I joined 175,000 other Boston area folks at the Boston Common and on nearby streets for the Boston Women's March for America.
According to the organizer's website: "On January 21, 2017, at 11 a.m., we will unite in Boston to march in solidarity with communities most affected by the hate, intolerance and acts of violence being perpetrated throughout the nation—among many are communities of women, immigrants, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA and people with disabilities.
We stand for religious freedom, human rights, climate justice, racial justice, economic justice and reproductive justice. Together, we will send a message to our leaders and the world, that the United States of America stands for values of human dignity, equal rights and freedom from discrimination.
Ours is a peaceful, nonpartisan march." (Mission Statement from their website ).
There were tens of thousands of signs: clever, kind, harsh, thoughtful, thought-provoking, humorous, edgy, you name it..........as varied as our people.
I am filled with hope to realize that acceptance of protest and demonstration is fundamental to our democracy and seemingly revered by all regardless whichever group is in power politically.
Like this young man of today, I was a protester 40-some years past. But unlike this young man, I was tear-gassed, roughed-up, and jailed in Washington D.C. for my efforts. We have come a long way.
As the march route ended back at the Common, the participants placed their signs and placards for viewing along the wrought iron fencing for all to enjoy the thoughtful messages.
It was a beautiful day in Boston - in the middle of winter it was sunny and the temperature rose to almost 60 degrees - perhaps a sign from the cosmos in support of the event? And I managed to walk 14,000 steps today - not all in the march but just walking around also.
Yes, I accepted a free hug - how could I resist that friendly smile. (In the background are many Boston Police officers standing at the ready. News reports afterwards stated there had been zero arrests associated with the event).
For all our issues, I am proud and happy to live in a nation where freedom of speech is still our most hallowed principle. Without it, we are doomed.