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Marching

In Austin.

Up to 50,000 activists swarmed the Capitol grounds on Saturday to fight for women’s rights on the heels of Trump’s inauguration. The high-spirited crowd joined more than a million protesters nationwide. The Austin march was so large that the front of the rally, which left from the Capitol and traveled down Congress Avenue, returned before thousands had even begun marching. Many long-time Austinites said it was the largest rally they’d ever seen in the capital city.

The protesters descended on downtown Austin, filling the air with chants and whistles that ricocheted among the highrises. They carried signs reading: “Nasty women unite”; “This pussy grabs back”; “Girls just wanna have fundamental rights”; “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries”; and “A woman’s place is in the revolution.”

“As you can see from the historic crowd, voters are paying attention,” said Sarah Wheat of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. “And we’re here to tell Trump, ‘Not on our watch.’”

[…]

Former state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, highlighted the slate of speakers, opening her 20-minute speech with a reference to her 13-hour filibuster of sweeping abortion regulations that ultimately passed in 2013.

“Today, and though I do not do it very often, I am wearing those same pink sneakers that I did three years ago,” she said to booming applause. “I am wearing them not to remind you of something I did. But to remind myself of something you did.”

Giving no hints of her own political plans, Davis called on the thousands of activists to “fight like hell” to stay involved beyond the march through local organizing, contacting representatives and running for office. She called for equal pay for women as a means to improve the economy.

“In some ways we have been complicit in giving up our own power,” she said. “Well, I don’t know about you, my fellow nasty women warriors, but I have had enough of that. … We will not yield our bodies to be objectified, assaulted and trafficked.”

In Houston.

More than 20,000 singing, sign-waving protesters packed Hermann Square to roar their opposition to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump and show their solidarity with marching women across the nation Saturday.

The speaker line-up included Mayor Sylvester Turner, State Rep. Gene Wu and U.S. Rep. Al Green, who addressed a sea of people one organizer described as “the biggest crowd ever.”

“There is no room for hate in our state,” Turner told the enthusiastic masses.

Organized at the last minute, the march drew a massive and diverse crowd – even in a city not known for large protest turnout.

Planning started just over a week before the event, and the Facebook event only garnered around 5,000 responses.

“So elected officials take note,” one organizer said. “This is what could happen in 10 days.”

And there were a lot more of these around the country. (Around the world, too.) My Facebook feed on Saturday was jammed full of reports and pictures and videos, including more than a few from people I hadn’t known to be political before now. It’s encouraging and heartening, and a lot of people were energized by the experience. I’m certainly impressed by what I saw. My main concern is that we’ve seen energetic and uplifting demonstration before, most recently in 2013 with the Wendy Davis filibuster. As great as they are, they don’t mean much if they don’t translate into subsequent electoral victory, which in the end is what really matters. Circumstances are different now, and I feel like these marches will be building blocks for future action rather than one off events. They have definitely already delivered a message of resistance and accountability to the Republicans in Washington. It’s up to us from here to make sure they keep getting that message. The Austin Chronicle and the Current have more.

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18 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Mr. Soros ought to be proud. He brought out lots of folks, most of whom had absolutely no idea why they were there, or what they wanted. Women’s march? Really? I notice none of those marches stopped at the embassies or missions of Middle East countries where women are actually oppressed. This was a thinly veiled anti-Trump protest, different from the riots only in that these seemed to be peaceful for the most part. No discussions of education denied to Muslim girls, no discussions of genital mutilation, no discussion of virtue police beating women for not being covered enough, no discussions of women not being able to drive in Saudi Arabia…..worldwide protests that didn’t mention anything about their truly oppressed fellow women.

    Coincidentally, Linda Sarsour, one of the main organizers is a Hamas supporting Palestinian woman, so any mention of the ugly truths would be counter productive to the actual point, which was continuing to destabilize the US and Europe.

    Again, this was impressive, but the only actual message they had was to keep funding planned parenthood so the taxpayers keep paying for the day to day operations, and the true believers can then spend all their money only on the good stuff……killing babies.

    I give the anti-Trump folks credit for a big turnout. It was impressive, but in the end, futile. But hey, I’m looking at the positive, here. After only one day in office, Trump got more women out exercising than Michelle did in 8 years, so there’s that.

  2. Flypusher says:

    “Mr. Soros ought to be proud. He brought out lots of folks, most of whom had absolutely no idea why they were there, or what they wanted. Women’s march? Really? I notice none of those marches stopped at the embassies or missions of Middle East countries where women are actually oppressed. This was a thinly veiled anti-Trump protest, different from the riots only in that these seemed to be peaceful for the most part. No discussions of education denied to Muslim girls, no discussions of genital mutilation, no discussion of virtue police beating women for not being covered enough, no discussions of women not being able to drive in Saudi Arabia…..worldwide protests that didn’t mention anything about their truly oppressed fellow women.”

    That a ginormous red herring. These protests were about demanding accountability from the AMERICAN government, not Saudi Arabia’s. As someone who marched and saw the signs and talked to people, allow me to enlighten you about what so many people are concerned about:

    1) The nastiness, the scapegoating, and the outright bigotry that characterized Trump’s campaign
    2) The possibility of a whole lot of people losing health insurance
    3) That LGBT people could lose newly acquired marriage rights/ face increased discrimation
    4) The GOP’s anti-science attitude (I was especially pleased to see signs like “Science is NOT some liberal conspiracy)
    5) Reproductive rights
    6) The huge potential for corruption in the new administration. Despite what that foul liar Conway says, most people want those tax returns made public. We are very concerned about COI.
    7) The increased environmental degradation that will happen under Trump’s agenda
    8) That even the less than adequate current financial regulations will be killed, setting us up for another financial collapse

    Note that that Saudis have zero to do with any of those issues. If and when they do, then you could reasonably expect us to go protest before their embassies. I can also report that there were a whole lot of men at the Houston March, because they cared about all these issues too.

  3. Ross says:

    @Bill, given the general anti-Muslim tone of your post, it’s worth noting that female genital mutilation is not a Muslim thing. It’s a cultural thing that predates Islam in the areas where it’s practiced, and is pretty much universal across all religions in those areas.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    @Fly:

    I didn’t create this parody, from Conan the Barbarian, but found it funny.

    “President Trump’s goals:

    1. Crush your enemies. (win presidency)

    2. See them driven before you. (inauguration)

    3. Hear the lamentations of their women. (protest marches)

    That about sums up this weekend.”

    Personally, even though Pence was put on the ticket to appeal to the anti-abortion crowd, I doubt Trump cares too much about social issues, so most of those concerns are probably moot. As to corruption, yes, I care about that too, and will be right there with you if this turns out to be just a big money grab by Trump, but I doubt it. As to environmental concerns, as with anything, there must be a balance The Rust Belt states that carried Trump to victory obviously felt that pendulum has swung too far. They voted for jobs, which is exactly what Trump campaigned on, and has begun delivering on, even before the inauguration. If Trump succeeds in bringing good jobs back to America, expect to see more Rust Belt states go Trump next go round.

    And as to the question of financial regulations, I’ll just point out that Trump’s very first act in that area was to stop a decrease in PMI paid by FHA borrowers, you know, the insurance people pay that helps cover the loss when home buyers with little to no skin in the game walk away from their homes and stiff the banks, and then ultimately, the taxpayers who fund the FHA. The housing crash was a direct result of government forcing lenders to give anyone with a pulse a home loan, for fear of being sued for modern day redlining and racism. And what happened? Many of those unqualified borrowers who didn’t have 15-20% down and had little proof they could pay a mortgage defaulted.

  5. Greg Wythe says:

    Looking forward to Bill’s deconstruction of why so many people visit Houston in a couple of weeks when (a) the game is on TV for free, so why bothers? … and (b) radical Islamic terrorism still exists.

  6. Flypusher says:

    When I bought my house I could only put about 5% down, so I had to pay for PMI for the first few years of the mortgage. But I was financially responsible and paid attention to the markets and was about re-fi out if it. I contained to be prudent with my finances and paid the note off several years early. Under this new plan I would be denied or end up paying lot more than I did. Basically this makes the main means of wealth accumulation (home ownership) even harder for the middle and lower classes- thanks a lot! I’m also getting lumped in with deadbeats- thanks ever so much for that too.

    As for that Conan rif, YOU might mean that as a joke, but it’s an accurate description of Trump’s attitude and why so many people have no respect for him and will continue to oppose him. He and his lackeys will continue to whine about that and he lacks the capacity for self reection to ever get a clue.

    The social issues are not moot precisely because Pence is on the ticket.

    As for jobs, if Trump thinks he can bring back the days when even a high school dropout could get a well-paying factory job, he will fail.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    @Greg:

    I really don’t get what point you are trying to make. People go to the Superbowl because the NFL has hyped it up as the place to be. People want to be a part of a big event, ANY big event, just to say they were there. I suspect it’s the same reason I went to see The Who, back when it was supposedly going to be their last tour (it wasn’t)…..just to say I was there.

    Islamic terror exists because Islam is a violent religion and political system all in one, and needs to undergo a reformation, just like some of the Christian denominations went through hundreds of years ago. Until the rest of the world can admit that, and FORCE reformation, the attacks will continue. And yes, force is messy and unpleasant.

  8. Flypusher says:

    You talk about Reformation. The one that happened in the Christian religion was against a huge central authority (the Catholic Church) with an obvious leader (the Pope). Where is the equivalent of the Pope in Islam? Even the main Sunni and Shia branches don’t have supreme leaders. That religion has split over the centuries into many different sects, which makes it rather hard to reform all of Islam. Some of the sects are indeed violent, but plenty are not. You tar them all with the same brush.

  9. Flypusher says:

    Here’s the plans for the next big march:

    http://www.trumptaxesmarch.com

    While marches alone won’t change things, I think this one would be highly appropriate, and 4/15 is conveniently on a Sat. The sign is obvious, tape a copy of my 2016 returns to a poster saying “Here’s mine, where are yours????”

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Hey Fly:

    Just thought you should know. Your cis women march was disrespectful and oppressive to trans women.

    http://freebeacon.com/culture/white-cis-women-march/

  11. Joel says:

    “Flypusher
    January 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    Here’s the plans for the next big march:

    http://www.trumptaxesmarch.com

    Sooner than that. Moveon is organizing “Stop the Swamp” protests this Tuesday. There are protests planned at Senator Cornyn’s offices in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, and Cruz’s office in Houston. Probably many other places in Texas as well (but you have to search by zipcode, it’s annoying).

    https://act.moveon.org/event/stop_trumps_swamp_cabinet/search/

  12. Joel says:

    i do like the 4/15 date though.

    that would be the 8th anniversary of the beginning of the tea party, IIRC.

  13. souperman says:

    Bill, it was so oppressive to trans women that one of the main speakers in Houston was Phyllis Frye and one of the grievances was Dan Patrick’s potty bill. And since when has the Washington Free Beacon cared one whit about LGBT rights? I sense that you went out searching for a smear and found your little nugget of half-truths and full lies, err, sorry, “alternative facts”.

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    @souperman:

    How about a regular old woman who was outraged by the marcher’s behavior? Those freedom seeking marchers felt the best way to achieve their goals was to vandalize and desecrate a statue celebrating…..women, a statue paid for and maintained by, wait for it….women. With friends like these…..

    https://www.facebook.com/brittany.d.elwell?fref=ts

    Britt Dorr Elwell at Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters.
    Yesterday at 2:26pm · Washington ·

    It takes more than donning a vulgar hat, cheering at the sight of pink cabin lights on your Southwest flight and carrying a cheap poster board to convince me you’re a champion for women’s rights. I’ve been a member of two of the oldest non-partisan women’s organizations in our nation since soon after college graduation. I’ve sat on committees, lobbied at the State House, held numerous board positions, supported our wounded veterans, collected clothing for foster kids, sold pins to support schools in Appalachia, fought for the girls being sexually trafficked in our own towns, donated kids books to combat illiteracy, empowered the abused women and children in our shelters, sold cookbooks to fund childhood obesity campaigns, packed supplies for our homeless, the list goes on…

    My advice to all of you gals who feel so marginalized in this great nation is simple…pay it forward. JOIN an organization that is (gasp!) non-political in nature, but simply exists for the sole purpose of doing incredible things on behalf of women and children. Through these organizations I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Republicans, Democrats, black women, white women, career women and stay-at-home moms and guess what? We’ve made a significant impact in our own communities and dare I say, yours as well?

    Some of you left behind these charming posters in “tribute” or “protest” and in doing so desecrated our Founders Memorial at our headquarters in DC. Ironically, the largest building complex privately built, owned, operated and maintained entirely by women in the world. The ladies who volunteer of their personal funds and time to care for our great hall will MARCH out today to clean up your mess. A minor inconvenience, really, as the proud ladies of the DAR have pledged to contribute a minimum of 19 million service hours and $25,000,000 to our endowment fund over the next 2 years.

    Daughters of the American Revolution-Over 950,000 bi-partisan women marching since 1890 including the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Alice Paul, Janet Reno, Rosalyn Carter, Barbara Bush.

    http://www.dar.org/national-society

    The Association of Junior Leagues International-Established in 1901, currently 150,000 bi-partisan women marching in the footsteps of fellow members Sandra Day O’Connor, Laura Bush, Katherine Hepburn, Nancy Reagan, Eudora Welty, Rosalyn Carter, Carolyn Maloney, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

    https://www.ajli.org/

    *Update*
    Here are two videos that can be found on YouTube, one is a live feed of the desecration in progress and another describing the reasoning behind the protest on our grounds. Blue paint has also marred our monument, but they are attempting to make it shine again. Make no mistake, using our beloved Founder’s Memorial as an “effigy” is not furthering the mission for women’s rights. It may surprise you that some Daughters did in fact participate in the women’s march, some who I consider personal friends. Some who like myself, attend our weeklong Continental Congress each summer and take part in the solemn ceremony of laying wreaths at this statue in honor of the women who came before us. You see we are a non-political group of female VOLUNTEERS not activists. Perhaps we’ve been able to accomplish so much good over the past 125 years because our founding daughters had the sense to leave politics at the door? Or in this case specifically, off of our lawn, off of our bushes and off of our lovely statues.

  15. Flypusher says:

    Alternative facts are like lead-there are no safe levels for human consumption.

    It does seem that there’s an official Women’s March backlash troll manual out there, because our friend Bill isn’t the only one I’ve seen making those particular arguments. For example, Curt Schilling’s been making an ass of himself on Twitter with it. It’s a reasonable question as to whether the marches have a long term effect. But even alternative facts can’t hide that there was indeed an intense immediate effect- Boss Tweet got his ego bruised.

  16. Flypusher says:

    “Perhaps we’ve been able to accomplish so much good over the past 125 years because our founding daughters had the sense to leave politics at the door? Or in this case specifically, off of our lawn, off of our bushes and off of our lovely statues.”

    I agree with the second sentence. It’s bad manners to litter, vandalize, etc., so that’s a valid complaint. But the not so subtle hint against political activism? No. Women didn’t get the right to vote by leaving politics at the door. Women and LGBT folks aren’t going to hold on to their rights by eschewing politics and volunteering in non-political organizations.

    More bad logic Bill.

  17. Flypusher says:

    Best reported troll smackdown from the DC March:

    Trumpkin: “If you people had jobs, you wouldn’t be out here doing this mess.”

    Protester: “Bitch, it’s Saturday.”

  18. voter_worker says:

    The DAR have legal remedies available to them pursuant to the vandalism, just as Richard Spencer has regarding his assailant. Two polar opposites governed by one system we call “rule of law” which has been a work in progress during many centuries of politics.