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Oakland Women's March (22 of 37)
Oakland Women's March (22 of 37)
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"You didn't come to the Women's March Saturday?" Karen was incredulous. "I thought you were a socialist!"

"Social democrat, actually," Sue responded. "Small 'd'. And, no." Another sip of coffee.

"WTF, girl," echoed Marie. "It was awesome. I posted lots of pictures."

"And it was all over the news," added Wanda. "What gives?"

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Sue shook her head. "Hard for me to talk about it. I've been a leftie since I was 16. And, actually, I still think I am. But this left isn't my left. Our 'left' has left me behind."

Marie frowned, "I don't understand."

"Most people don't," sighed Sue. "We're all so polarized now--intentionally, I think--that we feel we have to choose a side. And I don't like the sides they're offering."

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Wanda scoffed, "Women's rights isn't a side."

Sue winced. "I agree, but these protest marches are."

Karen held out a hand. "Let her explain."

Sue pursed her lips. "I haven't changed very much, folks. Not really. I believe in peace, love, and understanding." She shrugged. "I believe in the Constitution, equal rights for all, and a government by the people for the people."

"Amen," said Wanda.

"But?" asked Karen.

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"Not yet," Sue said. "For the people. Medicare for all, good K-12 public schools, free or low-cost college tuition, a $15 minimum wage with inflation adjustments, jobs for everyone, worker participation and organization, housing and shelter for all, a renewed infrastructure, reasonably priced medications, the end of the prison industry, legalization of drugs, financial support and food stamps for the poor--

"So do we." Marie still looked puzzled. "Good luck keeping any of those things under Trump."

"Keeping?" asked Sue. "Anyway, I'm not done yet. A government that exists to care for its people, first and foremost. And, wait," she held up a hand, "above all, peace. The end of imperialism--and the strict control and moderation of capitalism, if not its burial completely. That is my left."

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Jill Jackson is a writer, mother, wife, military veteran, and hard-core pacifist and liberal. She swallowed the red pill after 9/11.

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