Signs of the graphic variety were much in evidence, displaying slogans ranging from Washington Post headlines and quotes from Teddy Roosevelt and the Lorax to puns, pleas, rhymes and artwork. Many referenced the Hudson River, and a few pop culture, such as “Climate change is the new Death Star” and “Every disaster movie starts with an ignored scientist.” Perhaps most poignant of all was a very small girl bearing a sign that simply said, “Earth Inheritor.”
The event was organized by a local liberal activist group in response to the congressman’s decision not to schedule any town hall meetings of his own. While it was billed as an educational forum, the event had the flavor of a progressive rally, with songs, chants and action items.
Congressman Faso has decided that large town hall meetings are unproductive, staged and a waste of his own and everyone’s else’s time. I think he’s wrong on every count. These rallies may not represent all the voices of a bitterly divided people, but they are people and they have voices.
Attendees were asked to bring a cardboard box to the event for the construction of a symbolic wall, which was knocked down at the end of the proceedings. The tumbling boxes were intended to signify a rejection of Trump’s exclusionary policies, and an adherence to the traditional American values of inclusion, diversity and equal rights.
As with other recent Hudson Valley demonstrations, the crowd was in good spirits. It seems the very act of coming together temporarily alleviates the kind of anger and anxiety that thrives in isolation and on social media.
Roughly 1,000 people protested outside Republican congressman John Faso’s Kinderhook office and home last Saturday. If the mood that had driven the crowd to the congressman’s doors was grim, the protest itself was a peaceful, even buoyant affair.
The Women’s March on Washington’s New York Upstate/Hudson Valley Chapter (WMWNY) sent 53 buses, and coordinated another 103 buses ranging from the Canadian border to the lower Hudson Valley, all full of men, women and kids to the nation’s capital on Saturday, Jan. 21 to march in one of largest protests in American history.
Originally the plan for the Women’s March on Woodstock was to stick to the sidewalks. But when police saw the size of the crowd assembling in front of the community center, they decided they had to shut down the streets for the marchers, as an estimated 1000 to 1500 people gathered to march for the rights of women and minorities.
As I boarded the 3:45 a.m. bus, sign and protein bars in tow, I felt as if I was embarking on a covert mission.
This morning, as hundreds of thousands convened on Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington, scores of smaller”sister marches” were held across the country – including on the Walkway Over The Hudson between Poughkeepsie and Highland and in Woodstock.