Newport joins millions

BY GLORIA TUCKER   Of the News-Times

news-times

Organizers of the Stronger Together March (in photo: Annie Butterfield, Nancy Mead & Rhonda Harman) speak to a gathered crowd of about 1600 protesters in front of Newport City Hall on Saturday, January 21. They were among millions of people across the country who participated in similar marches. (Photos by Nathan Howard)

Honks resounded and traffic crawled as about 1,600 people in pink hats, and carrying signs and flags crowded Newport City Hall on Saturday, Jan. 21.  

The men, women and children at city hall joined millions of people across the United States who assembled to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.   Throughout the morning, Newport Community Drum Circle performed on the front steps of the city hall as marchers arrived. Despite cold wind and rain, the march began at noon down Highway 101 to the Hallmark Resort where a rally and speeches followed.  

Tables for advocacy groups set up in the hotel’s lower lobby provided more information on issues and encouraged enrollment.  

“Our local march identified three specific things we want to focus our intentions on — protecting the environment, protecting civil rights and protecting vulnerable communities,” organizer Trina Kosydar said. “It’s important to know that everyone is marching with their own intentions, though.”  

Kosydar said separating the march from President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday is impossible.  

“This is not an anti-Trump march, this is a pro-women march,” she emphasized. “But there are a lot of feelings (that) are mixed in there.”  

Rally emcee Franki Trujillo-Dalbey said the local march was conceived weeks earlier when people talked about taking buses to Portland to join the march in the city.  

“We said we need to have a local presence,” she said. “We need to show everyone in Lincoln County we are stronger together, and we’re not going to take it anymore.”   Organizations involved in creating the march were the Central Oregon Branch of the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) of Lincoln County, the Diversity Coalition of Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee.  

Protesters carrying large, cardboard replicas of President Donald Trump walk toward the Hallmark Resort in Newport during the Stronger Together March on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Photo by Nathan Howard)

“We’re hoping to bring some unity to this community and show people that they are not alone,” Kosydar said, “that there is a like-minded group of folks out there, that women are strong and fi erce, and that together we can do anything.”   Marchers Mickie Lindquist and Gaelyn Matthews said they joined because they want to support women’s rights.  

“We hope Trump listens,” Matthews added.   Trujillo-Dalbey said she participated for personal reasons.   “I’m a second generation Latina,” she said. “My family has lived in Toledo for nearly 100 years. We’re one of the fi rst Latino families in Oregon. The most recent numbers say there’s about 9 percent of Latinos in Lincoln County.”  

Trujillo-Dalbey said from the beginning of Trump’s campaign, she felt attacked.   “He called us rapists, murderers and drug dealers, violent and lazy,” she said. “The pain I feel for fellow Latinos and the fear I feel personally has been real, but not as real as it is for my undocumented brothers and sisters. As a nasty woman, I’ve been assaulted by his words and actions.”  

Trujillo-Dalbey said she feels like the gains made in the past are in danger.  

“This isn’t just about Latinos,” she said. “It’s about every person on an equal opportunity list, whether you’re a senior citizen in danger of losing Medicare or a child in danger of losing public school. (My family) talked seriously about leaving the country, but the more we met with people in our local community, the more I realize how much support there is for making change and preserving rights. We decided to stay.”  

She said watching the local march and all the other marches has been empowering.  

“I do have a sense of renewed hope,” she said. “We are stronger together today. We are stronger together. We can fight back. We can take back our democracy, decency and common humanity.”  

Kosydar said the community enthusiasm has inspired her as well.  

“People have been giving us private donations, which has helped us cover the venue costs and the cost of signs,” she said. “The Newport Police Department has been beautiful working with us. City hall and the chamber of commerce have worked with us too. It’s just been a real community event.”  

At the rally, Jenn Burleton, director of TransActive Gender Center in Portland, gave the keynote speech.   Burleton spoke about the center, its need for support and how to go forward in activism.  

TransActive provides education and training to schools, health care providers and professional and community organizations that engage with families and children, according to its website.  

In addition to education, TransActive created a model framework for communitybased counseling, assessment and medical referral program focused on the needs of gender diverse and transgender children, youths, their families and allies.  

Other rally speakers included Ineka Estabrook, PFLAG chair, Lisa Gray, Lincoln County Diversity Committee, Joanne Cvar, Oregon Rural Organizing Project, Omar Antonio, Centro de Ayuda, Maria Krause, Lincoln County Community Rights, Toledo Mayor Billie Jo Smith and state Rep. David Gomberg (D-10th Dist.) “After the rally, I hope people will take this momentum to local businesses, get a coffee or a beer and keep talking,” Kosydar added. “I want this to continue.”  

Contact reporter Gloria Tucker at 541-265-857 1, ext. 217 or gtucker@newportnewstimes.com

Protesters carrying large, cardboard replicas of President Donald Trump walk toward the Hallmark Resort in Newport during the Stronger Together March on Saturday, Jan. 21. (Photo by Nathan Howard)

 

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