Monday Musings from Melinda by Melinda M.
I’m disappointed. I didn’t end up participating the Women’s March in Hilo on January 21. Many, many people I know did participate in this historic event so I thought I’d find out from one of them what the experience was like. My friend Amy was kind enough to share her impressions with me.Melinda M.: When did you decide you were going to the march and why did you go?
Amy B.: I had seen something come across Facebook and started following it well in advance. I went because I feel that it is important to show up and be counted when our democracy is threatened and when it feels like we, as a nation, are susceptible to going backwards in terms of civil rights.MM: Had you ever been to a march or other kind of public demonstration before?
AB: I went to various marches with my mom when I was in high school, one in NY and one in D.C., although now I can’t remember exactly which marches they were! I think it was at those that I understood the feeling of the importance of representing and being counted.MM: What was the mood in Hilo for the march?
AB: The mood was determined and serious, but in a fun, happy way. You could feel action and determination in the air. The weather was typical Hilo: it went from hard rain, to drizzle, to sun and back. There was a great diversity of people — all ages, all genders, a good cross section of Hilo and environs. And there were a lot of people. I was towards the front of the march and when I got back, there were still people who hadn’t started yet! It felt like at least a 1,000…after the fact I think reports said 1,500.MM: How did the march work exactly?
AB: There were events and speakers at the Mooheau Bandstand starting at 10. The march was set to start at 11:30. We went from the bandstand, up Mamo St., right on Keawe, right on Waianuenue, right on Bayfront and back to the bandstand. I guess there weren’t permits for using the road so we stuck to the sidewalk and conductors would let people cross roads in chunks to allow traffic to move. There were some police but there were also volunteers who were helping to move the crowd.MM: What were your emotions when you left?
AB: I felt sad but hopeful and not alone. I agree with the signs that I saw a few older people carry: “I can’t believe I still have to march for this sh*t”.
MM: True, true. So is there a community online for Hilo participants?
AB: Yes, there is a Facebook page: Women’s March Hilo. It will give you suggestions of things you can do, etc.
Thank you so much for sharing, Amy! And thank you, Hilo, for getting out there and showing your spirit!