Here’s hop­ing the message gets through

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Rus­sell Wanger­sky Rus­sell Wanger­sky is TC Me­dia’s At­lantic re­gional colum­nist. He can be reached at rus­sell.wanger­ — Twit­ter: @ Wanger­sky.

I write many opin­ion pieces — eight or more a week. I talk a lot, too. But when it comes to the re­cent Women’s March, I think the im­por­tant thing isn’t writ­ing about it or talk­ing about it. Not for me, not for politi­cians. I think per­haps the im­por­tant thing, when you have three mil­lion peo­ple marching in the United States — five mil­lion world­wide — is per­haps to lis­ten in­stead.

I’ve put to­gether a small, hope­fully rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of com­ments from dif­fer­ent me­dia, all made by or­di­nary marchers in Washington and other cities. You can get an idea of what peo­ple feel so strongly about.

Like 30-year-old Mon­ica Mark, who came to Washington from Is­tan­bul: “I’ve seen de-de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion play out first-hand. Trump is a pop­u­lar au­thor­i­tar­ian, and to see him win is ex­tremely con- cern­ing,” she said. “It’s up to us to ap­ply pres­sure and tell the gov­ern­ment that there’s a limit to how much it can get away with.”

There’s 36-year-old Les­lie Synn from New York, who marched for her daugh­ter: “I couldn’t imag­ine her be­ing a teenager and the coun­try still be in a de­bate whether she has the right to con­trol her own body.”

Erin Boy­lan of Scran­ton, Pa.: “I am an­gry. I am scared for women’s rights, for my health care, for a woman’s right to choose, and I thought the best place to be was in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal.”

“Women de­serve bet­ter — women of all col­ors, back­grounds and re­li­gions,” said univer­sity ju­nior Lau­ren Eaves at a march in Raleigh, N.C. “When you have some­one who’s been elected as the leader of the free world... who re­in­forces ca­sual misog­yny and sex­ism, you’ve got to put your body some­where where your body is go­ing to be seen and your voice is go­ing to be heard.”

“I’ve been fight­ing for women’s rights for over 50 years,” said Rose­mary Lynch, a vol­un­teer from Raleigh. “I can’t be­lieve we are still do­ing this.”

In Hal­i­fax, Chris­tine Moreau said, “It’s re­ally im­por­tant we show our sup­port and also show that even though the elec­tion did hap­pen not ev­ery­one shows sup­port for what is hap­pen­ing,” Moreau said. “I hope we don’t nor­mal­ize this idea that (Trump) is per­pet­u­at­ing. We can’t al­low it to con­tinue.”

“It’s giv­ing me goose­bumps. It’s phe­nom­e­nal. I’ve al­most, for a split sec­ond, wanted to say thank you to Trump for causing these peo­ple to unify and stand up and raise aware­ness to hu­man rights… and mak­ing peo­ple come to­gether in such a pos­i­tive, lov­ing car­ing way,” Diane Fukami said in Cal­gary. “I’m just pro hu­man de­cency and re­spect and sup­port women and mi­nori­ties.”

Also in Cal­gary: “We want to make sure that our lit­tle girl grows up in a world where women are re­spected — it’s pretty much a sim­ple as that,” Marek Jacina said.

“Women need the right to have rights over their bod­ies and it’s scary what’s hap­pen­ing down there. I don’t want to see any of that trick­ling up here to Canada,” Sarah Krose said, also in Cal­gary. “I want my lit­tle girl to grow up in the world that we’ve be­come ac­cus­tomed to. We want her to be val­ued and re­spected.”

From Win­nipeg: “We’re go­ing to lose the rights we al­ready have. … If we want to pro­tect those we have to mo­bi­lize,” Cyn­thia Fort­lage, a trans woman, told the CBC. “We have to be loud, we have to be proud and we have to get peo­ple to un­der­stand we are hu­man be­ings too and we de­serve hu­man rights.”

It’s all pretty clear — and some politi­cians get it. U.S. Sen. John McCain de­scribed it as “an ur­gent plea for us all to sit down to­gether.” Other politi­cians clearly don’t. Some­times you talk. Some­times, you should just lis­ten.

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