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The Women's March: Maui Post Heard 'Round the World

Women's March
Women's March

In November, a Facebook post from Maui ignited what is becoming the largest demonstration linked to President-elect Trump’s inauguration.  On January 21st, Mr. Trump’s first day in office, Women's Marchdemonstrations are scheduled in every state and in thirty three countries around the world, with participation now nearing six hundred thousand people.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports sister marches are being organized on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i island. 

The Women’s March on Washington is set for January 21st , with sister marches joining in across the nation and around the globe.  On O‘ahu, the march starts at the State Capitol at 10am, registration at 9:30.  Find links to other state marches below.

Note, on the front page of the national Women’s Marchon Washington webpage:  "The rise of the woman = The rise of the Nation."

Maui Women’s March co-chair Robin Pilus says she was trying to sleep last night, of course she’s had her phone right next to her ever since this march started.  

“I heard it and I heard it and I rolled over and I said ok, because I always sleep with my glasses on my head now.  And I rolled over and here was this big conversation between the organizers and we were all up at 2 in the morning, worried about little individual things that have happened, worried about the event logistics, and none of us have ever met!”

The Women’s March on Washington is now one huge national deal with prestigious co-chairs and a fifty state reach.  Thirty three countries are also participating.  Cat Killam, co-coordinator for the Hilo Women’s March, recalls it all started November 9th, with grandmother, Teresa Shook of Maui.

“She just made a post!  She just said, Grrr, maybe we should march on Washington.  And then a couple other people said, That’s a good idea, that’s a really good idea!  And so she got forty and she thought, Oh Wow!  So she goes to bed, she wakes up the next morning, she goes to look and it says, Ten thousand new names! And she was like, Oh my god!”

Killam says the social media rocket ride that doubled tripled and quadrupled participation yields very personal experiences as well, like the national conference all she participated in with Reverend Bernice King, the daughter of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King.

 “It’s been quite an experience being about to be in this historic movement that has come about.  So here I was huddled in the Ross’ parking lot under a thunderstorm and rain, listening to Dr. King talk about her daddy and her mother.  It was an incredibly powerful experience.”

Pilus:  “We’ve all had, I think, good leadership positions, but nothing like this.  I mean I built our Maui website.  I’ve never built a website before, registering a domain, doing hyperlinks, there are so many things I’ve learned to do when all you could do was just learn it!”

Pilus says around the nation, sister marchers are taking an oath. 

“And the oath simply says, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute my role as an American and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States."  Because ultimately that’s what this non-partisan, inclusive, effort is all about.  We’re not really protesting anything anti, but we’re trying to really focus in on what we need to do proactively and positively to make sure our rights are protected.”

Killam:  “It’s amazing how excited people are about it, they just have to post, I’m coming to the march!  I got the t-shirts in the mail, I wore one out yesterday and I hear people, I’m going to that!”

“Something got ignited in me and I can see it being ignited in others.  I went by in life and didn’t stand up when I should have, and now I’m at that age when I’m going, I’ve got to be part of this.”

On the national level, there was dissension over privilege and diversity.

Pilus:  “I think there’s been a lot of hard discussions.  I think that that’s part of the process, and I believe people are just having to really look at things in a little different way because of all of the things that have surfaced because of the outcome of this election.  And so maybe these conversations were just overdue.” 

“We’re having to find the common threads that bind us together and that is the intention of the march.  Hawai‘i is the heart of the aloha spirit, that’s what we’ve learned from the folks that have been here a lot longer than us, who taught us about the Ha, the breath of life.  That’s what we feel we bring to the march and what we want others to be able to feel as well.”

Environmentalists, gender activists, labor, health, immigration and education constituencies, and others,   are joining the march.  Pilus says the goal is to forge coalitions and develop action plans.

Maui Women’s March

In solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, the Women's March Mauiwill be a unity march on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 8 to 11 a.m.  The march will be held at UH Maui College front lawn. 

Hilo Women’s March
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Mo'oheau Bandstand, Downtown Hilo
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
March will begin approximately 11:30 a.m.

According to the national registry, there is a march in Kona also, 3pm on January 21st, South of Henry Street on Queen Ka'ahumanu Highway in Kona

The Kaua‘i Women’s Marchwill also have a sign writing event on Saturday January 14 from 1pm until 3pm. at the YWCA pavilion in Lihue.

The Women’s March on O’ahuwill begin on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 10:00 am on the grounds of the Hawai‘i State Capitol. 

Registration and staging for the March on O’ahu will begin at 9:30 am on the 'Ewa lawn of the State Capitol. 

The March route will start on the 'Ewa grounds of the State Capitol along Richards Street, left on to South King Street, left up Alapai Street, left onto South Beretania Street, and ending in the Capitol Rotunda.

Following the March, individuals and groups will rally at the State Capitol.  O’ahu organizers or the supporting organizations i.e. AF3IRM, Ceeds of Peace, Friends of Hawai'i Commission on the Status of Women, Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, Hawai'i State AFL-CIO, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, Pretty Peacock Productions, Pride@Work-Hawai'i, and The AiKea Movement of Unite Here! Local 5.

FAQ’s for the O‘ahu March 

Please feel free to email your questions, feedback and suggestions to honoluluwomensmarch@gmail.com

Website: https://womensmarchoahu.wordpress.com
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2151761851715491/
E-mail: honoluluwomensmarch@gmail.com
Twitter: @WomensMarchOahu
Instagram: womensmarchoahu

Maui resident, Teresa Shook, sparked the march with a facebook post under the name, “Maui Cooper Slim”.

A good recap of the origins of this march can be found on Reuters.

Sister marches numbered 273 one day, and hit 281 just 24 hours later.  Thirty three marches are planned internationally. 

Expected Participation was 577,480 on January 11, and 593,833 just 24 hours later.  Women’s March Global is building and empowering a persistent global network that will organize future campaigns and actions in support of progressive values including women’s rights.  It will be interesting to see the coalitions.

#womensmarchmaui  #alohaforall


Noe Tanigawa covered art, culture and ideas for two decades at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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