A crowd of nearly 75 thumbed their noses at Saturday’s cold wind and threat of rain to participate in the Curry County Triple Women’s March in downtown Brookings.
Similar marches were held simultaneously in Port Orford and Gold Beach, part of the fourth-annual Women’s March nationwide.
After the 90-minute walk, a man was heard to ask out loud, “Was it fun?” The resounding reply from everyone within earshot: “Yes!”
Included in the event were a handful of speeches at the Bankus Fountain, on the northeast corner of 5th Street and U.S. Highway 101.
The Curry County Democrats organized the Brookings march and had been gearing up for weeks, holding sign-making parties and spreading the word. Participants gathered at the organization’s office, at 619 Chetco Blvd., at 10 a.m. Saturday before stepping out at 10:30 to march until noon.
“It was a really vigorous march,” reported Calla Felicity, the Curry County Democrats’ public information officer and secretary.
The Women’s March originated in 2017, on the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency. A crowd numbering in the hundreds of thousands crowded the nation’s capital, a massive protest aimed largely at the Trump administration and the perceived threat it represented to reproductive, civil and human rights.
More than 3 million people in cities nationally and worldwide held simultaneous protests in a global show of support for the resistance movement.
It reportedly was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.
Felicity, who wears numerous hats with the local Democratic organization, led chants from the rear of the marching group in Brookings, bullhorn in hand.
Exclamations yelled by marchers as they looped their way down U.S. Highway 101 to Bankus Fountain and back to the Democrats’ office included “Respect!” and “What Do We Want? Equal Rights!” and “My Superpower Is to Vote!”
At times, the chanting took shots at President Trump, but mostly supported women’s rights.
Motorists honked their horns as the group marched by, with people in cars and trucks waving and giving a thumbs-up as they drove by on Highway 101.
Yet not everyone was supportive of the march. One truck with a Trump for President banner waving from its bed drove by the group multiple times. A couple of people motored by and yelled from their vehicles’ windows, “Trump for 2020!”
“We love you,” a woman marcher yelled back.
Felicity said the march’s participants had reached out to their Republican counterparts inviting them to officially take part. They didn’t hear back, she said.
At the Bankus Fountain, Curry County Democrats chair LauRose Felicity was the first to speak. She implored the crowd to cast their ballots in the state’s upcoming primary election in May. And she made it no secret as to her top Democratic candidate for president.
“Get out and vote. My vote is to vote for Elizabeth Warren. The time is now,” she said, before being drowned out by cheers from the crowd.
Roughly a third of the marchers were men, two of whom spoke at the fountain.
“I’m doing this for her,” said Miles Bradley, pointing to the sign he carried displaying his granddaughter’s baby picture.
“I’m scared,” he told the crowd. “I’ve been scared for a long time about the way this country is going.
“…I really encourage everybody to be very serious about the future.”
Sierra Dameron, representing U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, joined in the march and also spoke. She spent the night in the area and was planning to meet with Curry County Democrats officers during her stay.
“(DeFazio) was not able to be here today, but just know that you can guarantee he will be fighting for our reproductive freedoms, our rights, our right to vote for every single person,” Dameron declared.