January 25, 2017

Editorial: Marches send a message

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Wikimedia Commons/Mark Dixon

The Women's March on Washington

The signal sent Saturday was damaging and clear: [we have] a petulant president whose words, whether directly or through a spokesperson, cannot automatically be trusted or believed.

There are facts, there are “alternative facts” — and then there are feet.

In terms of the latter, last Saturday trumped Friday by a mile. The Women’s March on Washington brought women, and plenty of men as well, out in force.

The sheer numbers of participants in Washington plus some 600 sister rallies elsewhere were jaw-dropping. At least a half-million descended on D.C. alone. The message it all came down to was powerful beyond measure: We’re here, and we’re watching.

Worcester and Central Massachusetts added a healthy showing. We wouldn’t expect less from a community distinguished by educational opportunity, diversity, and activist history. Still, it was a pleasure to see, while the overall impact of the women’s marches and rallies surprised— astonished —  and impressed us, as it did millions of others.

Saturday’s energy was an interesting juxtaposition to the fairly flat reception given President Trump’s inauguration address last Friday and its “America first” theme. The new president’s immutable me-first persona made the “This is your day; this is your celebration” of his opening ring hollow probably even to his supporters.

“We are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people,” Trump intoned Friday, Jan. 20, from the Capitol steps. The next day showed no such give-back was necessary.

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