Monday, January 23, 2017

Marching in Ann Arbor plus other women's marches in Michigan

I concluded Women's March on Washington today, pussyhats optional with this personal note.
Note the mention of Michigan locations mentioned in both of the last two videos.  My wife and I won't be traveling to Washington, but we do plan to attend one of the Michigan events, most likely the one in Ann Arbor.  If so, I'll report on it next week.
My wife did not feel up to marching in Ann Arbor, but I did, so she sent me to march for both of us.  Based on the event's Facebook page, I expected at least 5,000 people, including several of my colleagues and Facebook friends.  I knew their cars would clog up downtown streets and parking structures, so I left early.  It turned out I didn't leave early enough.  The freeway along the north side of town experienced backups, as did the offramp to Main Street, and traffic into downtown was bumper-to-bumper.  Just from that, I could tell that more people would show up than anticipated.

I cruised around the north side of downtown looking unsuccessfully for a street parking space, then meandered downtown to see if there were any in the structures.  I got in front of one that said "FULL."  One car left and the sign said "1 space available."  I pulled in and found that spot.  I then walked to the corner to look at the assembled protesters.  There were so many they were blocking the intersection a block down the street.  I decided that I'd walk to the end of the next block over to see what the crowd looked like from the side.  By the time I got there, they were already marching past where I stood and turning down the street.  I stood there watching and hoping that someone I knew would walk past so I could join them.  Within five minutes, one of them did, so I walked with her the rest of the way.

The march itself was a lot of fun.  The protesters were enjoying themselves, holding up signs and chanting.  They were of all ages.  Near us was a group of cheerleaders who would lead the chants and occasionally move onto the sidewalk and make human pyramids and do stunts.  I said that more protests could use cheerleaders.  My colleague said that this event was a great uniter.  I have to agree.

After 45 minutes of us marching through downtown (and the parade had been going for more than five minutes before I joined it), we arrived at the Diag (University of Michigan's quad), where there was music from a folk band.  It took the rest of the marchers a half hour to finish filing in, nearly filling the space.  I estimated there were about 10,000 people there.  MLive reported an estimate of 11,000.  Either way, more than twice as many showed up than RSVPed on Facebook.

I could type more, but I'll let MLive show what the march and rally looked like.

More than 11,000 people joined the Women's March in Ann Arbor on Jan. 21, 2017. Several people spoke at the rally, including Cindy Estrada of the UAW and U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
That was just one march in Michigan.  Follow over the jump for news about three other events in the state along with Michigan women participating in the Women's March on Washington.

The Women's March on Lansing, which was supposed to be the bigger event (7,200 had RSVPed on Facebook), drew more participants, between 8,000 and 9,000, than expected, but ended up being smaller than Ann Arbor's march.  More than 4,000 showed up in Midtown for Detroit's event.  WXYZ reported on both Detroit's and Ann Arbor's marches in Metro Detroiters unite for day of action in support of women's rights.

There was also a march in Grand Rapids, which WOOD-TV reported as Hundreds rally in Grand Rapids for women’s rights.

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 now will be remembered as the day millions marched around the world for women’s rights.
About as many people traveled to Washington D.C. for the main event as marched down the streets in Grand Rapids.  WOOD-TV tells their story in Local group: Women’s March ‘incredible,’ ‘overwhelming’.

A group of nearly 300 people from Grand Rapids was exhausted but empowered Sunday as they returned home from to Washington D.C.
Organizers expected 200,000 people in DC.  They ended up with half a million, more than showed up for the Inauguration the day before.  Love trumps hate indeed!

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