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March 5, 2017 / thackersam

I Am RallyWoman!

What if you threw a rally and nobody came.

No, I didn’t throw the rally, but when the organizers of New York City’s Not My President Day rally posted that they were calling an emergency rally after it was found that Jeff Sessions lied at his confirmation hearing, I was there, as evidenced by tonight’s picture.

First, let me tell you what a hoot the Not My President Day rally was on Presidents Day. It was a well-organized, all-purpose fight for democracy that, for those of us who climbed over the barricade to get from the street to the sidewalk, was much like a parade highlighting the different issues of the mutual cause. Thousands of people gathered on Central Park West to the north and south of trump’s international hotel. My friend got me to come face-to-face with my fear of humiliation, urging me to swing my old legs over one of the series of metal gates, and although it went relatively smoothly, the potential to look like an ass was there. We watched on the sidelines as ralliers passed with various signs and chants. I’ve mentioned before that I won’t chant stuff like “trump sucks,” even though I believe it to be an understatement, but did call out “This Is What Democracy Looks Like,” in response to the chant leader’s “Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like!”

Near the end, we climbed back over the barricade. Yes, I did it twice. The heel of my boot got caught for a moment on the top of the gate, but I marveled at the ease with which I leaned forward and freed my foot so we could join the last of the passing ralliers. It was swell.

Then on Thursday, the organizers announced that we needed an “emergency rally” at 6:30 that evening. Most responses were “wish I could come,” and “I’ll be there in spirit.” I knew I had to be there in body. That’s my purpose. I am RallyWoman and if necessary will serve as a surrogate, if you will, representing those who cannot attend. I don’t feel as strongly about certain issues as others might, and vice versa, but I object to the whole being. Always have. Throw a rally and dammit, I’ll be there. Well, I’ll try. I’m sure many people have me beat, but in the month since the inauguration, I have attended four protests. This would have been the fifth of the year so far, and I’m counting it. 

The picture? Yep, that was the rally: me (the taller of the two), one of the organizers and the man who took the picture. I later learned that another person was looking for us, but probably after we had already dispersed, peacefully of course. Had the picture-taker not called out to me upon my seventh turn around the park looking and listening for the rally, I would have headed home and the photograph would have only be of the one of three organizers that could make it to their own rally, who arrived with her “Resign” sign moments after we two ralliers found each other. Although it was a cold evening, the sky was clear and there was a sharp crescent moon cutting into it. But I guess the Sessions issue was not as motivating as the need to take immediate action against an immediate action like the airport rallies that popped up spontaneously around the country at the end of January (Go Terminal 4!).

All in all, it was an enjoyable 15 minutes. I learned the term “Sunshine Patriots,” and have a new Facebook friend. I also consider my walk to and from the “rally” to be that evening’s exercise.

As I am RallyWoman, and see many protests in my future, I guess I will have think about being more prepared for anything. So far, so good as each rally, including this last one, have been peaceful, supportive and harmonious. Knock wood. But, while my boots that are very good walking boots, have been fine, I may consider investing in a new pair of sneakers. And a much smaller pocketbook just for these occasions. I carry a massive bag. I just do one at a time until that one drops. Not all have been this big, but none have been under mid-sized. What do you think that says about me? In any case, I should get something more conducive to my new protesting life. In fact, I could start a line of RallyWomen’s-wear, for the practical protester.

I am RallyWoman, and hope I am not the only one. My friends, near and far, are out there, and/or they’re writing postcards and making phone calls (Hey J!). Who are you in this fight for Democracy?

BTW – At brunch today I sneezed, and then heard Alberto call “Bless You, Dahling” from across the room. He knows the particulars of my order, keeps me in coffee, and blesses me when I sneeze. Oh, and he just carried a stroller with baby up four steps for a customer. Just sayin’.

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