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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Women's March: Ketchikan

By Mary L. Stephenson


January 16, 2017
Monday PM

As coordinator of the Women's March rally for Ketchikan, I would like to take this opportunity to update our program and encourage you and your circle of friends to participate; and to answer some of the questions that might be pending.

So why is this rally important... some people are happy for its win, others are disillusioned by the loss while many remain ardent supporters of another alternative - TBD. Key points taken away from the campaign resonate with many - clean out the swamp, repeal, close down and/or be more fiscally responsible with our money. As all parties need to rebuild the leadership and overhaul the election process. The fact remains - we the people, who are asked to give, labor hard for little in return, and are in need of receiving, have basic rights that cannot be ignored with a change of administrations. The Republican or Democrat agenda swings like a pendulum that sends shock waves through the nation and globally in disconcerting portions.

Subsequently, the word CHANGE means a variety of things as well. In this case, the Women's March on Washington (and cities throughout the world) is standing in solidarity with basic human rights for all mankind and no one person, political party or affiliation should attempt or willing to accept taking 'human out of man-kind'. It just so happens women have experience organizing and motivating; and always provide a great venue for a party/rally! Everyone is invited to participate and share their story.

Piers 1, and 2 will be set up for the Rally, with the Visitor Center and the ROCK pioneer status as our meeting spot. The Visitor Center will be open for restrooms and chance to stay warm. Please do not bring food or beverages are allowed in the center.

Gathering starts at 9:00 AM (nothing earlier please), the program starts 10:00 AM with the United States Coast Guard Color Guard presenting colors and Shauna Lee singing the National Anthem. We encourage participates to make a sign before arriving to the rally (see attachment for ideas); there will be a table to write your own. A banner has been donated by Sign Pro (thanks Steve...) and people will be encouraged to 'leave their message'. Now an art form, we will find a place to display #WHYiMARCH banner into eternity.

There will be an open mic session where people can speak. We are all looking for inspiration, motivation to join the local support groups, and hear first-person stories. We also plan a Walk-the-Pier peaceful protest line looping around the downtown area. And wrapping things up....if the participates so choose - with a group photograph at 11:30 AM at the ROCK. REMINDER: A photographer must have the consent/permission to take photographs of others and it is a right to refuse having their picture taken (even if in the background of your selfie).

The BUS will be operating on a Saturday schedule i.e. starting at 8:01 AM north and south routes, and operates hourly thereafter...taking a half hour to get into downtown. Plan ahead. If really early, I graciously will put people to work as a volunteer - or - hit one of our many restaurants - all of whom will be open as early at 8:00 AM. We recommend carpooling and if you see someone at an official bus stop looking frustrated of waiting - pull over and offer a ride.

PARKING: Pier 1 - entrance through Front Street next to Fish Pirates Restaurant onto Pier 1. Follow Traffic Monitors to park tailgate party manner. There are no street restrictions on Saturday - all city lots and city streets - are free. If it looks as if downtown is full, remember Pier 4 is available on the pier and not private dirt lot.

Visit our Facebook page: Women's March Ketchikan Event and learn more information as it gets posted. If you plan to attend - on the right column choose from: Interested Going Invited and click it for chose. It will be helpful in planning (enough buses in service, volunteers to staff tables, etc.) We are also on Instagram: womensmarchAK.

Travel advisor: dress for the weather; bring lap blankets for those who need to sit (plastic covers helpful as well); snacks/beverages, medications if needed. Travel light i.e. no heavy backpacks, carry only essentials and leave valuable items at home. Security guidelines follows that of airports and airlines: do not bring anything that they won't allow on an airplane: drugs, alcohol, weapons. We suggest, if traveling in a large group that there is a plan on where to meet if someone gets separated from the group. Parental Guidance when bringing children and pets - the piers are not a playground and is unsafe when left unattended or ....'gone wild'. Please keep loved ones away from the edge of the docks!

NOAA Weather is projecting 'chance of rain and snow. mostly cloudy, with a near high 37 and 40$ chance of precipitation. Weather Channel is predicting partly cloudy skies and 37 degrees. Under the circumstances of very poor conditions, we will assess everyone's safety that morning. Watch for Facebook/Instagram postings for any changes. If cancelled, we can certain rally another day when weather conditions are better. Something tells me that our human rights issues are always going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Volunteers needed: Delivery: pick up donations & return after rally; Stage manager: sound equipment, camera to record event, stage/platform; Speakers - 7 minutes; Entertainers - 15 minute gig, Registration Desk, Greeters, Resource Table; Security Monitors will work with Rally Marshal and Ketchikan Police Dept.

Due to weather and wanting to be part of the rally, volunteers will work 30-60 minutes at a time and/or rotate 30 minutes here/there. You will not be asked to work the whole time. Dress for comfort and avoid frost bite. There will be 2 start times: 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM. We need volunteers EARLY to set up and greet early birds and 10:00 as the program begins and relief is needed for the early group. Set your personal schedule accordingly. We should be done no later than 1:00 PM.

And so it goes. Remember, when its back to work as usual on Monday, we can choose to stay involved, be complacent and do nothing. We will offer resources for people who need support and for those who want offer support as well as national organizations to monitor and support in the privacy of your home. As Michal Jackson so eloquently stated...changes starts with the man / woman in the middle.

Thank you for listening, for spinning this email out to your circle and using this rally to find resolution and find resilience to changes in our future. Everyone is welcomed to the Women's March Ketchikan Event and shall conduct themselves in a civil and peaceful manner.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary L. Stephenson
Ketchikan's Event Coordinator
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received January 15, 2017 - Published January 16, 2017


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