Thursday, February 09, 2017

The Rise-Up Huddle

What a brilliant RISE-UP HUDDLE last night. And we were told they’re happening all over the US. We met at the local library and the meeting room was packed. 300+ people. The organizers of the march on the day after inauguration coudn’t believe it. All age groups and walks of life were in attendance, including parents and their kids who who were provided snacks and art items. All motivated to work to get back the country we thought we lived in prior to the election. We were informed the movement is neither Democrat or Republican, though I’ll bet it was mostly Democrats and Independents who vote Democrat in attendance. But it’s necessary to keep the door open to Republican folks because there will be many joining as the threat increases and they realize the government has been hijacked from their party. After introductions, a sign-in sheet was passed around where we provided contact details and marked the issues we were interested in—Human Rights (encompassing women, LGBT, and other minorities, etc), Environment, Arts, Government Watchdog, Health Care. From these will emerge committees that will be co-ordinated so that when action is required, everone in the group gets involved. An attack against any one interest is an attack against all us. We stand and rise together. After this, we were told to speak to two people beside us in the room (huddle) and talk about our issues and get to know one another. It was good old-fashioned face-to-face contact and brilliant. I chatted to two women, Debbie who’s Jewish and from a nearby town and Cathy who’s Irish American, a senior citizen and fiery. Debbie told us about the Jewish woman who’d been verbally attacked at Starbucks by a well-shod woman for wearing her Star of David and told she wasn’t welcome anymore. The woman’s American and reportedly still traumatized by the attack. (I’d written about this on a FB post shortly after it happened.) High school kids stepped to the podium and talked about what they’re going to do to get the country back. Three girls from Central Bucks East are holding a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood and its LGBTQ support group. One boy, a science student, is organizing a march in town in April to highlight the administration’s attack on science. It really made me think. There are great, mature kids who are smart and do more than listen to music on iPhones and talk monosyllabic. They’re informed. It’s too easy to say kids don’t care today. There are many who do. These four public school educated kids are a credit to Bucks County. No one must allow DeVos to pull apart excellent public schools like teh one’s in Bucks and impose her warped evangelical ideas. Next up, a young Muslim mother from town who has two teenage daughters introduced herself and described how she’s felt since the election. How some white residents on the street approach and tell her she’s not wanted and must go home. They do so in front of her bewildered daughters who are American born. And she made a point of stating she’s muslim (wears a hijab), American, supports LGBT and African Americans , wants to save the environment, etc. I was truly moved, so much so I went up after the meeting ended and shook her hand and chatted. Her enthusiasm and believe in America was infectious. After the meeting, many people walked around talking to people they didn’t know and one could overhear comments like, “It’s so great to talk to people who feel like me.” Bottom line, I hope everyone who believes in this country and the basic decency and kindness of Americans will get and stay involved in this hugely important movement. There can be no sitting this one out, straddling the fence because of fear or running off to live in Europe or Canada. It’s our responsibility to overcome the buds of an imperial Presidency.

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