Marchers should capitalize on momentum

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No matter where you land on the political spectrum, the estimated numbers are remarkable. From Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza (biggest gathering at the site ever) to the Santa Fe Plaza (10,000 to 15,000 marchers) and Taos Plaza (more than 100), thousands upon thousands of marchers showed up across New Mexico Jan. 21. While the Taos number may seem low, consider that hundreds of Taos County residents marched in Santa Fe as well. The Northern New Mexico response to the Million Women March has been significant to say the least. We think marchers should capitalize on the momentum they’ve created.

The Taos News received dozens of images from readers across Northern New Mexico — marchers marking and preserving the day in their own special way. We received many more images than we are able to print; so many that we decided to publish a sample on these pages. There are more by Taos News photographer Katharine Egli on the front page and at taosnews.com. (We’ll catch up on letters next week.)

Since Jan. 21, the exact purpose of the march and its weight have been debated across mass media, and the march has practically taken over social media channels. One thing is certain: Marchers should take advantage of the extraordinary momentum they’ve created. For Northern New Mexico, that momentum should not only continue to be directed toward the federal government, but to the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. The legislative session still has about 50 days to go. The policies and legislation debated there have arguably more immediate and real effects on New Mexico residents than what President Donald Trump has brewing or is tweeting. Taoseños should direct the momentum toward county and town government as well. Our local government is debating the implementation of a comprehensive economic development plan for the area. The Taos economy affects all of us, even if we have differing views on how it should look.

Of course, there are actions Trump has taken that are very alarming. One of the latest developments the Taos area is deeply involved in are the pipeline projects he is attempting to revive, Keystone and Dakota Access.

And when talking about sustaining momentum, it’s worth mentioning how last week’s march began. Teresa Shook, of Hawaii, created a Facebook event Nov. 9 to invite her friends to march on Washington to protest Trump’s election win. A snowball effect took place as her friends created their own events and invited friends. Soon, thousands of women were signed up to march. Established women’s groups and civil rights organizations, among many others, picked up on the energy and organized as well. Fast forward a couple of months later and there were marches in 500 cities with 3.3 million people.

And while Trump’s win was the spark, organizers are quick to say that the coalescing of millions of women across the globe is about more than one man. It’s a stand on issues that range from race and ethnicity to gender, religion, immigration, LGBTQ rights and health care. To be sure, Trump has the ability to affect all those issues in America.

We know the momentum has continued already. While this piece was going to press, protesters with Greenpeace were scaling a crane in downtown Washington in a protest against Trump. The group hung a 70-foot-by-35-foot banner with the word “Resist” on it.

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