From Small Town MN to Washington DC--Northern Minnesotans in Women's Marches

Jan 21, 2017

Men, women and children from across northern Minnesota participated in women's marches today. Some did so in their home towns and some traveled as far as Washington DC. Each one marched for his or her own reason.  We're collecting a photo album and asking northern Minnesotans why they participated. 

Tell us why you marched and attach a photo! Send it to comments@kaxe.org and we will add yours to our album.

When I asked why she marched, Sue Ellis handed me a note that said "I am a grandmother; I am walking for my granddaughters. I am a mother; I am walking for the daughters of women everywhere. I want to tell them: Be Strong; You are Important; You Deserve to be Respected. As women we need to stand together. Make your (our) needs known. As Americans we all need to support each other, listen to each other, help each other. Dignity for all!"

Andrea LeVasseur was quite serious about why she marched. She described herself as having formerly been part of Army intelligence. She said "I am here for the good hardworking people in the intelligence community who can't speak up for themselves. We must find out how much Russia is involved in this administration."

Vivienne Morgan is a naturalized citizen. "I am English. I became a citizen after living in the US for over 30 years because President Obama gave me hope. Hope for this country, hope that Americans were moving forward. I am still American in citizenship but now I am ashamed of this country, this dying democracy, this kakistocracy."

Julie Fladeboe and Kathy Johnsons came from Park Rapids to march in Bemidji. Julie said "I'm here in support of everyone's rights. I hope Washington gets the message."

Erika Bailey-Johnson in Bemidji marched "to raise awareness for women's right to be heard, to lead, to be respected."

Catherine Gatts, Joann Shackelford and Mari Shackelford are sisters. "We are marching for everything. The environment is overarching, but also women, respect and dignity."

Melissa Powers said, "I traveled from Marble to march in Bayfield, WI with friends. In that tiny town (pop 487), 427 marchers took to the streets. We walked down the hill to the waters edge, beginning and ending with prayers from the Water Protectors of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. It was a well mixed group of men, women, kids and pups."

Sarah McBroom traveled from Grand Rapids to St Paul to march. She wrote: "Marching in St. Paul with friends and compatriots today. The crowd numbers, the signs and messages, doing something... all were inspiring. A good day. "Who are we? The majority! What do we want? Equality." #thisiswhatdemocracylookslike

13 year-old Theo Quick from Embarrass, MN marched in the Women's March in Washington DC.  Theo carried a sign with many names of friends who wanted to be included in the movement but were unable to be there physically.

Katherine Ballard from Bemidji writes: "I marched to protect my transgender daughter. I marched to protect women's reproductive rights. I marched to close the pay gap of women and people of color."

We received this  from Katelyn Dokken of Grand Rapids: "I traveled to DC on a charter bus to attend the Women's March on Washington. I march because I can't get the hateful rhetoric Trump used to win the election out of my mind. He demeaned women, spread lies about Muslims, Immigrants, and African Americans and wrote off sexual assault as 'locker room talk.' I will continue this work--long after the march--to ensure that the statement, 'all are welcome here' rings true in northern Minnesota and beyond."

Jess Mistic sent this along with a selfie with friends at Rail River Folk School following the march in Bemidji: "We marched for human rights. Equality and justice for everyone regardless of gender, skin color, ability, health status, age, sexuality, education, wealth or religious beliefs."

Brandy Larson in Bemidji said her children chose what to put on the signs they carried along the shore of Lake Bemidji and into town. She wrote us with many reasons for marching, including this: "I want my kids to understand empathy, social justice, and about standing up for the rights of others, even when it doesn’t affect them personally.  This march was a good way for them to see democracy and peaceful resistance in action.  It helped us build on the dialog we are having in our family about diversity and oppression and about climate change and gun violence. "

Terry Bakker in Bemidji said she wanted to "be one light in a million lights marching." She didn't have a pussy hat so she wore a beaver hat instead.

Lisa Joy Hesse said the crowd in Duluth was estimated at 1700. The Bemidji march had 800-1,000 participants, and there were 65 in Longville.

Hear Katie Carter's interview with women on the bus to the St Paul Women's March here!