Interview with Peace Journalist, Bob Koehler
#3 in the "Signs of Sisterhood" series**
My guest today is Bob Koehler, author, activist, and peace journalist.
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome back to OpEdNews, Bob. I understand that you were at the Women's March in Chicago on the day after the inauguration. Why did you attend the march?
Bob Koehler: An inner need to be there countered my Saturday inertia. I knew something big, something important was about to happen and I also felt an aversion to going downtown, dealing with all those people. I didn't leave the house till noon, so I arrived after the rally in Grant Park, but in time to be part of the flow of people marching joyously down Jackson Street to the Federal Building. I knew in my heart I needed to be here, that this was the future breaking loose on the streets of Chicago.
Sign at Chicago March reads: The Future Is Female!
(Image by Yael Brunwasser) Permission Details DMCA
JB: What were you expecting? What did you think you were going to see? I know that the estimates, even by those coordinating the march, were way, way off. Apparently, you weren't the only one fighting their Saturday inertia!
BK: I really didn't know what to expect. I've been caught in the post-election blues, feeling awash in hopelessness, even though I'm an optimist at heart. So I sort of went down there expecting to be disappointed, to see something less than the huge crowds being predicted. I went as a journalist doing his job, without expectation, just to see what was there. When I arrived, I felt something extraordinary. It was an incredible January afternoon, 57 degrees, unbelievably beautiful. And the spirit of the crowd reflected that. As soon as I hit the heart of the event, the thousands or hundreds of thousands of people -- of all ages, all races, lots of men and of course lots and lots and lots of women -- flowing down Jackson, I felt I was in the middle of something brand new, just as the Civil Rights movement was brand new in, say, 1955. There was more here than just opposition to a controversial president. This was about building the world to replace the world that has wound up being led by Trump.
JB: I'm glad to hear that there were lots of men. I was wondering about that. If you hadn't been a journalist, would you have felt as comfortable going there? Even though it was clearly a women-oriented, women-driven event, did you nevertheless feel included?