Despite wind and cold, women's march draws 150

 

January 26, 2017 | View PDF



With cleats strapped to XtraTufs and clutching signs with slogans like “My body, my choice” and “Stronger together,” about 150 women, men, children and pets turned out on Saturday for the Women’s March – Haines.

“I am marching because I believe in equality and a woman’s right to choose, and Planned Parenthood, and freedom to do what I want,” said Beth Bolander while carrying a sign depicting an illustration of Princess Lea and the words “A woman’s place in in the resistance.”

The marchers met at the Chilkat Center at 10 a.m. and were given a few instructions to follow along the route that looped through downtown.

“I believe in equality for everybody,” said Phyllis Sage, who marched with her dog Finn. “For me it’s not just a women’s march, it’s a march for everybody. It’s a humankind march. Women’s rights make everybody’s rights.”

The march took place as part of an international movement to show solidarity with organizers of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. one day after President Donald J. Trump was sworn into office.

“The Women’s March on Washington aims to send a message to all levels of government, including but not limited to the incoming Presidential administration, that we stand together in solidarity and we expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities,” organizers said.


About 20 marches took place in Alaskan cities including Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks, which drew crowds of 1,000 or more.

Melissa Aronson got involved in the planning phase of the Haines march. “There’s a good network of people here who are concerned about what’s happening to our country.” She heads the group Haines People for Peace.

Organizer Margaret Friedenauer said she was surprised by the turnout.

“A lot more people than expected – especially with two other big events going on this weekend. I know some of the families who came to Haines for the swim meet participated in the walk,” she said adding that the message of the day was all about solidarity. “A lot of people were wondering what is this all about. This was not a protest. This was about coming together and sharing a positive message.”

 
 

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