2017-01-26 / News

Local EUP Residents Return Home Inspired by Women’s Marches

By Jacob A. Ball


At left: A group of St. Ignace women participated in the march at Lansing Saturday, January 21, including (front row) Sue Steffel, Beverly Schmidt holding the sign; (back row, from left), Kim Nowack, Mary Sue Kunze, Patty Peek, Mary Maurer, and Betsy Turf, on the steps of the state capitol building. Not pictured are Cheryl Schlehuber and Cindy Snyder. (Photograph provided by Beverly Schmidt) At left: A group of St. Ignace women participated in the march at Lansing Saturday, January 21, including (front row) Sue Steffel, Beverly Schmidt holding the sign; (back row, from left), Kim Nowack, Mary Sue Kunze, Patty Peek, Mary Maurer, and Betsy Turf, on the steps of the state capitol building. Not pictured are Cheryl Schlehuber and Cindy Snyder. (Photograph provided by Beverly Schmidt) Community members traveled to Lansing and Washington, D.C., last weekend, to participate in Women’s Marches in support of women’s issues and a wide range of social programs. The Saturday, January 21, demonstrations remained peaceful throughout the day, they report, as women, and men, too, came together in solidarity.

The marches, they said, were also a call to get involved in politics at the local level, where the effort to address social needs comes more easily than it does nationally.

Linda Cobe of Naubinway and Michelle Holbrook of Moran traveled to Washington, D.C., encountering many caravans of other marchers along the way. Mrs. Cobe’s favorite speakers were America Fierro, Gloria Steinem, and Ashley Judd, and she said topics from the podium focused on voting rights, reproductive rights, and the issues of minorities.

Mrs. Cobe said she is concerned about the nation’s political system and would like to see Democrats and Republicans learn to work again for the common good. She noted the diversity of the marchers, saying it was an impressive cross-section of American society.

Police and bystanders were helpful and friendly, she reported, and members of the National Guard, on hand to provide order, were also in good spirits and even took souvenir photographs of the march on their cell phones. She said television images that evening of similar marches gave her a sense of unity with others throughout the country.

From St. Ignace, Beverly Schmidt, Patty Peek, Cindy Snyder, Mary Sue Kunze, Sue Steffel, Kim Nowack, Betsy Turf, Mary Maurer, and Cheryl Schlehuber attended the march in Lansing. Demonstrators gathered on the lawn outside the State Capitol, and the demonstration, to some, was reminiscent of the marches for women’s rights a half-century ago. Mrs. Peek said she marched in the 1960s for similar issues, and was struck by the opportunity to do so again so many years later.

“It was not a protest, but a coming together to encourage civil discourse” around issues that are important to a multitude of Americans, Mrs. Peek said. Her hope is that discussion can help solve the divisiveness that has engulfed the nation’s politics.

Participants described their experience at the marches as inspiring, exhilarating, and energizing.

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