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Locals march in Carbondale, Junction, Denver and D.C.

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By John Colson

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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At roughly the same time as huge Saturday demonstrations take place in Washington, D.C., Denver, and other national and international venues too numerous to count, activists in the Roaring Fork Valley will be engaged in exactly the same kind of activity.

The rallies, aimed primarily at mobilizing women but also open to men, are being held in opposition to the pronouncements, policy proposals and behavior of President-elect Donald J. Trump, on Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.

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Co-sponsored by Alice The Magazine — an online, Carbondale-based magazine that is “by, for and about real women,” according to its website — the march in Carbondale is to begin at 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside The Goat restaurant, at the corner of Highway 133 and Cowen Drive.

It is to proceed south down the sidewalk next to the highway until the marchers reach the roundabout at Main Street, then turn around and march back to The Goat.

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“This is the Alice Women’s March, in collaboration with the giant women’s marches in Washington, D.C., Denver and other places,” said Maura Masters, editor of Alice the Magazine and an organizer of the march.

“It seemed like a good fit,” she continued, “a chance for women to share their concerns and feelings about the upcoming administration.”

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Carbondale, in the November, 2016 presidential election, rejected Republican candidate Donald Trump and voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by an overwhelming margin of 4,060 to 1,890, according to official results from the Garfield County Clerk’s office.

The roughly three-mile stroll, which has been tagged Alice’s March for Women and Land (there is a Facebook page with more information), is expected to take about an hour, leaving plenty of time for participants to get over to The Launchpad, where a related event has been scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

The Launchpad, at 76 S. 4th St. in Carbondale (corner of 4th and Garfield), is “a community space for the arts,” where the Carbondale Arts organization (former CCAH) and the Dance Initiative both have their operations.

With a working title of “Carbondale Unity and Well Being: Somos Unidos,” the event following the march is “meant to be an open forum for everyone who has an interest in social justice issues … for everyone who feels underrepresented” by the incoming Trump administration,” said organizer Illene Pevec, author and instructor at Colorado Mountain College.

The event, described as a “community meeting” by Pevec, is a gathering where participants can listen and sing along to music, take a moment to write notes to local, state and federal governmental representatives about issues of concern, and talk with others about recent developments locally, in Colorado and across the U.S.

According to a message from Pevec, the plan is to have representatives from “different groups that serve the Carbondale area” to be on hand, and she hopes to have representatives from such groups as English in Action, an English language instruction program for immigrants; and the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist church, to talk about their work, expectations for the near future, and ideas about how to volunteer and get involved.

Coffee is to be provided by Bonfire Coffee on Main Street in Carbondale, and other refreshments will be served, Pevec said, though she was still making final arrangements on Monday.

Also involved in Saturday’s events is a relatively new local organization, Save Michelle’s Garden (formed to help preserve the White House garden planted by First Lady Michelle Obama from possible destruction or dilapidation at the hands of Trump and his administration).

“My concern is that it may remain for a while, but it’s certainly not going to be the landmark that it was,” said Bonnie Cretti, a former teacher who came up with the idea for the group.

She noted that the garden is on U.S. Park Service land, and that the Burpee Seed Co. had donated $1.5 million toward preserving the garden, which Cretti hoped would encourage the occupants to do what they can to keep the garden in good shape.

As for the group’s involvement in the Saturday demonstrations, Cretti said there will be Michelle’s Garden representatives in Washington, D.C., Denver, Grand Junction and Carbondale, though she was not sure of the numbers going to each event.

She said she came up with the idea for the group immediately following the election last November, noting: “It was a good focal point for this fledgling political action group. We want to be a voice for the garden and what it represents. It is a concrete example of many things we don’t want to see plowed under.”

Local graphic artist Margaret Mathers has created a logo for the group, and members will hand out seed packets and other material wherever they end up.

Buses to Denver

In addition to participations in local events, dozens of women and men reportedly have signed up to head to Denver on Saturday, where a rally is being planned that could draw as many as 50,000 people, according to one of the rally participants, Laurie Raymond of Glenwood Springs.

Raymond, who owns the High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters in Glenwood Springs, said she originally had hoped to go to Washington, D.C., for a march that might bring as many as a million women or more out onto the streets to declare their opposition to certain Trump policies.

“The rest of my entire family is going to be there from all over the country,” Raymond remarked, adding that is was not practical for her to make the trip (according to news reports, the Washington, D.C. City Council has received applications to accommodate 1,200 buses for rally participants on Saturday, compared with only 200 for the inauguration itself on Friday).

When told there would be at least two chartered buses taking people from this area to the Denver rally,  Raymond said, “I jumped at it.

“I want to go because I am very, very worried about the future of everything I care about the Trump election,” Raymond told The Sopris Sun, adding that the Denver rally, to her, is an opportunity to meet with like-minded Coloradans and to show “a sign of our solidarity” against what they see as a divisive, anti-women and culturally destructive incoming presidential administration.

Published in The Sopris Sun on January 19, 2017. 

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