Report: The Second Women’s March, Medford (Check out the video!)

The Second Women’s March (Check out the video!)

Looking out over a sea of pink “pussy” hats in Medford’s Pear Blossom Park, Jamie McLeod Skinner proclaimed, “Hopelessness is not an option. What matters is that we have a vision of what we want to do. This is a time for women to claim our future. This is a time for boys and men to stand with us and look to us for leadership.” Skinner, who is running in the Democratic Primary, House of Representatives, District 2 hopes to be Rep. Greg Walden’s challenger in November, 2018. She received a standing ovation from the thousands of people who joined the second Women’s March Saturday morning beginning in Hawthorne Park.

“We are no longer making ourselves look small so as not to intimidate,” Skinner said. Citing Dolly Parton’s saying, “If you don’t like the road you’re on, make a new road,” Skinner said, “We are paving a new road. Women make up less than 20% of Congress. It is time for that to change.” Ticking off a list of the atrocities Congressional Republicans have visited on the country in the last year, Skinner said, “Walden is part of the problem and it’s time to replace him. I will work to build healthy, sustainable communities. I stand on the shoulders of strong women. Our district has a tradition of strong women. We must hope, believe, and do.”

After a lengthy list of “thank-yous” to sponsors and an opening piece by singers from SOU, District 5 Oregon State Rep. Pam Marsh took the microphone to say, “There is no question we are living in strange times. With the cascade of bad news coming from Washington, we have to double down on the real good we are doing at the local level. We have a president intent on defining us by our differences. We understand our collective power to change. And today we defy the forces of hate and seek hope.”

Singing to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” Women With Wings sang, “A woman’s voice how sweet the sound, but now I sing I’m heard and now am free. The revolution starts in a circle rising from the ground.”

Southern Oregon Pride founder Gina DuQuennne echoed Skinner’s gratitude for the strong women who have gone before her. “We have found our voice,” she said, “and speak our truth. We speak with one voice and are here to take America back. There is no limit to what you can do. I’ve chosen to use my anger to fight. Women’s rights are equal rights. We walk away with empowerment, compassion, and unity.” DuQuenne, who had two girls on either side of her, ended by asking them to introduce themselves and called them “our future.”

Jessica Sage, co-founder of ORD2Indivisible, took the stage to ask marchers to join the resistance. “It was our collective resistance that elected Doug Jones in Alabama. Register to vote and then vote. Volunteer with the Neighborhood Leadership Program. Learn to canvass. If everyone here today commits to vote and calls three friends to get them to vote, we will get rid of Walden.” After the cheers died down, Sage continued, “With all the doom and gloom there is a silver lining. People are engaged. The power of the people is stronger than the people in power. Let us continue to build and strengthen until justice prevails. Together in solidarity we will succeed.”

Singer/Songwriter Alice Di Micele took up her guitar in a piece she wrote on New Year’s Day. After beginning with “I grew up in Jersey,” she sang “If we let the sick people lead we will go to their hell. If we follow the kind, we will go to their kind place. The world we leave our children is up to you and me. It’s time we stand up, take this world in our hands, and make it our own. Women are like salmon swimming upstream in the fall.”

Di Micele urged the marchers to join her in a round in which the women sang, “I can’t keep quiet, I’m a one-woman riot,” while others in the audience sang, “Let it out, let it out, let it out now. There will be someone who understands.”

Addie Greene

Ashland

(Check out the video!)

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