By Kathleen Spring
Lyons was well represented at the second Women's March in Denver on Saturday, January 20, with approximately seventy people attending. Ian Phillips arranged for two buses to transport residents to the march. One bus was his Colorado-logo mini-bus, and the other was provided
by DWS Coach, with participants making donations toward the costs. Other area residents car pooled to the event. It was a sunny day, with temperatures hovering around fifty degrees.
Protesters initially gathered in the large green Civic Center Park, and were rallied by the event coordinators. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock gave a rousing, frank speech to set the crowd off on their hour-long march around the city's Golden Triangle, which included not only the capitol and various city and federal buildings, but also the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum.
Approximately two-thirds of the people carried signs, and half of those displayed their displeasure with President Donald Trump. The other half focused on topics like freedom of religion, stopping sexual harassment, saving the earth, and pay inequity. While the march was at a steady walking pace, some people walked slower and others faster, so there were always new signs to read. Some were a play on words or phrases. One was a photo of Star War's Princess Leia with the words "We are the Resistance." Another sign's text reversed the Alcoholics Anonymous motto about not trying to change things one does not have control over, to saying "I am changing the things I cannot accept..." A young man held up a sign saying, "Everything I am, I owe to Powerful Women." It was rare to find one that was a repeat.
About twenty percent of the crowd wore pink. It was a way to express solidarity and cohesion. The pink hats represented a social movement focused on raising awareness of women's issues.
At last year's march many marchers were protesting presidential candidate Trump's vulgar comments and ignorant concept of what made America Great. This year, many women said they came because they wanted the world to know that the 2017 march was not a one time thing, and that the 2018 march would signify that women were taking action to help permanently change America for the better. Also, people who attended last year said that the composition of the crowd changed from 2017. This year, more families were marching, and at least twenty percent of the participants were men.
A lot of emphasis was on voting out the current ineffective politicians. After the November 2016 election, organizations formed, or were bolstered to help women run for political office. As of December 2017, 25,000 women had contacted an organization called Emily's List to learn how to run for office. This includes not only local elections for boards and commissions, but also 439 women who are running in 2018 for national and state legislative seats, a far higher figure than in any time in America political history.
The march ended back in Civic Center Park. Speakers talked about rights of women, Native Americans, blacks, gays, hispanics, and more. The day-long inspirational talks were interspersed with songs, both live and recorded, and occasional poems or raps. The subject-appropriate songs included new and old favorites, like "These Boots Were Made for Walking" and "I Will Rise Up."
Marches took place this weekend in 670 United States cities, and many foreign countries. The estimated attendance for Denver was between 50-60,000 people. The overall effect seemed to be invigorating, hopeful, and inspiring. Citizens are encouraged to do something important and positive this year to prove America's greatness. Kirsten Gillibrand, a United States Senator from New York, has emerged as the most vocal feminist senator. She says that, “This is an inspiring moment in political history, and democracy only works if you stand up and demand it. One can be complacent, or become part of the grassroots who will create the message.”