This is #8 in my ongoing series*, "Signs of Sisterhood" about the Women's Marches that took place on January 21, 2017, on the heels of President Trump's inauguration. I'm keeping this coverage of this historic event going in order to keep the energy and momentum alive during these challenging times.
My guest today is Seattle resident, Court Crawford, an upright bass player, composer, and transplanted New Yorker, who retired from Microsoft in 2014.
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, Court. You took part in the Women's March on January 21st. Why?
Court Crawford: I participated for several reasons. The primary one is that I believe women's rights are human rights. If any citizens are subject to injustice, then we're all threatened. I'm very concerned about having a confessed sexual predator in the White House; it seems we were finally beginning to breach the important subject of rape culture, which is the first step to evolving beyond it. I wanted to lend my voice to the resistance to let the world know that the majority of US citizens are opposed to rape, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and war mongering. All these issues are connected.
I hope that recognition of the rights of women, and the power of the feminine, will lead to greater awareness of the biosphere as a whole. The stakes have never been greater, with atmospheric CO2 forcing us to deal directly with our addiction to fossil fuels and, by extension, our rape culture of the earth itself. I understand elections have consequences, and concede that there are differences of opinion amongst people of good faith, but I also want to draw the line and not concede the slim gains we have been making as a nation. I participated to let the GOP know that we're not conceding our progressive ideals or agenda just because gerrymandering and the electoral college elected a minority candidate based on campaign lies.
JB: Tell us about the march. Did you go with family? Friends? Was it at all like you were expecting, whatever that was?
CC: I went with a good friend, who is also my housemate. She and I attempted to ride the bus into downtown, but the number of people trying to do so overwhelmed the regularly scheduled bus services. We waited for over an hour for a bus which had been scheduled to arrive every 30 minutes; busses were bypassing the stop because they were already full. One kind man was ferrying people across the bridge in his car - he arrived three times at our bus stop offering rides to the march. One of the people in line for the bus near us called an UberX and there was room for my friend and me so we all rode together to the march. The side streets in Seattle were teeming with marchers, so we got out of the car several blocks from the march route and joined in. Attendance at the march exceeded my expectations. All along the route, I would look ahead and behind and never saw the end of the crowd. It was great to be with such a large public demonstration of tolerance and acceptance for one another.
It felt like a somber yet determined celebration. At one point, a pair of bald eagles circled over the route and the crowd cheered in celebration of what appeared to be support from nature in the form of the national bird. I think it was probably great for local businesses, too. We stopped in to my favorite Vietnamese deli to grab sandwiches and coffee and they were packed. Along the route, I bumped into my eldest daughter, which was a great chance encounter. My son was also marching, but we never came close to them; the crowd was just too large. I was surprised that when the march ended, there wasn't a large stage or something to focus the collective attention on speakers or artists. Chances are that, had there been such a focus point, it would have been overwhelmed. I've seen crowd estimates between 100,000 and 175,000 people. There is no place large enough to hold that crowd in Seattle.