By Doug Porter
In 1913, thousands of women took to the streets of Washington DC on the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration calling for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. More than twenty parade floats, nine bands, and four mounted brigades followed activist Inez Milholland riding on a white horse marching from the U.S. Capitol toward the Treasury Building.
Despite physical attacks by angry spectators hospitalizing more than 100 women, the parade, organized by Alice Paul and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, finished the route.
A decades-old movement for change was galvanized and revitalized by the march. Historians credit the event with creating the political will needed to pass the nineteenth amendment, ratified seven years later on August 18, 1920.
A little more than a century later, women are once again poised to challenge the status quo with a large march in Washington the day following incoming president Donald Trump’s inauguration along with simultaneous events in more than 500 US locations and more than 50 cities worldwide.
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
There are four dozen Women’s March-related events in California, twenty-six in Canada, fifteen in Mexico, and even one in the Cayman Islands.
Here’s a snip from the Italian edition of The Local:
Speaking to The Local, Elizabeth Farren, one of the organizers of the Rome march, said: “This march is relevant in Italy because Italy is in no way immune to the populist wave that elected Trump.”
Farren said that the march was open to all supporters of civil rights, including men, women, Italians and foreigners. The aim, she said, is “to show the world that those who support progressive values are a force to be reckoned with, and that they will not remain silent if their rights and values are threatened”.
The New York Times provided an overview of what’s in store:
March organizers have said the event’s primary focus is to promote equal rights for women and to defend marginalized groups. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights,” the group’s website says.
More than 200 organizations have signed on as partners for the march, including Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, the National Organization for Women and Human Rights Watch. Cher, Katy Perry and Amy Schumer are among the celebrities who have said they will attend.
Participants outside the United States say they are marching in solidarity with American women and standing up for the rights of women in their own countries.
(Link to the Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles of the Women’s March)
Can’t Join a March? No Problem!
For those who are unable to march, there is a global moment of silence complete with accompanying app.
From the Huffington Post:
But for the thousands who cannot attend, there is still a way to take part: by joining legendary feminist, author, and WMW honorary co-chair, Gloria Steinem, in the 1@1 initiative — a global minute of silent solidarity for equality at 1pm Eastern Standard Time.
All who believe in women’s equality are invited; whatever age, race, religion, political affiliation, economic status, gender, ability, or language. A countdown by Gloria Steinem will be streamed on YouTube Live.
The founder of the 1@1 initiative happens to be an old friend, Alyson Palmer, who I got to know in my East Coast days as one-third of the feminist band Betty, quoted in the Huffpo article:
Whether able to attend a rally or not, whether gathered with others or alone, all can join this unifying action on behalf of women, girls and the future of all our nations. Even the time zones asleep can dream of equality.
What You Need to Know About the San Diego Women’s March(s)
There are contingents in the San Diego march, i.e. like-minded or geographically linked groups.
I know of groups from the East and South County planning on meeting up.
A contingent of people supporting the former UFCW women who are suing the union for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation are marching together.
A climate contingent with San Diego 350 and Greenpeace will be marching together.
(Let me know –with a link, please– about other groups and I’ll add them as time permits.)
The bad news: it might be raining. San Diego is predicted to get 4-6 inches of rain over the next few days.
The good news: The rain is predicted to take a break on Saturday morning. It should be windy, with temperatures in the fifties. The march will occur, rain or shine.
This information comes from the website for the San Diego Women’s March.
About the Group:
“We, San Diego Women’s March, are peacefully marching in San Diego in solidarity with the Women’s March in DC. We are dedicated to a free and open society. Together we stand united in our respect for all people and we resist the marginalization of anyone. As a diverse, inclusive community of compassionate people, we seek to strengthen and continue our commitment to work for the protection of women’s rights.
We stand firm in agreement that women’s rights are human rights.”
“This is not a protest. The Women’s March is a celebration of human rights.”
Location: Participants will gather in front of the Civic Center Plaza (1200 Third Avenue), and along Third Avenue, between A Street and C Street. The program to kick-off the march will start at 10am.
After the program, marchers will be directed to line-up and head towards Broadway and Third Ave. The march will progress west to North Harbor Drive and then north on North Harbor Drive, ending in front of The County Administration Building.
Assorted Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- The march is open to everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, tolerance of diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity. Yes, men are welcome, as are children. Pets, other than service animals, should stay home.
- We will be marching rain or shine. Umbrellas are okay. Decorated umbrellas, even better. Backpacks are also okay.
- Security will be handled by the San Diego Police Department. Signs with sticks are allowed. It will be windy.
- The San Diego Women’s March has entered into partnerships with: Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, San Diego National Organization for Women, The Center for Community Solutions, Run Women Run, Next Gen, ACLU of San Diego, and Moms Demand Action.
- As of Wednesday, January 18, over 17,000 people indicated they were attending via Facebook.
- Donations to the group are accepted here. As of Wednesday morning $22,570 from 387 people has been contributed. Next Gen is listed as a major contributor on another page at their web site.
- They have a merchandise store at Zazzle. Items will not be available for sale at the march.
Need a little motivation?
“Young people, don’t be afraid.” – Michelle Obama in her final speech as FLOTUS pic.twitter.com/dVVr64ADxu
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) January 6, 2017
Other Inauguration Notes
According to an article in the Times of San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer will NOT be in Washington this weekend.
In response to a Times of San Diego query, Faulconer spokesman Craig Gustafson said Tuesday: “He is not going.”
Faulconer is listed among 314 mayors registered as attending the 85th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors through Thursday, but he’s in San Diego now, Gustafson said.
Artist Shepard Fairey is part of a group making posters that will be plastered all over Washington DC, highlighting the faces that are staring back at the incoming administration.
For Trump’s inauguration, Fairey has designed a new set of posters just in time for the festivities. He also worked with a foundation to raise more than $1 million on Kickstarter to print and distribute the posters, so you can count on seeing them everywhere on Inauguration Day — for free.
The genesis of Fairey’s “We the People” series came out of a collaboration with fellow agitprop artists Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena. The trio teamed with the Amplifier Foundation, a group that works with activists and organizers to make compelling artwork that draws attention to grassroots movements, to launch Kickstarter funding for the poster-distribution project.
In addition to placing ads in the Washington Post in time for the inauguration, the Amplifier Foundation plans on distributing the posters on Inauguration Day at D.C. Metro stops and other locations that — like many protest actions on the big day — haven’t been disclosed yet for reasons of secrecy.
The posters will be available via the links above for free downloads starting Thursday. (Images via the Amplifier Foundation)
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has his own ideas about what a march on Washington should look like.
“Beyond a certain point, military display is only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army.” – Orwell pic.twitter.com/jAggpW8LWV
— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) January 18, 2017
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