! Thank you for being one of the men ready and willing to step up and join in because truly, “we are stronger together.” 🙂

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  18. davidprosser says:

    I’m glad to hear so many men marched along side the women yesterday. When the final numbers are tallied the President will know there are millions of people watching what he does. It might give him pause for thought.
    Hugs and thanks for marching for those of us who couldn’t.

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  19. PiedType says:

    I’m grateful to you and the millions around the world who marched. I wish I could have been a part of the experience. I’m sure no one who was there will ever forget it.

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  20. Barb Knowles says:

    It is so wonderful that you marched. Even though the White House seems to be ignoring these, at least Vice-President Pence should realize the importance.

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    • Politicians generally treat these as background noise, unless they’re speaking at the event. The true value is in bring a community together and unify around a common cause. The march will only be effective if the marchers go home and do follow up activities like writing their senators, reps, etc or donating to the cause or volunteering their time.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I marched in Phoenix with my daughter and we were surprised to see a crowd of 20,000. It was amazing, respectful and inspirational. So happy to hear you marched along together!

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