Monday, July 02, 2018

Signs of the Times

It's been almost 50 years since I marched in protest. The last significant march I participated in was in Washington DC on May 10, 1970. That day 100,000 people marched to protest the shooting of four people by the National Guard on the Kent State campus in Ohio. My siblings and I drove from New Jersey to participate. We had marched many times before then, throughout the late 60s protesting the war in Vietnam. Some of those marches were local, some were big and loud on the streets of Newark. I remember the ride home from that Washington DC Kent State protest. The world had changed, it seemed. I was just about to turn 18 years old and graduate from high school. My family was getting ready to move to California in June. We were leaving the old world behind and heading west to make a new life. My marching days were over...
Roger and one of the other early marchers!
...until this past weekend. On June 30th Roger and I went to a Families Belong Together rally and march in Eureka. We arrived early, forgetting in a way that we live in an unpopulated part of the world and that there would be plenty of parking for everyone. When we got there it was mostly quiet except for the organizers and some musicians singing some fine old folk tunes. It would be a good half hour before 1500 more people showed up with the signs of the times.
We saw so many wonderful homemade signs. It was grand to be out there with our fellow citizens.


There were speakers who told stories of incarceration, of ICE harassment, of family separations. A representative of our Congressman's office spoke. Then, we were ready to march the streets of Eureka!
Lucky for us the rally was held at the beautiful waterfront there. So, as we marched we saw got to breathe the beautiful sea air before we headed on to the streets.

The local newspaper reported that we were three blocks long of chanting impassioned protesters. The front of the march was so far ahead of us, we didn't even hear what they were chanting.

We marched. We shouted. We were glad to add our voices to the sum of voices for humanity and sanity. It felt good to march again after all these years.

33 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience during the Eureka Families Belong Together this weekend. There was a large turnout here in Bellingham for Families Belong Together, despite the rain. Many walked to the city hall where we all gathered to listen to speakers. Most moving to me were the solemn young children carrying signs along with their parents.

    So many voices for humanity and sanity.

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    1. am-- I'm so glad you marched as well. Thank you.

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    1. 37paddington-- We were glad to be there.

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  3. Thank you for doing this and for all the photos of the wonderful signs. We are all moving through these days with our hearts broken, but you have proof here that there are more good people than bad in this world. It's easy to forget when the Orange Pustule dominates every news cycle with his hate-and-crazy shtick.

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    1. CCorax-- Yes, there are more good people. It's just that the bad people have a very big megaphone these days.

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  4. Thanks for marching for a really good reason!

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  5. I applaud your action in the street to go out and express your disagreement. Keep on getting out.

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    1. Red-- Yes! We'll keep on getting out. I like that idea!

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  6. Good for you! And what a good turnout for a small city. Thanks for getting out there and expressing outrage!

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    1. Steve-- It was a really good turn out for our small city. We loved being there.

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  7. Proud of you and Roger for putting your feet to the task. Loved the signs and I want that jacket.

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    1. Patti-- I wanted that jacket too! We were so glad to be out there.

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  8. I never marched in a major city but my first march was an anti Viet Nam war protest in Charlotte, NC. I am blown away by the people who blame the migrants for the separation from their children. They have no idea (and choose not to learn) what sort of life these people are fleeing. Could they make the choice between possibly being separated from your children or seeing one of more of them killed? It saddens me that we live among so many heartless people who truly believe Americans have more rights to a better life than anyone else on the planet.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- You expressed exactly how I feel. I was going to make a sign for this march. It was going to be a picture of earth, and it was going to say, "We are one species on our one planet." It is so good to hear from you, my friend, so good.

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  9. Well done, I have never been on a march like that or even a protest in our country. Never seen any thingworgh joining in over. I love the sign saying Trump belongs in a cage trouble is you can't keep a fart in a cage.

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    1. Bill-- You made us laugh out loud with this comment. We loved it. Thank you for that!

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  10. Bill's comment made me laugh too. Thanks you, Roger and Am for marching. Yay!

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    1. bev-- We were really glad to be out there.

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  11. thank you for marching. Direct action and vigorous public protest is what this country needs right now.

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    1. Tara-- Yes, direct action and vigorous protest! We have to keep at it, day after day.

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  12. I just read Charles Blow's recent column in the NYT, as well as some of the comments. What springs to mind is, how in bloody hell did all of this rottenness develop pretty much under our noses? Well, that could be discussed endlessly, but whatever protests and marches can open people's eyes are definitely worth trying.
    Thank you for putting heart and energy into this.

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    1. isabelita-- It's hard not to get involved in some way. I am in despair about our country, the Supreme Court, and our future. Sigh.

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  13. Good on you guys for getting out there! It's needed that's for sure. I'm thinking as time passes there will be more and more outrage (hurry up Mr. Mueller!). Just out of curiosity, were there any "counter" protesters around that day?

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    1. Pat-- Interesting you should ask about counter protesters. We spoke with one guy who rode up on his bicycle when there were just a small number of us out there. We talked to him for a while. He was going on about too many immigrants and we need to protect our borders, you know... the usual stuff. I asked him where his family was from. He stopped and thought about it. He said his family arrived in the 1920s from eastern Europe. Ah, I told him that mine did as well. Then I said my philosophy is that humans are all one species on one planet. That's all. Borders are made up things. He looked at me and started talking about what's really coming next is an alien invasion. I loved it. Roger and I walked away laughing. We were glad to have participated that day.

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  14. Love it! I haven't gotten involved in protests, yet, because the rallies always happen on the weekends I'm on call. Thank you for being there. I am going to reach out to our local peace works and see what they have planned for the near future. Surely, there will be something I will be able to attend!

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    1. oldwhitelady-- It felt good to get out there and march again. I'd like to think it makes a difference. I hope you get to join a nice protest for peace in the future. Good to hear from you!

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