During a weekend full of power outages, wind and rain, approximately 1,000 islanders attended the second annual Women’s March on Jan. 20. At noon, people began gathering outside the San Juan County Courthouse and listened to speakers Maria Michaelson, State Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas) and Amy Herdy.
Michaelson primed the crowd by discussing the importance of voting, explaining that if one doesn’t vote, one does not have a voice, before introducing Ranker.
“This is what democracy looks like!” Ranker told the crowd. He went on to list multiple bills that have been passed in Washington protecting the environment, immigration rights, net neutrality, LGBTQ rights, and women’s rights, including a pro-choice bill up for vote Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“Look at all you beautiful, powerful people,” he said in closing, turning over the stage to Herdy.
The march looped from the courthouse down First Street and Spring Street where protesters from Orcas, Shaw and Lopez came off the ferry and melded seamlessly into the crowd.
Longtime islander Mary Anderson helped spearhead the march after realizing the ferry schedule made traveling to Seattle for the march difficult. In eight days, she and four other women, two men, and a teenager were able to get a permit, schedule three speakers, and have 2,000 people respond to the event on Facebook.
“It was just amazing, and a reaffirmation of what our island is all about,” Anderson said.