-The following first appeared in The Floyd Press on January 26, 2017 with a selection of the below photos.
Nearly 200 people took part in a Woman’s March in Downtown Floyd on Saturday. It was a “Sister March,” held for those who were unable to attend the larger Washington D.C. Women’s March but still wanted to have their voices heard in support of equal rights, women’s rights, health care, public education and environmental protections.
Men, women and children participated in solidarity with marches that were taking place all over the country and the world. Some were first time marchers who held signs in support of civil rights and the funding of Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. Many spoke of friends or family members that had gone to march in Washington, which was reported to have drawn as many as half-a-million people.
“I’m just here for the solidarity with millions of people around the world that feel threatened by this new administration,” said a Brenda Aker (below center) of Wyethville, who came with a group of friends.
The marches are meant to be a sustained campaign. “This is more than just a single day of action, this is the beginning of a movement to protect, defend and advance human rights, even in the face of adversity,” the Washington-based Women’s March Facebook site read.
Mara Robbins (pictured above), one of the Floyd March organizers, briefly spoke to the crowd before they made there way from Dogtown Roadhouse to the Floyd Courthouse, singing and chanting.
“This is a non-violent march. We respect the community. We respect the business owners. We are not combative. We are here to show solidarity and strength, to speak truth to power but to do so with compassion. The universe is on the side of justice and this is about justice. Also, we march to know that we are not alone,” she said.
Marchers came from Meadows of Dan, Woolwine, Fancy Gap, Riner, Christianburg, Wytheville, and mostly Floyd. It was a non-partisan march. “This is not about left or right, it’s about human decency,” one woman said. Sister Marches also took place in Roanoke and Blacksburg.
Fred and Linda Romine (below) traveled from Galax to attend. “He owes his life to Obamacare,” said Linda about her husband. “He’s a cancer survivor and just had a major surgery in UVA in September. That’s why we came.”
A woman from Meadows of Dan expressed her concerns about the direction the country was taking under a Trump presidency. “I wish you’d do this more often,” she said.
“Love Thy Neighbor,” “Health Care Cuts Kill” and “Love Not Hate Makes America Great” were some of the homemade signs marchers carried. A “Pro-Science, Pro-Education, Pro Woman” was carried by a man. Another sign read “I’m With Her” and was displayed next to a picture of Planet Earth.
Men, women and children participated.
Attendees gathered at the courthouse, where they sang songs and held signs.
An interesting sign made at the march by a Meadows of Dan couple (left) made a reference to the Roman Empire, “Nero Has His Fiddle Tuned and We Smell Smoke.”
These three women got creative and wrote their sentiments on the cooler covers.
“We don’t have to agree to be able to get along,” said conservative Tim Boone, pictured with his liberal Facebook friend Anne Hartzell. Boone and a friend were the only Trump supporters that attended the march. Boone sat on the rock wall in front of the Courthouse and watched the activities.
A marcher raises her “Rising Up” sign high. – Colleen Redman