The Transylvania Times -

What We Were Marching For


January 23, 2017

More than 1 million people rallied at women’s marches in this nation and around the world Saturday. Although I spend most of the year in Brevard, along with four friends from the Coachella Valley in California, I participated in the march in Los Angeles.

Various causes were attached to the march, which was largely billed as “a demonstration in support of women’s rights and civil rights.” While there were many who held signs that reflected their anger about Donald Trump winning the presidency, what I saw was men and women expressing energy and emotion representing their values of respect, dignity, equality and justice – what I consider basic human rights.

This call to action, which came from a national Unitarian Universalist organization (, accurately summarizes what people were expressing in their rallies: “In the face of looming threats to immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and the LGBTQ community and the rise of hate speech, harassment and hate crimes, we affirm our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In opposition to any steps to undermine the right of every citizen to vote or to turn back advances in access to health care and reproductive rights, we affirm our commitment to justice and compassion in human relations.”

I would hope that these are people’s values as Americans. While we all come from different parts of the country with varied economic and social backgrounds, as Americans, how can we not respect and rejoice on our differences? How can we not respect the inherent rights of all U.S. citizens regardless of the color of their skin, their sexual orientation or their religious affiliation? Whether or not your religious beliefs concur with pro-choice, what gives anyone the right to interfere with a woman’s decisions about reproduction? And, for all Americans who need health insurance or are on Medicare, this should be a right – not a privilege.

We are living in a great country at an amazing time in history. We need to make sure that respect, dignity, equality and justice continue to be our core values – regardless of our political affiliations.

Joan Marks

Connestee Falls


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