FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – The day after the November 2016 Presidential Election, Rebecca Shook, of Hawaii, expressed her frustration in a Facebook post and suggested women march on Washington during Inauguration Day. That original post morphed into the Women’s March on Washington, which will take place Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. People from all around the country are expected to attend the event.
Maggie Savoca of Fanwood and Stacey Gunderman of New Providence are coordinating transportation from Union County. They have booked and sold out 8 full size coach buses, leaving from New Providence (2), Fanwood (3), Cranford, Linden, and a bus which will stop in Clark and Union. More than 400 residents from Union County will travel to Washington for the event.
“One night on the local Scotch Plains – Fanwood Facebook page, a friend posted asking about a local bus to the march. It’s been worth it to empower people who want a country that works for everyone," explained Savoca. "The national march movement will accomplish more in 74 days than most of the obstructionist congress people and senators who get paid (and have excellent health benefits), have accomplished in the last 8 years."
Phyllis Mirabella and Doris Eckstine, both of Fanwood, will serve as bus captains from Fanwood. They will help organize, checking people onto the bus the morning of the march and handling other logistics for the day.
"I felt a very strong pull once I heard about this march. It was important to me to be part of a movement that was against the degradation of women and minorities, help those without a voice to be heard, and encourage those who feel powerless to speak up and know that their everyday struggles are being noticed," Phyllis Mirabella said.
Mirabella adds that the motivation for her involvement is that she "want(s) Mr. Trump to know that he has not succeeded in unifying this country once he got elected, as he vowed to do."
"His temper tantrums, his ridiculous middle-of-the-night tweets and child-like behavior have done nothing to heal the country after an extremely ugly campaign. All civility and decorum was thrown out the window during the campaign, and unfortunately it looks like it's going to continue based on his behavior since getting elected," Mirabella continued. "I hope that by hundreds of thousands of people marching all over the world, he will clearly see -- and no longer be able to ignore -- what his own actions and words have done, and will continue to do, if he does not start acting like a leader and unifier."
Last week, 85 people attended a meet-and-greet for march participants at Forest Road Park in Fanwood. Each state has designated a headband as a means of identifying one another. New Jersey’s headbands will be made of flowers – symbolizing The Garden State.
The Women’s March on Washington will start near the U.S. Capitol. A program featuring nationally recognized advocates, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders will also take place. Marches are planned in other cities across the country.