The Women’s March
The Women’s March in the U.S. and around the world on Jan. 21, 2017, gave me hope! A great amount of hope! Hope like I haven’t felt since the election of 2008 when Barack Obama was chosen to be our President.
I was excited to see so many people participate in the Women’s March. I was excited to see women of all ages, and a goodly portion of men of all ages too. There were children, dogs, banners, signs, pink knitted hats, chants, drums, and singing at the Women’s March in St Paul, Minnesota, where I marched.
Over 100,000 people joined in. What a sight it was.
Around the world, journalists estimated that a total of 5 million people marched to support their beliefs in equality, women’s rights, climate change, civil rights, free speech, science, social justice, immigrant safety, the value of our environment, animal rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, universal health insurance, and many other causes.
Why did we march?
I believe it was because the election and inauguration of Donald Trump as President were frightening events to many women and men, and especially frightening to people of color. Trump has promised to roll back all the progress made by the Obama Administration in the beliefs I listed above.
And In the first week of his presidency, Trump has outpaced our fears. He has done more evil things than even the most pessimistic of us thought possible.
–He threatened to defind Planned Parenthood. Republicans in Congress introduced more than 100 bills to defund PP and/or restrict abortion rights and/or restrict insurance payments for women’s health costs.
–He made it illegal to provide financial support to agencies around the world who provide healthcare to poor women, if the agencies even mention the word “abortion”. The doctors and nurses can’t counsel women about their options or provide abortion procedures or the agencies will lost their funding. Reagan instituted this ban. Clinton removed it. Bush put it back. Obama removed it again. When the ban is in place, thousands of women die.
–He threatened immigrants to the U.S., both legal and illegal, and declared sanctuary cities would lose their federal funding.
–He insulted our close ally, Mexico.
–He attacked science. He gave an order instructing the EPA and NPS agencies of the federal government to stop tweeting and publishing scientific papers and reports.
Who could have foreseen that? Not me! It’s unimaginable.
Responses by scientific agencies
But our public servants in the science-based federal agencies did not acquiesce to this outrageous executive order. Instead, they started new Twitter accounts that they or their colleagues or allies controlled, so that they could continue to share science with the public.
They planned a Science March on Washington to protest Trump’s actions. As of this writing, no date has been announced for the March. But around the world, scientists in other countries stated their intentions to march in solidarity with the American scientists.
Here are some of the new Twitter accounts:
The anonymous writers of some of the new Twitter accounts asked for artists to design new logos for them. We’ll probably see the new logos in the coming days.
Responses by women’s groups and environmental groups
Women’s groups and environmental groups have responded to Trump’s and Congress’s actions with vigorous campaigns of phone calls, letter writing, petition signing, and visiting Congressional offices to express their opposition to Trump’s threats and orders.
Senators and Representatives need to hear our voices. We women are the majority In the U.S., and we need to stand up and act like it.
In addition to women’s groups and environmental groups like the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Greenpeace, and Center for Biological Diversity, some churches have announced plans to help resist efforts to roll back environmental protections. Clean water and clear air are needed by everyone, not just women and environmentalists!
We all want to keep our national parks and national forests and national monuments. We can’t let corporate greed be allowed to destroy these public lands through oil drilling, clearcutting of forests, oil spills from pipelines, forest fires caused by epic drought resulting from climate change, ocean levels rising, and other means.
This is the time to stand up and say “No” to Trump and the Republican Congress.
Trump’s first orders and proclamations
Here is a list of the orders and proclamations Trump has made in his first week in office:
–Signed an order to build a wall along the southern border of the U.S.
–Ordered a shutdown in Twitter activity at the Department of Interior, EPA, …
–Ordered the Affordable Care Act “burdens” to be eased.
–Cleared the way for the resumption of construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipelines through five executive actions
–Imposed a hiring freeze on federal employees for 90 days, with exceptions for military positions and national security.
–Withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership
–Ordered the government to withhold funds from sanctuary cities
–Asked for the resignation of the head of the U.S. Border Patrol
–Asked for the resignations of all senior staff in the State Department
–Reinstated Reagan’s anti-abortion Mexico City rule known as the global gag rule.
–Froze all pending regulations until they are approved by his administration
–Ordered the pursuit of undocumented immigrants by the director of homeland security
—Banned all Syrian refugees into the U.S.
Washington Post report; 3 PM CT, Jan. 27, 2017
The marches are encouraging signs
For those who want to resist Trump’s attempts to take away our freedoms and destroy our country’s environment by selling it to corporate interests, the marches are an encouraging sign. They showed that thousands of people are not willing to let him do it.
But marching is just the first step. After we march, we must take action.
Here is a list of some of the actions you can take:
–Write letters and postcards
–Make phone calls
–Discuss the issues with your friends and neighbors
–Join additional marches when they happen
–Go to local meetings of environmental groups, women’s groups, and civil rights organizations like the ACLU
–Contact your Congressional representatives and local legislators and express your opinion and your outrage at Trump’s actions.
–Contact the organizations you care about that support women’s rights, LGBTQ issues, civil rights, immigration, free speech, science, social justice, and other principles that are under attack by the Trump Administration. Send them money. Volunteer for them.
Most of all, stay strong!
This fight is going to last a long time. It won’t be over by summer, or by Labor Day, or even by the beginning of 2018. The Congress and the Trump Administration have vowed to wreck President Obama’s legacy, and they are taking steps to do that.
What they are doing affects us all. We can’t let them get away with it. Women are 54% of the citizens of this country. Science is important. Social justice is vital. Our public lands — especially our National Parks — are part of the heritage of this country.
I hope you will be part of the fight. Let me know what you are doing to save the principles we care about.