Last week was the anniversary of the first Women’s March, and—though you wouldn’t know it by watching TV, since the mainstream media mostly ignored the second Women’s March—women and their allies once again took to the streets in small-but-mighty and impressively massive groups all over the country (← great video at that link, and here are some great pics) and all around the world. From the headliner cities like Los Angeles (600,000 marchers) and Austin to the Sundance Festival (in the snow!) and Seneca Falls, NY (home of the first woman’s rights convention), women were just as fired up as they were a year ago, perhaps even more so.
In Las Vegas, the location of the event’s flagship event, the focus was on the midterms. Called Power to the Polls, the website describes it as, “an event that will launch a national voter registration tour one year after the historic Women’s March on Washington. This next stage of the movement will channel the energy and activism of the Women’s March into tangible strategies and concrete wins in 2018.”
In addition to the big march in Cambridge, many people around Massachusetts joined small, local marches in their hometowns and municipalities, bringing their message to their neighborhoods and immediate communities. A few such marches took place in Lowell, Andover, Ipswich, and Topsfield, among others. In western MA, members of The Resistance flooded downtown Northampton. One attendee at the Northampton march was the much beloved and award-winning children’s author, Jane Yolen. I have long been a subscriber to Yolen’s Poem-a-day mailing list, which delivers—as its title implies—a daily poem. Yolen’s poems touch on myriad subjects and run the gamut from humorous to profound. I was particularly tickled to receive January 24th’s poem, which was about Yolen’s experience at the Northampton march.
Jane has graciously given me permission to share the poem here—just for you!—but please note that, as fabulous as it is, this piece is not to be shared, posted, or otherwise published outside of this blog post.
(And, if you’d like to sign up to receive her poem-a-day email, you can subscribe here.)
In local good news:
- The Boston Museum of Fine Arts just opened an exhibit called (un)expected families, which the museum describes site says, “… explores the definition of the American family—from the families we are born into to the ones we have chosen for ourselves. The works on view depict a wide range of relationships, including multiple generations, romantic unions, and alternative family structures.” Chalk one up for diversity.
- One of our New England neighbors is making waves: Vermont governor pardons 192 marijuana offenders.
- Meanwhile, our other New England neighbor—Maine—fired the Jackman town manager who promoted racial segregation.
- And, back in the State House, Senator Markey stands up against 45’s industry-killing tariff on solar panels.
- In Sweden: The world’s first Recycle Mall opens
- In the Netherlands, they just built an 11-mile long highway that’s just for bikes.
- In Britain: Britain Now Generates Twice as Much Electricity From Wind as Coal, And That’s a Big Deal
- And, In London: New fountains and bottle-refill points to tackle London’s plastic waste
- Chance Discovery Could Tackle The Honeybee’s Worst Enemy (Well … their worst enemy besides Monsanto)
- UCS Sues to Stop EPA from Kicking Independent Experts Off Advisory Boards
- Puerto Rico is taking a big step toward revamping how it gets power — and it could be a model for the rest of the US
There’s also some good news on the elections front.
- While much of the televised media seemed willing to turn a blind eye to the power of the 2018 Women’s March, TIME magazine stepped up with a cover that features first-time female candidates. Happy march anniversary, ladies. Go get ’em!
- Looks like we’re going to have some great, new choices at the polls: The Other Women’s March on Washington – What’s the fastest way to fix a broken system? Take it over, say the record number of female candidates running for office in 2018 for the first time.
- Florida Voters Can Finally Kill Racist, 150-Year-Old Felon Voting Ban
- In a very important headline from The Atlantic: Has the Tide Turned Against Partisan Gerrymandering? – The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday struck down the state’s maps as too heavily biased toward Republicans, the latest ruling in a new and contentious battle over legislative districts. (More on the PA story from the NYT and the Washington Post).
- And, more Republican members of Congress are deciding not to run for reelection. The latest one to drop out: Senator Pat Meehan of PA, who got caught up in a sexual harassment case that reads like something from a Sweet Valley High novel. (Seriously, there was an ice cream date involved.) According to Swing Left, this brings the count up to 34 House Republicans who aren’t running for re-election, 8 of them are from critical Swing Districts. That’s definitely good news.
And here’s what’s happening on the social, civil, and economic equality and justice front:
- In the category of young people getting involved: A 16-year old releases an app to fight 45 and his heinous agenda
- And here are some other kids doing something cool: These kids started a book club for minority boys. It’s the most popular club in school.
- It’s probably quite unlikely, but it’s still fun to consider: Judge seems open to emoluments suit against Trump – A Maryland federal judge signals he’s not persuaded by a New York colleague’s decision tossing out parallel case.
- On a more realistic note when it comes to a fight that might actually hit the courtroom: Phil Murphy announces N.J. will challenge Trump’s DACA order in court
- There’s also this: DOJ & FEC Complaints Filed Against Trump Campaign for Failure to Report $130K Hush Money Payment
- Here’s a fun one. If you’ve been following the fight for net neutrality, you may be interested to know that Burger King, of all brands, just took rare political swipe at Republicans with epic, viral ad that explains net neutrality using Whoppers.
- The #metoo movement takes down another monster, with the sentencing of ex-USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. While we enjoyed the Sports Illustrated article title—Burn It All Down: It’s Time For Every Last Coward Who Enabled Larry Nassar To Pay For Their Sins—there’s nothing quite so satisfying as Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s reading of (and subsequent tossing of) the defendent’s letter.
- On a related note: Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon Resigns Amid Nassar Fallout
- And … the US Olympic Committee gives USA Gymnastics board six days to resign or federation will be decertified. One woman speaks up, and all this comes crumbling down. The power of voice, people. The power of voice.
- And then there’s this: The #MeToo Movement Hits the Circus: ‘Grandma’ the Clown Resigns. No, seriously.
- While many criticized Chuck Schumer for “caving” about DACA in the battle to re-open the government after the GOP shut it down, many pundits are saying that Chuck may actually be playing the game a few moves ahead of the president. Mother Jones says that Chuck Schumer Is Setting a Trap Over Trump’s Wall, an interpretation that may be right on the money. By far the most entertaining analysis, however, comes from the inimitable Wonkette in the post, Counterpoint: Maybe Chuck Schumer ISN’T A F’ing A**hole Weakling That We Hate? (You’re welcome.)
- In the category of women helping women: Octavia Spencer Says Jessica Chastain Helped Her Get Five Times Her Salary: ‘She Is Walking the Walk’ – When Chastain learned women of color make far less than white women, she bundled her salary with Spencer’s in a “favored nations” deal for their upcoming holiday comedy.
- And, in a related story, Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker confirms she is getting paid the same as Peter Capaldi
- In other entertainment news: Female-Led Films Won at the Box Office in 2017 for the First Time in 59 Years, Rachel Morrison Becomes First Woman Nominated for a Cinematography Oscar, and ‘Wonder Woman 2’ Will Be The First Movie To Use New Sexual Harassment Guidelines & It’s The Perfect Choice
- Meanwhile, in Mississippi, Tougaloo College Receives Grant to Finally Tell Story of Civil Rights Hero Fannie Lou Hamer
- In response to the DOJ ramping up pressure against sanctuary cities, a group of Mayors boycotted Trump meeting. (More from NBC)
- And here’s a fun story about how bland-boy Pence discriminates against women everywhere, not just in our country: Reporter to sue over gender segregation during Pence’s Western Wall visit – Tal Schneider says female journalists being ‘sent to the back’ during US VP’s tour of holy site resembled ‘scenes from way back in history’
- We’re not happy for what these students are going through, but it may be a canary-in-the-coal mine moment that The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded – How a washed-up lobbyist built a charter school empire and siphoned millions from public schools.
- Montana becomes first state to implement net neutrality after FCC repeal. Let’s hope this is the start of a nationwide trend.
- Oregon voters overwhelmingly pass health care taxes
- Talk about a legacy: Africa’s First Female President Bans FGM on Her Last Day in Office
- Apple partners with Malala Yousafzai’s Malala Fund to help advance girls’ education – With Apple’s support, the Malala Fund has an initial goal to extend secondary education to more than 100,000 girls
- Speaking of Big Business … not sure if we can take this at face value, but it’s interesting: BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support
- While you’re waiting for the new Black Panther movie to come out: On ‘Black Lightning,’ a Superhero Takes On Race, Justice and the Real World
We’re also hearing SO MANY promising stories news on the Russia investigation front:
- Trump asked the acting FBI director how he voted during Oval Office meeting. That was naughty.
- Mueller seeks to question Trump about Flynn and Comey departures. Oh, please, dear gods, let it be in person!
- Sessions Is Questioned as Russia Inquiry Focuses on Obstruction (We wonder if he remembers anything …)
- It’s Now Likely Mueller Thinks Trump Obstructed Justice – Thursday’s bombshell news points toward one conclusion: The special counsel has the goods on the president.
- Trump’s handling of the Russia investigation has never looked more like a coverup
And in miscellaneous, fun, and slightly snarky good news:
- Another totally unqualified 45 appointee gets the boot: Trump’s 24-year-old drug policy appointee to step down by month’s end
- In one of this week’s most hysterical and also poetic stories: The White House asked to borrow a van Gogh. The Guggenheim offered a gold toilet instead. We doff our hats to curator Nancy Spector. Well played.
- Something to look forward to: Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media have picked up the worldwide rights to RBG, a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was announced Wednesday. (We’re also loving the notorious RBG speaking up about the #metoo movement.)
- Seems there are “stormy” clouds hanging over the White House, which may be part of the reason why Melania chose to bow out of 45’s trip to Davos for the World Economic Forum.
- And, it turns out that Melania isn’t the only one who doesn’t want to spend time with 45: Protests erupt in Switzerland ahead of Trump’s Davos trip. (Here’s some Facebook Live video of those protests.)
- Also … Haitians stage protest, mock Trump over ‘shithole’ comments. This guy is NOT making any brownie points.
- Congrats to Tammy Duckworth, who is pregnant and will be 1st senator to give birth. Also – don’t mess with mama: Duckworth slams Trump: I won’t be lectured on military needs by a ‘five-deferment draft dodger’
- The future looks bright, thanks to young women like 16 year-old, Australian explorer Jade Hameister who traveled to the North and South Poles and across Greenland on SKIIS. Totally bad ass. Trolls left idiotic comments on her TED talk suggesting that she’d do better to stay in the kitchen and make a man a sandwich. Her response is priceless.
- Here’s a headline that gives us hope: Trump Hasn’t Destroyed Obama’s Legacy. He’s Revealed How Impressive It Was.
- … as does this one from Boston’s own WBUR: Trump Supporters Don’t Know It, But They’re Losing The War
- And our award for this week’s most creative form of Resistance: Artists Create a Cemetery for the Things Donald Trump Killed in 2017 –Guerrilla street art collective Indecline staged the gravesite in one of Trump’s golf courses. The gravestones mourn the loss of things like “decency” and the American Dream.
- Random goodness: Turkish Garbage Collectors Open Library Full of Discarded Books
- Here are some numbers 45 may have to pay attention to: Tourism to U.S. under Trump is down, costing $4.6B and 40,000 jobs. What was that about winning?
- And, in case you could do with a few more hits of optimism and girl power from the 2018 Women’s March, check out this compilation video, or get your beat on with this awesome drum corp from the New York march. There’s also a super fun time lapse video from the LA march, and a lovely collection from the New York Times called, Voices from the Women’s Marches. And if that’s still not enough, check out this very cool archive of more than 6,000 posters from the 2017 Boston Women’s March (the result of a collaboration between Northeastern University and a team of scholars, students, and volunteers).
- And, finally, by special request of Snark Kitty, here is a collection of pictures documenting the dogs who marched last weekend.
“Mass State House Dome”: Photo Credit: twiga_swala Flickr via Compfight cc“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“Planet Earth”: From Morguefile
“I Voted”: standing8 Flickr via Compfight cc
“Blind Justice”: Government of Prince Edward Island Flickr via Compfight cc
“Russia Sickle”: AK Rockefeller Flickr via Compfight cc
“Snark Kitty”: Gratisography
“Dog in Lavender”: Bea Antoni Flickr via Compfight cc