rb rally 012117 4Several hundred participants flowed into Riverside Gardens Park for the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative Rally Saturday.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


rb rally 012117 17One day after the start of a new administration in Washington, D.C., hundreds of protesters gathered in Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park to push back against its promised agenda.

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. alexia gates 012117 “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.”

lorraine stone 012117 “We have an administration now that does not really believe in dialogue, does not really believe in engaging others,” actress Lorraine Stone told the audience.

rb rally 012117 3 rb rally 012117 7 “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.”

rb rally 012117 11 rb rally 012117 15 rb rally 012117 19 rb rally 012117 23patrick julu 012117 rb rally 012117 1 rb rally 012117 5 rb rally 012117 9 rb rally 012117 13  rb rally 012117 21 rb rally 012117 25pasquale menna 012117“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.”

rb rally 012117 8 rb rally 012117 12 rb rally 012117 16 “I have major concerns about this administration changing environmental policies, taking steps backward rather than forward,” said Pastor Jess Naulty of United Methodist Church in Red Bank.

gilda rogers 012117 rb rally 012117 2 rb rally 012117 6 rb rally 012117 10 rb rally 012117 14 rb rally 012117 18rb rally 012117 22rb rally 012117 24“The path that our president has taken is anathema to me,” Diane Swaim, above, of Middletown, told redbankgreen. “His intolerance is intolerable.”