Jan. 23rd, 2017

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Spent Thursday at home sick and Friday after work at the Susan Hensel Gallery kicking off the local chapter The Civility Project with a potluck, music and button-making. Saturday dawned bright and early with an assemblage of our friends gathering in our living room to carpool to the light rail station. The station was already packed and we were plied with donuts because someone brought some to share. The train was packed when it got there (and we're aways from St. Paul, where the rally was). We managed to get on the train and three stops later, it was wall to wall people and no one else was able to get on. We changed to the St. Paul line, missed the first one because it was too crowded, then caught the second one with more folks we knew. After that, every train station, every train, all the bus stops, all the passing buses were completely packed. Our local transit has never moved 90-100,000 people before so it was exciting times as they added on more trains, buses and personnel.

I wore this poster on my rain poncho (thanks to artist Hayley Gilmore who designed a bunch of great posters that people wore and carried. You can donate to her original art on her blog if you'd like to give back). And there were so, so many of us. We filled most of the blocks and bridges around the Capitol so marching was pretty slow and leisurely. My wife made little commemorative booklets with a quote from Audre Lorde on them and handed them out to folks. We all took pictures and chatted and walked. Listening to the speeches was more challenging further out in the crowd than we expected so after catching most of Ilhan Omar's speech, some of Senator Patricia Torres Ray's speech and bits and pieces of a few others, we wandered up toward the train station. It was completely packed as were the first three bus stops we passed so we wound up at a Szechuan hotpot restaurant (something none of us had tried before) and got to warm up and dry off while the crowds ebbed a bit. Then we were off to Minneapolis on another crowded train. And we finished off the day with cupcakes at A Cupcake Social.
So new friends made, new food tried, great event attended - here's to kicking off more work and more good stuff.


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