Women’s March in Redding

I’ve been a little depressed since November 9, like drink-gin-straight-out-of-the-cat-dish depressed, and also a little angry. More than a little angry, actually. I had a fantasy in which modern-day Edward R. Murrows and Joseph N. Welchs arose and put a stop to what I have been calling The Thing That Happened on Friday. I had darker fantasies that are better left unrevealed.

My friends, both online and real life, felt the same way too. After the grief began to subside, people began to talk about how to take action. Many planned to march, either in Washington DC or in their hometowns. Realizing that The Thing That Happened was now An Actual Thing, and spending the next four years in a coma not a practical option, I started looking – not with any real hope – for a march in Redding.

It was only after Googling “women’s march near me” that I found womensmarch.com and was able to sign up for the Redding march. My confirmation email said there were over 100 RSVPs, which amazed me. I was further amazed when I looked at the list of marches worldwide – Botswana! Latvia! Cayman Islands! Two in Antarctica! If they can march in Antarctica, I can march in the Northern California rain!

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My husband and I had to park around on the right side of City Hall. It looked like more than 100 people under the portico with more streaming in. We met friends and relatives; we talked to strangers who all seemed to be happy just to be among others who felt like they did: afraid but resisting, strength through mutual support. There were a lot of pussyhats. People carried homemade signs reading, “Protect what you love” (with a drawing of the Earth), “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damentals,” “I believe in equal, civil, human rights for all,” “Stronger together.”

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I started feeling like maybe the world wasn’t going to end. Not right away, anyway. Not as long as these people were on duty.

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We marched from City Hall up to Bechelli and back again. I thought we might get a lot of jeers and debris thrown from passing cars, but 99% of the response was positive, waving, smiles, and celebratory horn beeps. Erin Rice Berenger wrote on Facebook, “2.4 miles with 300 people in the cold rain, and believe me, old white dude that flipped me off, you only made me laugh and smile bigger.”

I realized I had been smiling for one and a half miles. It was revitalizing to be surrounded by people who didn’t dismiss my anguish as being a “crybaby loser,” but who understood how very afraid I have been feeling.

It’s helped. I know a march by itself won’t change anything, but hundreds of marches with millions of participants, with thousands of letters and phone calls, cannot be ignored. There are those who would say, “You’re wasting your time and not accomplishing anything. What a bunch of hypocrites” – I would say, “People are re-energized and connected, and are beginning to unite in support of the causes we believe in, while cynicism doesn’t accomplish anything at all.”

Ruth Hendrickson turns 86 in March; she marched with her daughter and granddaughter. “I went because it was not a protest march, it was a coming together march. I don’t agree with everything, but I think we have to stand together. We have to be united. I’m not for Trump and I didn’t vote for Hillary either, but we have to support each other.”

Photos and video by Barbara Rice.

Barbara Rice
Barbara Rice is anewscafe.com's administrative assistant. She grew up in Igo listening to the devil's music, hearing tales of WWII, and reading James Thurber and Mad Magazine while dreaming of traveling to exotic lands. She graduated from the old Igo School, Shasta High School, Shasta College, and San Francisco State University. She's been told she's a bad influence and that makes her very happy. She tweets, travels, and spoils cats. There's a dance in the old dame yet.
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30 Responses

  1. Deb says:

    Seeing all the marches around the world has been such a wonderful thing.  Thank you for sharing your experience, Barbara.  One of my friends who marched in D.C. said it was similarly uplifting and energizing – and peaceful, too.  I think that one of the most important things about these marches has been the assurance that actually, we aren’t alone in our  feelings and fears as women.  Also that people can do amazing things when it matters deeply to them.  I hope that all good things come from this beautiful beginning.

    • Alexa says:

      You are so right Deb.  I’ve been trying to turn a blind eye to this awful mess ever since it became inevitable.  The ugliness of what has been dug up is overwhelming.  I thought most people in this day and age would just naturally recognise and turn away from this enigma who is DT, but the very fact that that did not happen has been the most shocking aspect of this whole phenomenon.  Barbara has so succinctly put into words the way I feel too, so, thank you so much Barbara, you have afforded a wee bit of relief here by your piece.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I’m very proud of Shasta County Thanks to the women and men who showed up in the rain.  I feel more hopeful after seeing enormous crowds of peaceful citizens making their concerns known. Watching solidarity from the world was also  very emotional. It’s amazing how the rest of world sees what many in our own country don’t or won’t.

  3. Matthew Grigsby says:

    I was occupied with other commitments during the march but when I got home I was astonished to see my Facebook feed utterly filled with photos of marches all over the country. At least 25 of my friends marched in different events everywhere. It filled me with hope that perhaps we’ll come out the other side of 2020 even stronger!

  4. George says:

    Barb, I enjoyed reading your story.  Thank you and I thought it was well written from the heart.

  5. trek says:

    I live in a state where President Trump stomped on the competition. Yet my town, almost the same size as Redding had over 1200 marchers. So it seems you can still support our newly elected president and also send a strong message to him to think before he speaks or twitters.

  6. Anita Lynn Brady says:

    One of my daughters marched in Canberra, Australia with hundreds of others on the 21st, and my other daughter had escort duty early in the morning for a Queens Woman’s Clinic (her ongoing volunteer duty). I attended the ACLU speaking event in the afternoon by renowned SF defense attorney Tony Serra. He highlighted why jury trials are an endangered species and its consequences. That was an eye-opening and depressing topic for sure. But motivating to not accept the status quo.

    • Anita Lynn Brady says:

      PS– there was no media at the ACLU event though it was really well-attended.

      • I always wince a bit when I hear someone say the media wasn’t present at whatever/wherever.

        I confess I feel defensive.

        But the thing is, speaking for A News Cafe.com, we’re small and have a limited budget to keep this ship afloat and pay reporters.

        People say they want coverage, but without more funding, we can only do so much. Even so, I will point out that a few weeks ago we posted information on A News Cafe.com about Tony Serra coming to Redding. That was the best we could offer at this time in the way of coverage. I would like to think that that, in part, was why the event was well-attended.

        • Beverly Stafford says:

          And if every person who views/comments/learns from/enjoys A News Cafe.com would contribute financially, there would be more money to pay more reporters to attend more functions.  Donating the price of a dinner out or a couple of cups of coffee would help immensely.

        • K. Beck says:

          I seem to remember there is a TV station here in town! And numerous radio stations. I don’t think that comment was aimed at you.

          Perhaps you could get some interns from Shasta College? Or even some of the high schools? Back in the dark ages, when I was in high school, we had a school paper and the students did all the writing. I bet there are students who would love to work as reporters and maybe get some credit at school for their effort?

  7. Dodie says:

    Can someone please tell me……If Hillary had been elected President, would these marches have taken place?

    • Rod says:

      Yes they would.  I’ve lived through more than 10 presidential changes.  People always march.  I hope it will always be.  The hope for change is alive and doing very well.

      Let’s Make America Great Again.

       

    • Denise O says:

      Dodie, I think not for this particular cause. Hillary has never in my earshot, talked about reducing health care for women’s health. In fact, she was the only candidate who spoke of putting back child care so low income women could return to work.

      President Trump, after his election, toned down his talk of walls – suddenly they are now fences.  But he’s not lost any of his ripping campaign rhetoric on defunding Planned Parenthood or backing off Roe V Wade. All things that all women – five million plus across the world in fact – should care about. I for one don’t want to see what it’s like to lose it.

      I hope he’ll recognize that now that he is in this seat, he has a BIG constituent base who isn’t going to go along with this. I feel this is quite non partisan in fact. Far too simplistic to say that all republicans are anti-abortion. I don’t buy that.

  8. Elle says:

    Yep, it helped – all over the place it helped and laid groundwork for what we have to do.

  9. Barbara Stone says:

    I had to work but I’m so proud of all the Shasta County residents who came out for such an historic and uplifting event. I, too, feel energized by the people who are not sitting idly by while we march into the darkness. We have worked too long to give up our hard-won rights to give up now. We have only begun to fight and fight we will!

  10. denise says:

    Five people and I went to Chico’s March. The sun was out, everyone could be themselves where they are. A few held satirical meanish signs but far and away the signs were lovingkindness.

    We know how many did vote Democratic this past season but seeing them in the flesh is pure comfort and quite motivating.

    I can see clearly now.

  11. A. Jacoby says:

    I think the salient fact here, as stated above, was that these marches were NOT protest marches. They were marches of connection, support and solidarity that stated, unequivocally, we will not stand by silently and watch our rights get stomped on. It was a reaffirmation activity and let us each know we are not alone in our own bubbles . The reports from around the world were, indeed, a ray of hope. God bless us, everyone.

  12. Beverly Stafford says:

    Of all the things Trump has said he will do – but hasn’t stated how he plans to accomplish any of them – I think the one that gives me most pause is who he will appoint to the Supreme Court and whether Roe vs. Wade will be repealed.  Will Trump and the Supreme Court listen to those hundreds of thousands of peaceful marchers who came out in force for women’s rights?

  13. Jan Grantham says:

    Thanks Barbara for your great writing.  I have been in a fetal position for 3 months so I missed that Redding even had a march.  How great is that?  Gives me new hope.

  14. K. Beck says:

    Marching is a fine thing to do!

    Writing a letter, or making a phone call, will result in change. We have seen that work once already regarding the House Ethics Committee: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/02/politics/office-of-congressional-ethics-oversight-of-ethics-committee-amendment/. “But a public outcry, as well as Trump’s tweets, led to the language being dropped….”The pressure was building in the press and from constituents this morning regarding the way the reforms were put into place last night. Early this morning it became clear we would have a vote problem on the floor with this amendment. Leadership called a special all-conference meeting where it was agreed to by unanimous consent to strip the amendment,” the aide said.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————-

    I have a contact in a MOC’s office who says on line petitions are a waste of time. Individual letters written to the MOCs local office (NOT DC) and phone calls to the local office are best. If it is a last minute thing, call the DC office. Or send an e-mail. You cannot sent e-mail to a Member who is not YOUR member. The e-mail will not be accepted. They only accept e-mail from people living in their district. You will have to resort to a phone call or letter (again, NOT sent to DC).

    ———————————————————————————————————————————-

    First thing you see on our MOC’s website http://lamalfa.house.gov:

    LaMalfa Ready to Work with President Trump

    Jan 20, 2017 Press Release

    (Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) after attending the Presidential inauguration ceremonies, issued the following statement as Donald Trump was sworn in to become the 45th President of the United States.

    LaMalfa said: “I am very pleased to welcome the Trump family to Washington, D.C. and the White House. After eight difficult years, I look forward to the opportunity to work with President Trump to accomplish big things for California and for all of America. That all the typically extravagant inauguration festivities have been drastically scaled back compared to recent years is evidence that this Administration will be focused on taking action. We will work together to bring back jobs, improve our nation’s infrastructure, replenish our military and defense capabilities, and provide better and truly affordable health care options for all Americans, especially for the hard working families that are footing so much of the burden now.”

    NO RUBBER STAMPS!

    Contact page: http://lamalfa.house.gov/contact

    Redding District Office

    2885 Churn Creek Rd.

    Suite C

    Redding, CA 96002

    Telephone: (530) 223-5898

    Fax: (530) 223-5897

    Oroville District Office

    2862 Olive Highway

    Suite D

    Oroville, CA 95966

    Telephone: (530) 534-7100

    Fax: (530) 534-7800

    Auburn District Office

    2399 Rickenbacker Way

    Auburn, CA 95602

    Telephone: (530) 878-5035

    Fax: (530) 878-5037

  15. Linda Jones says:

    I read that many were energized by the marches. Many of us were energized by what happened on the steps of the United States Capital.

  16. cheyenne says:

    1200 marchers showed up in Cheyenne while a reported over 10,000 showed up in Denver.  This is significant as both Wyoming and Colorado will be electing new governors in 2018.  Several Democrats have already announced their candidacy in Colorado while the presumed new governor of Wyoming is expected to be retiring Wyoming representative Cynthia Lummis.

  17. Frank Treadway says:

    Now’s the time to haunt LaMalfa’s offices in Redding, Oroville & Auburn. {notice he closed his Chico office, too many ‘complainers’}. I’m told a visit to LaMalfa will take place the week of  January 23rd. Stay tuned. The 300+ that showed up in Redding are ready to let him know it’s time to keep his hands off our beeswax.

  18. David kerr says:

    Weather was a factor in Redding turnout.

  19. K. Beck says:

    “The dollar is not stronger with another ten trillion in debt looming over it.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble,  but it was Ronald Reagan who started the slide down the deficit rat/black hole. It fits into the right wings “starve the beast” philosophy. Seems to me if people get elected to office with their main goal of destroying the government it should be considered treason. But as far as I can tell that doesn’t constitute treason.

  20. Melissa says:

    I went to the Sacramento March and was very proud to hear from my boyfriend who attended the Redding March that 300+ people were peacefully expressing thoughts and concerns in Redding. The Redding March was planned a week prior and think the turnout was fantastic. I truly believe that we will see a snow ball effect in Redding. As my dear friend says…”Make America Think Again!”.

  21. Richard says:

    Voltaire would approve.

     

    From the Washington Post:

    My favorite signs at the Women’s March on Washington

    By Dana Milbank January 21

    Some were vulgar, others were angry. Most were earnest. These were my favorite signs at Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington:

    #FreeMelania
    No Country for Dirty Old Men
    Sad!
    Resistance is Fertile
    Too Worried to be Funny
    If Mom’s Not Happy, Nobody’s Happy
    I Have a Vagenda
    Manchurine Candidate
    Orange Is the New Fascism
    There Is So Much Wrong It Cannot Fit on This Sign
    Super Callous Fragile Ego, Trump You Are Atrocious
    Super Callous Fascist Racist Extra Braggadocious
    Actuaries Against Repeal and Delay
    Leave it to the Beavers
    Viva la Vulva
    (Older woman’s sign:) I Can’t Believe I’m Still Protesting This S—
    J Edgar Comey
    (On image of President Trump as a scarecrow:) If He Only Had a Brain
    (On a drawing of ovaries:) Grow a Pair
    This P—- Grabs Back
    Donald You Ignorant Slut
    Melania, Blink Twice if You Need Help
    Impeach Trump, Convert Pence
    #emoluments
    Sorry World, We’ll Fix This
    (On needlepoint:) I Made This So I Could Stab Something 35,000 Times
    Patriarchy is for D—-
    There Will Be Hell Toupée

    Update, 5:30 p.m.: A few more from your responses on social media:

    We Want a Leader, Not a Creepy Tweeter.
    HARDLY ANYONE MARCHED. FAILURE. SAD.
    (Beneath a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag:) Don’t Pee on Me
    1968 is Calling. Don’t Answer
    Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Czar/ Putin Made You What You Are
    Fact Checkers of the World, Unite!
    I know signs. I make the best signs. They’re great. Everyone agrees.
    I (heart) Journalists.
    Vaginas Brought You Into the World. Vaginas Will Vote You Out.
    I Wish My Uterus Shot Bullets So the Government Wouldn’t Regulate It
    (On photo of Meryl Streep): What She Said.
    I’m Quite Unhappy.
    We Shall Overcomb.

  22. lisa says:

    Hey there’s my dog!

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