Resist is now persist.
And as the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington nears, positive action groups based in Middleburgh and Cherry Valley are coming together for the Women’s March II, Saturday, January 20 in Cobleskill.
Thursday, more than a dozen volunteers from both groups got together at the Green Wolf in Middleburgh—many of them meeting for the first time—to work on banners, pink “pussy” hats, posters, and oversized puppets.
The 2016 Women’s March drew an estimated two million people worldwide and about 350 to Cobleskill, rallying as a way to draw attention to President Donald Trump’s comments on women, the environment, LGBT rights, and more.
Since then, Rural Awakening and its neighbor to the east, Blue Streak, and Positive Action Cherry Valley have hosted a variety of events focused on bringing about political change.
They’ve hosted films and speakers, organized Earth Day events and parades, canvassed local voters, gathered for pot lucks, and even had members run for office.
The march on January 20th—really a rally—will continue all of that said Theresa Heary of Middleburgh, a Rural Awakening member and one of the event’s organizers.
“If everyone does a little, we can change the world,” said Ms. Heary, taking a break Thursday from stamping posters to advertise the event.
“So much of what’s going on now, just isn’t right. We need to work to change things and we’re hoping to inspire people to speak out. This is our voice and it’s bigger than us.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the room, longtime activist Elliott Adams from Sharon Springs and a member of Positive Action Cherry Valley, worked with Blue Streak’s Jean Burton on adding another layer of paper mache to the head of Lady Liberty.
The Cherry Valley group created oversized puppet Gaia for its Earth Day event and followed up with Uncle Sam for a July 4th parade in Springfield.
Both Gaia and Uncle Sam will be joining Lady Liberty in Cobleskill.
“It’s really an eye-catching way to make a point,” said Mr. Adams of the puppets.
“They draw in kids—really, people of all ages. And then we can begin to have a conversation.”
Sue Spivack of Cobleskill, another veteran activist and with Mr. Adams and Cindy Campbell of Cherry Valley, one of the organizers of the ’16 rally, was another who showed up Thursday to help.
She said she was thrilled—and gratified--to see how it’s grown.
“Look at all of these young people,” she said. “It’s a grassroots groundswell. More and more people are realizing what’s at stake here—our country and our democracy…I felt total gratitude when Theresa contacted me…”
The rally will take place in Cobleskill’s Veterans’ Memorial Centre Park, near the theater, and run from 1-3pm.
Though plans are still coming together, Rev. Sarh Litzner of Zion Lutheran Church, Cobleskill will be the featured speaker.
Last January, Women’s March organizers said they’d have been thrilled with a crowd of 50. Instead, they got seven times that.
“Who knows what we’ll see this time,” said Julia Walter of Cobleskill, who was there—and in Middleburgh Thursday.
“All I know is that that was my daughter’s first rally and she’s still talking about it.”