Peaceful Port Jervis 'Sister March' even gets smiles from Trump supporters
'We're finding common cause,' one marcher says: Police officers and mayor help keep the day safe for all
By Anya Tikka
PORT JERVIS — About 500 people marched through Port Jervis in a “Sister March” to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, the day after Presidential Inauguration.
Many men also took part, and many brought their children along.
Patty Bauchman, the wife of the pastor at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, organized the march at the suggestion of a friend. She and her husband led the way with their eight-month-old baby.
“We wanted to give people a base to walk and talk so they wouldn’t have to go all the way to Washington,” Bauchman said.
The church has a long tradition of standing up for minorities and those in need, she said.
“We’re marching in the footsteps of those who went before us," Bauchman said.
Among those marching was Michael Panzer. He said he came because he has two daughters and didn’t want them to grow up in a country with a misogynist President.
But he found a silver lining.
“It’s woken up people to take part, and to show that democracy is still alive in America," he said. "We’re finding a common cause.”
One truck went by several times during the march, with someone from inside calling “Trump, Trump, Trump."
Otherwise, there were no counter-protests. Many bystanders along Pike Street expressed their support. Some who said they voted for Trump shrugged and smiled at the scene.
Two men who stood watching said the march was stupid and insulting to the President, and that Hillary supporters and the Democratic Party were childish. They said people should accept the outcome and unify.
“Where were they before the election?” they asked.
Jill Nobles brought along her nine-year-old son, Don.
“I’m marching for my son’s future,” she said. “I want him to grow up in a world where everyone is equal and accepted, and loved treated fairly.”
Don added earnestly: “I think the march is a peaceful way to resist something in a way that does not hurt others.”
The officer directing traffic on Pike Street said everything was going very smoothly, adding: “That’s the way we like it.”
Nobles went to shake his hand with her son, thanking him for being there to help.
Port Jervis Mayor Kelly Decker also observed the march. People have the right to exercise their First Amendment right, he said, and that everything was going peacefully. Port Jervis police officers, with Chief William Worden, also provided security for the marchers, interacting cordially with them.
Bauchman said people came from Port Jervis and all over Orange County, and also from beyond.
One marcher, Marsha McCoey, who brought along her children — "My oldest is five and my youngest is two" — summed up her feelings:
“I’m marching today because I believe in equal rights very strongly," she said.
Photos by Anya Tikka
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