The Electoral College confirmed Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States Dec. 19, but many of the millions who voted against him have not given up hope and they plan to rally in the streets the day after Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 2.9 million voters, making Trump the president who has lost the popular vote by the widest margin in history.
“I’m not consenting and not going to be silent,” says Karen Myers, one of the organizers of the Women’s March in Eugene scheduled for Jan. 21, 2017. The Eugene march is a sister march to the Women’s March on Washington D.C. that same day.
Myers remembers marching in the streets against the war in Vietnam, but she says she has been more of a letter writer than an “out there activist.” But now it’s time, she says, to express her feelings about what’s going on at a federal level. And she’s not the only person who is not a “veteran activist” who has been energized by their worries over Trump’s agenda, she says.
Myers and her fellow organizers say, “We have many concerns about marginalized communities and women’s rights and the hateful rhetoric spewing from the new administration. We recognize the need to stand together and to support each other for safety and security.”
Myers adds that the march is part of pushing back “on an administration that is just not commensurate with what this country is all about.”
According to the official statement from the national organizers of the Women’s March on Washington: “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, native and indigenous people, black and brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault.”
Artist and designer Constance Van Flandern, perhaps best known locally for her stint as a Eugene SLUG queen, is working on the Oregon and Washington D.C. marches. She confirms that the Women’s March on Washington rally location “has been approved by an interagency task force and is now definitively permitted.”
Van Flandern says the march is “a huge, huge amount of work” made up of grassroots efforts spread all over the U.S. She says there are women’s marches planned in 50 States and 30 countries, and “the list is growing.” In Oregon, marches are planned for Eugene, Portland, Bend and Ashland.
Van Flandern, who is handling the Oregon Women’s March’s Twitter feed, says, “We are trying our hardest to make it as diverse as possible: Intersectionality, Black Lives Matter, issues are bubbling to the top.”
She says at this time at least 3,000 people are planning to go from Oregon to Washington D.C. to march. Organizers are expecting at least 200,000 to march the day after Trump’s inauguration but she says estimates may be as high as one million. Marchers are posting videos and pictures to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #whyImarch.
Van Flandern suggests Oregonians interested in marching locally or making the trip to from Oregon to D.C. contact the organizers via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website sites.google.com/womensmarch.com/Oregon. You can also find event pages by searching for “women’s march” on Facebook, she says.
The Eugene march starts at noon Jan. 21 at the U.S. Federal Courthouse, 405 East 8th Avenue, and Myers says the route is to be determined. The national Women’s March on Washington starts gathering at 10 am Jan. 21 at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street southwest, near the U.S. Capitol. To get involved with the local effort, go to Women’s March in Eugene page on Facebook.