I had over 100 FB friends marching in 30+ cities around the USA in 22 states on Friday and Saturday.
In Austin, the crowd was about 50,000, quite likely the biggest-ever gathering at the Texas capital. (Second to about 25K at a UT anti-Vietnam war protest 40 years prior.) My mom said the Fort Worth rally was 6000+ after only being announced on Monday and with options all around, Denton, Dallas, etc.
It is so, so cool to hear all these huge numbers, and to have been there.
Austin had its problems, there was no plan for herding people through the gates that were the start of the march, so there was a very hot congested bottleneck (that we totally skipped by using a long-cut because Victoria is awesome) and there needed to be way more/bigger speakers for even half the crowd to hear the speaker lineup. But hey, its a great problem to have and as far as I know no one or no thing got hurt. Paula Whitney Smith remarked about how clean the streets were, it was so impressive after seeing pictures of the New York climate march.
The Contemporary Austin has a very fitting work by Jim Hodges on view right now at the Jones Center on Congress:
We marched for everyone, it was great to be with everyone. Missed my mom Julia Dover Sexton, who had to cancel the longer trip but got the nicest compliment from an old friend who ran into her in FW so I think that was supposed to happen.
I hear a lot of gnashing of teeth about contentious politics on FB but I must have one of the most liberal and even radical group of Facebook friends because of how my feed looks today (& always, really)
I am inspired by people like aforementioned mom, honorary aunties like Julie Fordes, Beverly Baker Moore, Debbie Wrenn, Rita Mallon. I am inspired by people I’ve met only a few times but continue to hear from in Megan Selby, Jason Lydon, Atena Oyadi, Elizabeth Mount. I am inspired by closer friends I still don’t see often, like Elandria Williams, India Danielle, Betty-Jeanne Rüters-Ward, Jude Geiger, Adam Reilly. I am inspired by my fellow raisin’ hell liberal Texans like Valerie Marie, Jennifer Darnell, Raziq Brown. I am inspired by Waco anti-racists like Jo Welter, Jose R. Villanueva, Steve L Jr Cook. I’m inspired by art world rabblerousers like Nora Gomez-Strauss, Diya Vij, Kimberly Drew, Hrag Vartanian, Edward Winkleman, Paddy Johnson, Veken Gueyikian, and way too many artists to start a list of.
Family like my grandma, Carol Dover a single mom by choice in the 1960s (by choice because she preferred to divorce her husband than put up with him). My newly-appointed professor cousin, Tessa Dover (currently in California, soon to be Oregon), my other professor cousin Jonny Sexton, his amazing wife Kelly Boatright Sexton who is a vice chancellor at her university in North Carolina. My working full time, mom-ing full time and ALSO going to school cousin Maddie Benavidez. James R Dover, Jennifer Turner, keeping up with the Clifford, keeping a big-world frame of mind even when you’re from a small town
I’m a better person for having friends like these, and so many others.
I see you
I hear you
Photos by me, Audre Lorde quote via Coleen Murphy