I’m taking part in the San Luis Obispo Women’s March on January 21, one of many marches taking place that day, internationally. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-march-san-luis-obispo-registration-30208514480 It’s touted not as a protest, but rather as an event to show solidarity for women’s issues. Still, the timing of the event, following the U.S. President’s inauguration, speaks volumes. Take a look at some of the signs women will carry:
Now, I’ve always been a fighter as a teacher and principal. I remember one time when I led a teacher protest in my school to prevent an architect’s rendition of a remodel to be implemented. The teachers prevailed, but the fight was a draining, contentious one, creating rifts we struggled to mend afterwards.
But it’s the public march/protest I’m talking about here.
I started to think about the times I’ve marched in public, holding up my sign to passing motorists and smiling when I got a honk from a car horn signaling solidarity. I thought you might want to traipse down memory lane with me. When have you carried a sign out in public and stood/marched for a cause?
On my college campus (St. Olaf, a Lutheran affiliated school with only 2,000 students), we protested against the Viet Nam war a couple of times. These were polite, low key events; a Northfield, Minnesota second-string reporter might have recorded the occasions. First-stringers were busy at the University of Minnesota, and in the city of Minneapolis taking pictures of the more rabid protests against the war.
My other ‘marches’ in my life, were all about fighting for decent teaching salaries: Teacher strikes. When state budgets took a hit, teacher salaries were the easiest (and sometimes only) place where belt-tightening was possible for the local government. We couldn’t stand by and watch classroom sizes burgeon and programs drop by the wayside. I may have marched six times in my teaching career, persuading the community to raise pay. In all cases, we were able to boost our paychecks a little bit, anyway.
I give money to causes and I’ve signed a few petitions in my time, but I haven’t marched since I was a high school teacher. (When I was a principal I was part of administration so I couldn’t march, even though I was for enhanced teacher pay.)
So I’m curious. Did you march/protest out in public in your past? When was the last time you did so, and for/against what cause?
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