Marching in 1969 against the Vietnam War: Marching now with the Women’s March in Washington

Interviewed at the Sundance Film Festival, by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program, “Democracy Now,” Al Gore said, “We are seeing a citizen action mobilization that is as big as anything we have seen since the Vietnam War.“

Back in November 15, 1969, I attended the Washington March Against the Vietnam War.  It was huge, about a quarter of a million.  The Women’s March surpassed it by many millions and was much more diverse.  Here’s how it looked to my husband and me.

Link and I rode the Metro to L’Enfant Plaza, January 21, starting about 8:45 am.  We were on our way to the Holiday Inn to join the Friends of the Earth, Climate Justice group.  As it turned out, when we arrived at the Inn after an alarming Metro ride, packed in like sardines, no one there knew anything about Friends of the Earth.  So we were on our own.

With both of us carrying our walking sticks, we were given special treatment.  People wanted to take our photo, asked if we were all right, and thanked us for joining the March.  We were grateful and touched by the attention.  A hallmark of this March was the courtesy and camaraderie of the participants.  There was a feeling of “we know why we are here and it’s the right thing to do.”

Even though we arrived fairly close to the beginning of the rally, the crowd was already so dense we could get no where near the speakers’ platform — we just stood and mingled with the enormous multitude, carrying homemade signs expressing their deep indignation about the words and policies of our new President.  It was a very diverse crowd, many wearing pussy hats. There were lots of young men as well as young women, families with children, elderly folk, people in wheel chairs, African-Americans, Muslims, and others.

When the weather began to turn cold and we had been standing in the crowd for some 3 and a half hours, we decided that the organizers were not going to be able to get that huge mass of people into marching order.  It was time to go home ahead of the crowd. We walked back to Union Station in front of the Capital, encountering thousands who were still streaming in from all the side streets.

After the dystopian version of our nation presented by President Trump in his inaugural address, the Woman’s March was a breath of sanity, whatever the Republicans may want to say to twist the proceedings into something sinister.

Arrested in October, protesting at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, actress and activist, Shailene Woodley, vowed to continue to resist.  At the Sundance Film Festival, she urged Robert Redford, festival founder, to cut ties with Sundance sponsor ad pipeline funder, Chase Bank. “We don’t have time for apathy,” she said.

And so say we,

Alice and Lincoln Day

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