Not everyone in Franklin County celebrated the inauguration of Donald Trump, especially at least 30 people who chose to be among the roughly 14,000 people who took part in the Jan. 21 women’s march in Tallahassee.
Democratic activist Caroline Ilardi helped organize the trip to the state capital, a contingent that included Anice Reed, Andrea De La Vega, Holly Brown, Coral Sprouse, Joann Russell, Glenna Smith, Sally-Ann Greenfield, Susan Antekeier, Pam Richardson, Vicky Fowlkes, Anna-Maria Cannatella, Ted Tripp, Mary Lou Short, Harriett Beach, Nancy Walters, Cathy Christie, Carol Hoadley, Adele Colston, Sally Collier, Betsy Nofziger, Glynda Ratliff, Mercedes Updyke, Beth Wright, Martha Snowden, Sharon Sleeper, Carole Cooper, Ellie Tullis, Judi Stokowski, Ada Long, and others.
“To all of us it was so poignant, when you looked around at this crowd it was literally every face of America, old, white and black and yellow people, every kind of American that you can imagine was there,” said Ilardi. “It was genuinely positive, it was inclusive, it was all-in-this-together.
“It was not hateful. You didn’t see a lot of signs that were ugly and nasty,” she said. “This is something that we believe and we’re going to work hard for it and together, that was the main feeling. A beautiful microcosm of America.
“People came because they had issues, they had strong feelings,” said Ilardi. “There were signs about immigration, about global warming, about human rights, all these issues that we all had put our hopes and trust in.”
The march, which was one of several around the world that drew millions, started at Railroad Square and from there went to the coliseum at Florida A & M University. A few split off and went to the State Cpaitaol, but that portion of the march had been changed the day before due to threatening weather.
Karen Cox-Dennis said she even spoke to Republicans at the march “who were flipped out over the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“I went because I feel our democracy and our civil liberties are at risk, and a main reason I went is to protect my daughter’s reproductive rights,” she said. “The protests that day were the largest protests against one individual in the history of mankind, so it’s pretty important. And it was peaceful, there were absolutely no problems. A diverse group from all the state.”