January 31, 2017
By Bette McDevitt

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Photo by Rosemary Trump

Rosemary Trump was in the capital both on the day of the Inauguration and on the day of the Women’s March, and she can tell us something about the mood and the crowds.

“On the day of the inauguration, the subway was not crowded at all. Sure, there were lots of red hats for Trump, and as many pink hats opposed to the Trump agenda of attacking women’s rights.” On that first day, Rosemary was a bit more than a spectator; she had volunteered to take part in what might have become civil disobedience, but it didn’t come to that. If it had, it wouldn’t have been the first time for Rosemary. She has stood up, sat down, and laid down for justice many times over the years, so she had time to wander and to observe. “They were actually giving away tickets to the inauguration,” she said, “and I had on an Obama hat and union jacket and I was even given a free ticket. I didn’t go in, but kept the ticket as a souvenir.”

But on Saturday, the “day after,” Rosemary said “it was a different story.” There were so many people at Bethesda Station that they stopped the escalators. It was wall to wall people. I’d say 80 percent women, 20 percent men, and 60 to 70 percent of them young folks. “Let me tell you, hope is alive and democracy is alive. A lot of people had homemade signs, creative, funny and outrageous signs.” Rachel, a young woman working at Luther Place in Washington, told Rosemary that she was so moved by the activity of the young people that she was going back home to New Hampshire to run for local office. She said that she had not thought in terms of a political career, but that there was lots of talk among her young friends now about running for office, even among very young people.

So, in this historic moment, what might be seen as a dark time, Rosemary Trump is here to tell us that “young people are energized and the movement is starting to come together. Labor, youth, women, people of color, and people of different faiths are coming together, and it’s exciting to see!”

 

Bette McDevitt is a member of the NewPeople editorial collective