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Sunday, January 22, 2017

We can whimper, we can whine or we can fight back!

An estimated 175,000 people were there on the Boston Common yesterday and Jen and I were two of them.

Despite being up front in the disabled corral, I didn’t see Felicity. For that matter, a lot of my friends attended and I didn’t see any of them either. Warum? THERE WERE 175,000 PEOPLE THERE! It would’ve been a total fucking miracle if I did run into any of my compadres.

I DID see Carlos Arredondo, the cowboy hatted hero of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, though. In fact, he was standing just outside of our pen.

Elizabeth Warren spoke and, boyhowdy, she was thrilling, funny and inspiring.
We can whimper, we can whine or we can fight back,” Ms. Warren said, as demonstrators in pink hats waved American flags. “Me, I’m here to fight back.”

“We believe in science,” Ms Warren said, adding, “we know that climate change is real.” A police officer patrolling the rally pumped his fists in agreement.

“We also believe that immigration makes this country a stronger country,” Ms. Warren said. “We will not build a stupid wall and we will not tear millions of families apart.” (source)
State Attorney General Maura Healy spoke:
"We're gonna make our case day after day for shared values," Healey said. "I have a message for President Trump. The message from the people of Massachusetts: We'll see you in court.” (source)
From Boston Mayor Mary Walsh,
“We will take this fight from Boston Common to the Mall in Washington.”
There were a lot of wonderful, rousing. mega-inspirational speeches. I am deeply grateful that Jen came with me and ‘terped. But…but….you were up in the Disabled Corral where you could see the official ‘terp. Yes, yes I sure was BUT, though I get on very well in one on one ASL situations, watching a speech about big issues versus simple chit chatting is a whole ‘nother kettle of sign. I could pick out words and phrases here and there but most went clean over ma tête.

I’d feel all terrible and embarrassed and shit BUT I’m a very late deafened babe – I generally do AOK. Having said that, I believe it’s time for another class and more practice with pro-signers. Also too, CART/ closed captioning (on the Jumbotron) would’ve been fab.

The speeches went on and on and while the temps weren't obscenely, bitterly cold, it wasn’t balmy either. Most of the speakers, according to Jen, had, more or less, the same uplifting, fight, fight, fight, this is just the beginning, get organized message. So, Jen and I decided to pack it in. Yes, we wanted to march too but no tellin’ when that would actually commence.

Now for the hard part – getting out of the crowd. It was less than half a mile from where we were sitting to the Park Street T station. Easy peasy right? Not with 175,000 souls packed in and barricades everywhere, We were like salmon swimming SLOWLY upstream. The crowds were all headed towards where we were leaving (mebbe this was where the march began?) and, more than a few times, all we could do was stop, stand and wait for the next break in the wall of people.

At one point, unable to move for 30 minutes and packed in tighter than a Saturday night at the Middle East with Morphine headlining, I turned to Jen and said “gee, good thing I’m not claustrophobic. Oh…wait…I am.” Everyone was so nice, thoughtful, caring and helpful though. We were all, it seemed, being our best, most groovalicious selves. Really gave me a shot of hope.

And then I announced, “Hey, I’m not cold anymore!” Body heat – it’s a way excellent thing.

Eventually we tumbled out of a giant clot of folks into a less jam-packed area. Two wonderful people helped steady me. Jen told me that the woman said “I’m a doctor, do you need help?” WOW! They offered to make a path for us to get through the rest of the crowd (tremendous people!) but seeing a clear-ISH way to Beacon Street, we thanked them deeply and ventured on.

All in all a fabulous, uplifting and thoroughly exhausting experience. My hope is renewed. The rally was just a beginning. Now we must stay connected, informed and energized.
“We come here to stand shoulder to shoulder to make clear: We are here. We will not be silent. We will not play dead. We will fight for what we believe in!”
~ Elizabeth Warren

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