Women’s March on ATX

Last Saturday I joined over 40,000 demonstrators at the Women’s March on ATX. People of all ages and ethnicities rallied at the Texas State Capitol and marched through the streets of downtown Austin. The crowd was predominately female, but quite a few men participated, too.

Since huge crowds were expected, a friend and I left early for the Capitol. Our Cap Metro bus quickly filled up with energetic demonstrators who cheered every time someone boarded. One woman carried a pot and a wooden spoon. I’d never heard of this tradition before, but cacerolazo (“casserole”) is actually a form of public protest that began in Spanish-speaking countries.

We arrived at the Capitol Grounds before 11 AM and quickly found our other friends at our designated meeting spot in front of the Visitor’s Center. Just as we were feeling proud of our planning skills, we noticed this uber-organized group with matching signs plus matching outfits.

By 11:30 AM, the south lawn was very crowded. Loudspeakers were set up so that demonstrators could hear speakers and musicians from the stage on the south steps. Many were carrying signs in support of various causes, including women’s rights.

The March started promptly at 12 noon. It took us 15 minutes just to step off the Capitol Grounds. We shuffled along in the center of Congress Avenue for a block before realizing that it was less crowded and easier to walk near the sidewalks.

We passed by a timely exhibit on the roof of The Contemporary Austin art museum: With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress) by Jim Hodges.

Just across the street, the marquee for the Paramount Theatre echoed the art exhibit’s title.  

The March route turned west on Sixth Street, then north again on Lavaca, and back to the State Capitol Grounds. It took us about an hour to finish the one-mile loop. Back at the Capitol, we noticed that many people were still waiting to start their marches.

A follow-on campaign has now been launched: 10 Actions for the first 100 Days.

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