“Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”—Martin Luther King Jr. in his final speech. He delivered it on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, …
“Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.”—Martin Luther King Jr. in his final speech. He delivered it on April 3, 1968, at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. The next day, he was assassinated.
The very first concern of our nation’s founders as they fashioned the Bill of Rights was Amendment I of the U. S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
I’m proud to say that three generations of women in my immediate family—wife, daughter, granddaughter—will be among those from Jefferson County joining the women’s march in Seattle on Jan. 21, the day following Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Seattle demonstration (and those in other cities) will be in solidarity with the national Women’s March planned for Washington, D. C., the same day.
And yes, the Camfield women will be wearing pink “pussyhats.” They are being knitted as I speak.
All women, femme, trans, gender non-conforming, and feminist people are invited to march, which is aimed at peacefully demonstrating support for those who have been marginalized by the recent election. Men and boys are welcome.
National organizers released an official statement, outlining their vision. “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,” they wrote. “We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” they added.
Everyone who supports women’s rights is invited to participate in this event, wherever it is organized. And if I weren’t so damned old and infirm, I’d be there with my family. The Camfield women already have hotel reservations for two nights.
Some 200,000 women are expected to assemble in front of the nation’s capitol building, and they also will include some from our area. It appears there will be marches of solidarity in at least 150 other large cities, and we’ll just have to wait and watch the news on that. I’ll certainly have my TV tuned in on Jan. 21—and also be awaiting my daily paper the next morning.
Donald Trump can tweet all he wants about this event, but he will find that it avails him squat. I sincerely hope the media, which he holds in such disdain, will do their usual fine job in covering this event. It will drive Donald into one of his frenzies over his inability to prevent the press from informing the public of just what’s going on—whenever it doesn’t gild his personal lily.
BY THE WAY—about that sit-in of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe and friends back in North Dakota. When the Army Corps of Engineers gave the final OK for completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline for crude oil last July, the tribe began a petition over concern for its threatened water supply, the despoliation of sacred lands, etc. Land involved originally was Indian land by treaty in 1851, but subsequent “amendments” have shifted borders at the government’s convenience. Along about late November, thousands of activists—including Black Lives Matter and two thousand military vets traveled from throughout the country to stand in solidarity with the Sioux. They refused to disperse and on Dec. 4, the Army Corps announced it would seek an alternate course for the pipeline.
HOWEVER, president-elect Trump announced that he had chosen for the country’s Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the sometimes-forgetful former seeker of the Republican candidacy, who had at that time proposed elimination of the very Energy Department that he will head. And not only that, Perry sits on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline. Trump until recently held stock in the company. Protestors are settling in for a tough winter—and will continue to receive back-up logistic support from kindred souls around the nation.
Free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. All are being spotlighted here by freedom of the press. Standing Rock is a great illustration of our First Amendment in action. As will be the nation-wide Women’s March.