LIFE AREA WOMEN SHARE THE REASON THEY MARCHED.

IN THE MANNER OF
MAYA ANGELOU

You can ban me from the public places
You can take away my signs
You can try to silence my voice
And arrest me for crossing lines

You can spit on me
And call me dirty names
Threaten me with jail
And try to cause me shame

You can rate me with a number
And throw away my rights
You can monitor my menses
And take my body outright

But you forget I have a soul
A spirit that will not cower
My strength beats your malice
My truth is my power

My light blinds your hate
My bonds only make me wise
And as Maya Angelou says
“And still I rise”

The January March on D.C. surpassed anyone’s calculations: over one million women and men were there. In addition, hundreds of cities all over the United States participated—from California, Utah to New York. And over 80 countries took part worldwide, including the countries of Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and African countries putting the total participation at over five million. It became an unprecedented event. And it isn’t over. The women who planned the march continue to keep everyone in touch with action items so that true equality of all human beings will someday be a reality.


NORMA YORK BREMER, MUSKEGON

I marched in London in 1962 for nuclear disarmament; in 1982 in Springfield for the Last March for the Equal Rights Amendment; and now I have marched again but this time for all rights. I am a dual citizenship immigrant but, as pointed out to me by a man a few weeks ago, “you are OK because you aren’t dark”!!. Born into war in England in 1942, I grew up learning firsthand how Fascism/Nazism came to be. Now I see a considerable comparison to the President’s agenda, words and actions and I am afraid. Read the words on the Statue of Liberty and weep.


LORRIE DYKSTRA, LUDINGTON

After the election I was overcome with grief, depression and fear. that such a man could I was devastated. I feared (and still do) that life as I knew it was going to be forever changed. I felt so helpless! When I heard about the Women’s march I immediately signed on. Then I was terrified. I was sure that I would be at the least harassed or even accosted. Many women were saying how much fun this was going to be but fun was the farthest thing from my mind. I did look forward to the bus ride as an opportunity to meet like-minded women and get new ideas and be supported. D.C. sounded really scary.

But from the time we left on Friday until we returned Sunday I knew within this group of wonderful women, I was safe and could find my way. I never really knew in D.C. where I was or which way to go, but I never felt scared or threatened or alone for I was surrounded with people determined to peacefully express themselves and their rejection of this new administration. This was America… our America.

But now the work begins for all of us. There is no option, we all must be involved if we are to safe guard our hard won rights and those of our neighbors and protect American democracy.


MARY HENDON, MUSKEGON

Why did I march?? I have a granddaughter. I want her to earn the same wages for the same work as her brother. I want her to have a planet that is clean, healthy and livable. I want her to have choices about her body. I want her to live in a country where who you love is your choice as well as your gender. I want her to live in a country that recognizes that our country is made of immigrants and is what has made us special. And I want her to live in a country that disrespects misogynistic behavior. And by working for those values for her, I will also be working for the same values for her brother and all the other girls and boys, and men and women in the country and across the world.


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