By JOHN T. WARD
But if the policies of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump were foremost on their minds, speaker after speaker at the event avoided mentioning him by name.
Organized by an ad hoc group called the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, the event was one of numerous women’s marches and similar gatherings that drew millions of participants across the United States and around the globe Saturday, one day after the start of the Trump Administration.
This one, co-organizer Ellen Herman told redbankgreen earlier this month, was intended as “non-partisan and nonpolitical,” a means to affirm values such as respect for one another, civil rights and progress toward a cleaner environment.
Of the estimated 400 attendees gathered in the chilly damp afternoon, only a few carried signs or placards that made direct reference to Trump. And none of the speakers were heard by redbankgreen to utter Trump’s name.
Instead, they alluded generically to “the administration,” while encouraging those present to push back against policies they described as discriminatory, anti-environmental and unjust.
Below are photos, with some excerpts from the remarks. “Trying to resolve conflicts with violent behaviors won’t solve anything,” said Red Bank Middle School student Alexia Gates. “Let’s take advantage of our voices to spread more peace and love.”
“We cannot as a country return to a past that is nothing more than a figment of a white man’s imagination,” even co-organizer Suellen Sims told the crowd. “I see a 21st-century America that honors the best parts of our past while creating an interdependent society in which ‘the other’ is neither feared nor mocked.”
“What we’re here to recognize and commit ourselves to is the inexorable — and that’s a good word, the inexorable progress and process of human rights, civil rights, equal rights dignity as well as unity” said Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna. “Let’s commit ourselves to that and we’ll all be okay.”