Though I'm posting this on my Salem Political Snark blog, there's not going to be anything snarky in what I say about last Saturday's Salem Women's March.
The rally and following march through downtown Salem was the most inspiring political event I've ever been to. And that includes Barack Obama's 2008 campaign stop in Salem.
A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. So rather than blab on about why the Salem Women's March was so freaking fantastic, I encourage you to take a look at a web page I made about the event using Adobe Spark.
Click on the image below and you'll be led to some of my favorite photos, six videos, a speech by City Councilor Cara Kaser, and, yes, some of my own words. The pictures -- both still and moving -- really tell the tale of the day, though.
That said, I can't resist saying some more.
Salem has a semi-well-deserved reputation for not being as politically active as our fellow progressive cities in the Willamette Valley: Portland, Corvallis, Eugene.
(By "progressive," I mean that a majority of the citizenry tends to tilt leftward; in Salem, this is most evident in presidential elections, but progressives are poised to take control of the City Council this year if a special election goes the way I hope it will.)
But the wonderful turnout for the Women's March -- on a cold, rainy, windy day -- showed that when people are motivated to turn out, in its own way this town can strongly rock to the beat of citizen activism. In this case, of course, the prime motivation was the election of Donald J. Trump.
The 4,000 or so people who took part in the Salem Women's March clearly were fired up for some local positivity after the depressing national election of a man who is horribly unsuited to be President of the United States.
Coming a day after Trump's inauguration, the rally and march was a breath of fresh air for those, like me, who had been feeling stifled by the prospect of four years of confinement in a Trumpian horror show.
My wife, Laurel Hines, was a co-leader of the Salem Women's March, so we were at the Capitol Mall by 9:30 am to help prepare for the 11 am event. We were one of the last to leave. I saw the speakers up close. I used up all three of my camera batteries taking photos and videos. I've looked at those photos and videos many times.
Yet every time I see them again, I'm re-energized by the wonderful spirit of last Saturday. Like I said, click on the large image above to see what I mean. (Or click here.)
Even though these videos are in the Salem Women's March web page, I can't resist sharing them below also. Because they make me feel so good, no matter how often I've viewed them.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown's opening remarks got the rally off to a great start.
Zyel Crier, daughter of the rally's keynote speaker, Shelaswau Bushnell Crier, sang beautifully and movingly.
The post-march dancing back at the rally site showed me that whatever politicians do in Washington, D.C., we here in Salem, Oregon can party on like it's 2017.