The federal government may be shut down, but the voices of the people aren’t. That was the stated message of many of the roughly 500 people who turned out Saturday for the second Women’s March in Carbondale.
The march was held in conjunction with Women’s Marches around the country, including Washington, D.C., on the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It also came the day after the U.S. Senate failed to reach an agreement to extend government funding, effectively forcing a halt to all but the most essential government functions.
Around the region, marches were held in Grand Junction and Denver. Aspen had a combined march and ski event.
“It’s a good representation of our community; men, women, children, dogs … people are happy to find a place where they can share their frustrations and fears with people who understand,” said Maura Masters of Alice online magazine, organizer of the Carbondale march.
The local event, like the sister marches across the country and the inaurgural event last year, called attention to women’s issues and social justice issues in general.
“I’m here today to support, as Trump stated, his first anniversary present from the Democrats,” marcher David Bernhardt said of efforts by Democrats in Congress to insert into the government extension measure protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.
Trési Houpt, a Glenwood Springs resident and former Garfield County commissioner, now serves on the board for the pro-choice group NARAL Colorado. She marched in Denver last year, an event that drew some 50,000 people, and wanted to bring her voice to the grassroots level this year.
“I do think a lot of progress is being made at all ends of the country, but we can’t be complacent,” Houpt said. “We have to continue the message, and it’s an election year so people need to be aware of what’s going on.”
Erin Grey of Carbondale joined the local march with her daughter, Katie Walker, who marched in Washington, D.C. last year.
“I’m here to support the people who support the values that I believe in, which are all about equal rights,” Grey said.
Added Walker, “I think people are more willing now to come out and say something.”
The Carbondale march doubled as a “March with Sandra” event, in honor of Sandra Lopez, a mother of three who is taking sanctuary in a Carbondale church parsonage as protection from possible deportation. Several march participants continued on to hear Lopez speak on the front porch of her sanctuary home.
“I’m happy to have the support of a lot of really beautiful people that I believe are angels for me,” Lopez said. “It gives me much encouragement to be able to continue on. If I triumph in this, it will not only be my triumph, it will be for all of the community.”
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