WOMEN’S MARCH 2017 BOSTON: We have a dream and the dream is now…
By Wenda and George Gantz
Whatever the media and the pundits may say, last Saturday was a day of joyful unity and commitment in Boston. Goodwill and kindness were the ONLY behaviors we saw, shared by all ages and all groups including many families and children and a balance of women and men. The dominant theme was resolute purpose — a commitment to truth, to civility, to the dignity of every person, and to the protection of the rights and interests of all — and a recognition that this requires each of us to confront falsity, intolerance and aggression.
The crowd was huge, but the press of people was always friendly and gracious. While 70,000 had registered, local officials estimate the number at 150,000. The signs were absolutely amazing – hugely diverse, all homemade, some remarkable works of art, many humorous.
The program began with a children’s choir signing America the Beautiful, with the crowd joining. We were asked to lock eyes, and share goodwill, with a stranger; recited the pledge of Allegiance; listened to Amazing Grace sung by a native American; before hearing a handful of speeches: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called on us to look forward, not back; Senator Ed Markey reminded us that Boston has consistently been among the first in fighting for freedom.
The news coverage today indicates that experiences elsewhere were similar – the crowds were unexpectedly large (500,000 in DC, 250,000 in Chicago), and all were buoyantly expressive and free of violence or confrontation. In the more than 600 marches worldwide, numbers are estimated to be in excess of 3 million people — a remarkable and historic achievement.
This event confirmed two things that we believe are fundamental to the future of our nation, and to our world as a whole:
We must not allow false, intolerant or abusive statements or behaviors to be “normalized.” This is not normal. This is not acceptable. They must be called out!
We all have a stake in shaping the future — this means we each have a responsibility to engage actively in public discourse and action if necessary to support our ideals. NOT engaging means that we are letting others decide the future for us.
This slideshow will take three minutes and will give you a tiny glimpse into what we experienced.
Yale Daily News reporters Amy Cheng and Myles Odermann wrote about the hundreds at Yale University who came out to on J21 “In a speech, American Studies professor Michael Denning GRD ’84 urged the protesters to “remain true to the poetry” of the women’s resistance movement. He jabbed at Trump’s incoming administration, characterizing Trump’s cabinet picks as “a charade of fossil fuel fossils, hedge fund fraudsters, cashiered generals and subprime realtors.”