More than 100 women, men and children — most of them wearing bright pink “pussyhats” — gathered in the Edmonds-Woodway High School parking lot Saturday morning to board two charter buses headed for the Womxn’s March in Seattle.
“I just wanted to do something that felt positive and made me feel hopeful,” said Edmonds resident Tana Axtelle about her idea to charter buses from Edmonds to the Seattle event. The Seattle march — which drew an estimated 100,000 people — was a “sister march” to those held in Washington, D.C. and around the world Saturday in support of women’s rights and against the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Axtelle said she had some organizational help from Edmonds residents Elana Shippen and Donna Murphy-Dahlstrom.
“We ordered the one bus and filled it up within 48 hours and then had a waiting list of about 50 soon after that, so we just dived in and ordered the second bus,” Axtelle said.
“And we still had a big wait list,” Shippen added.
Many of those attending knitted their own pussyhats, the name for the bright pink caps that have become the signature apparel for marchers. See background on the pussyhat movement in this story from our online news partner The Seattle Times.
The local marchers had similar reasons for joining the event, expressing their worries about President Trump’s positions on human rights in general, women’s rights in particular, health care and climate change.
“I’m walking because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen,” said Robin Reeves of Edmonds. “A show of unity is really important, and that gives me hope to know that others feel the same way.”
Added Reeves’ friend Kathleen Shaw of Mukilteo: “I think we have to march and I think we have keep marching to make our voices heard.”
The crowd also included several men, among them Jason Toews of North Seattle, who said he chose to participate “because I have a lot of wonderful, smart, brilliant women in my life and they’re terrified by lack of access to health care and the rampant sexism and misogyny that was present during this campaign, most particularly from our new president.”
Edmonds business owner Colleen Bowman said she closed her C’est La Vie stores in downtown Edmonds and Renton since she and many of her customers were planning to attend the march, and the support “has been amazingly positive.”
“There were a couple of people who said, ‘I can’t believe you have a political stance for this, and I said it’s not political to me,” Bowman said. “It’s about people’s rights and the right to be who they are — that’s it.”
Marcher Melissa Johnson of Edmonds — joined by her sister Kate visiting from Vancouver, B.C. — carried a basket of hand-knit pink pussyhats that she was selling, with all proceeds benefiting Planned Parenthood.
Edmonds resident Stacey Hansen was ready to get on the bus with her daughter Ashley Watanabe of Bothell and her two grandchildren, 7-year-old Reghan and 3-year-old Dylan. She said she was worried “about the environment and civil rights and human rights and women’s rights and reproductive rights and climate change. I just don’t feel confident for the next generation.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump “kind of tapped into inner hate and fear,” Hansen said. “I learned a long time ago you make a decision based on either fear or love. And we’re here for love.”
(Photos from the Seattle march are included below, courtesy of Jennifer Marx)
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel