‘March, vote, dissent’: Steamboat Women’s March moves from January to ahead of November election (with photo gallery)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — People in Steamboat Springs took to the streets Saturday with a clear message: march, vote, dissent.
In coordination with supports across the country who marched over the weekend, people of all ages showed up to make their voice heard.
“I feel like it is a chance to be brave and stick out and really stand up for what you believe in,” Sara Sedlmeier, a feminist and aspiring activist who helped organize the march, said. “It is one thing to go on the internet and just be angry all the time and post things. It is another thing to take action and get out and show people that you mean business.”
This is the first Women’s March to take place in October in Steamboat, with previous marches happening in January. But following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the national Women’s March group organized to march before the election, just 17 days away.
When Sedlmeier heard that, she got in contact with organizers of previous women’s marches in Steamboat to ask if it could really happen.
“Slowly people started to get together, and we are making it happen,” Sedlmeier said.
The march in Steamboat was one of about a dozen taking place Saturday in Colorado and over 250 across the country, all with similar themes honoring Ginsberg and encouraging all people to vote in November.
Young marcher Violet Bock showed up in her best Ginsberg outfit, complete with mask, American flag and lace dissent collar.
Marchers, all donned with masks, made their best effort to maintain social distancing and signed in on their phones, providing a way to conduct proper contact tracing should a marcher test positive for the virus.
Friends Megan Moody and Gigi Gray said they were marching to get people to vote and ensure that women have equal rights.
“To get the word out there, to get people to vote and support women’s rights and science and everything, just to get your opinion out there,” Gray said about why she came out to march.
“What she said,” Moody agreed. “Tell everyone to vote, and that women should have equal rights.”
Ginsberg was a rallying cry for marchers, many of whom carried signs declaring “I dissent,” a tribute to the justice’s many dissenting opinions written while on the Supreme Court.
“Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead,” read one of the signs, quoting Ginsberg.
“RIP RBG,” read another sign. “In lieu of flowers, please vote.”
Starting at West Lincoln Park in downtown Steamboat, marchers carried signs showing their support for the late justice and their dissent to Senate Republicans’ attempt to rush their nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, onto the Supreme Court before the election.
“From Democrats, there’s a concern that the way that this nomination has been approached is very different than the Merrick Garland appointment, and these are lifetime appointments, so that matters a lot,” said Routt County Commissioner Beth Melton, who helped organize the event.
As marchers made their way through downtown, walking up both sides of Lincoln Avenue, drivers blared their horns in support. One woman pulled over in her vehicle, beaming as she saw the marchers continue past her up the street.
“This is an opportunity for people to come together in a community and encourage everybody to vote,” Jennifer Bock, one of the march’s organizers, said. “It is nice to be with similarly minded people and feel empowered by each other. When we get together, we feel like, ‘yeah, we can do this, we can make sure people vote, we can hopefully change the course of our country.’”
The march ended on the east end of downtown in Rich Weiss Park. In previous years, marchers would assemble on the Routt County Courthouse grounds but, because it is an active polling place, any form of campaigning is not currently permitted there ahead of the November election.
At the park, members of the Routt County Democratic Party handed out campaign yard signs and signed up volunteers.
“It is an exciting year for this election 2020; there is a lot of energy,” Catherine Carson, chair of the Routt County Democrats, said. “We really are going to build a better future.”
Marchers also stood on the side of Lincoln Avenue waiving signs and cheering as cars passed. While most drivers seemed to honk in support of the marchers, not everyone was in agreement. Shouts of “four more years” could be heard from a few passing vehicles.
“That is fine,” one marcher said. “But if it is four more years, there will be four more years of marching, too.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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