About 700 turn out for Women’s March on Homer 2018

  • Men, women and children march out of the HERC Building parking lot at the start of the Women’s March on Homer 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Hundreds of people carrying messages of hope, change and progress made their way down Pioneer Avenue to WKFL Park for a photo opportunity to and special speaker. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Elliott Greet, 11, walks in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. He said he marched for “equality between genders.” When asked how boys should treat girls, he said, “Be nice to them. Treat them how you would want to be treated.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A line of protesters curves along Pioneer Avenue in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Sandy Garity, coordinator of the Women’s March on Homer 2018, speaks to an assembled crowd of marchers shortly before they take off on their path through the town Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. More than 600 men, women and children turned out to this year’s march, which organizers said was focused on women’s rights as human rights, and voter registration. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Pastor Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church speaks at the Homer March for Women on Saturday. Talbott held up a sign that read “#MeToo” and spoke about her experiences with sexual harassment and how she overcame them. “Nevertheless, she persisted,” Talbott said. “My life story is a story of persistence. Just like you I had a life story.” Talbott said she believes in the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. “The abundant life is not about fighting. It’s about thriving,” she said. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A sign reading “Your Vote Counts” is hoisted into the air as a crowd prepares to march in the HERC Building parking lot before the Women’s March on Homer 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. A major focus of this year’s march was voter registration. Registrars were set up to greet people at the end of the march in WKFL Park. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • The front of the Homer March for Women crosses Main Street on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Homer area residents line up to march down Pioneer Avenue during the Women’s March on Homer 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • A Homer area woman with a sign bearing a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt prepares to march with hundreds of others in the HERC Building parking lot ahead of the Women’s March on Homer 2018 on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • West Homer Elementary students Caitlin Smith (left) and Gillian Bremicker prepare to lead the Women’s March on Homer 2018 out of the HERC parking lot and down Pioneer Avenue on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. The pair said they asked for a sign to carry and were surprised and excited to be offered the lead banner. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Former Homer City Council member Catriona Reynolds holds a sign in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. Reynolds survived an attempt to recall her from office in June 2017, winning with 56 percent of “no” votes. She chose not to run for re-election. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Webster Martin, 5, holds a sign reading “Freedom” in preparation for the Women’s March on Homer 2018, waiting with others in the HERC Building parking lot Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. Martin’s mother, Lisa Asselin Martin, said she felt it was important for him to support his female friends, one of whom he marched with. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Marchers prepare to spread their messages through the streets of Homer as they gather in the HERC parking lot before the Women’s March on Homer 2018 sets off down Pioneer Avenue on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Sue Mauger holds a sign in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Member Willy Dunne mingles with Homer area residents shortly before the Women’s March on Homer 2018, in the parking lot of the HERC Building, on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • A woman carries a sign reading “Free speech. Protect free press” in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Ariel Gingrich holds a sign reading “This machine kills fascists” with a drawing of a woman’s reproductive system in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. The sign is a reference to a sticker musician Woody Guthrie put on his guitar in 1941 during World War II. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A President Donald Trump puppet shreds the Bill of Rights in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Along with protest signs, this woman carries a sign about her lost dog in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Pastor Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church speaks at the Homer March for Women on Saturday. Talbott held up a sign that read “#MeToo” and spoke about her experiences with sexual harassment and how she overcame them. “Nevertheless, she persisted,” Talbott said. “My life story is a story of persistence. Just like you I had a life story.” Talbott said she believes in the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. “The abundant life is not about fighting. It’s about thriving,” she said. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Homer City Council member Rachel Lord speaks at the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Participants hold up letters that spell out ‘RESPECT” at WKFL Park at the end of the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • Hope Stearns holds a sign in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The line of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A line of protesters curves along Pioneer Avenue in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A line of protesters curves along Pioneer Avenue in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
  • A line of protesters curves along Pioneer Avenue in the Homer March for Women on Saturday. About 700 people walked in the march along Pioneer Avenue on Jan. 20, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. The group of marchers extended from Main Street to Kachemak Way. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Homerites knew just how to cut through the cold on Saturday as they marched from the Homer Education and Recreation Complex to WKFL Park: with messages of hope, strength and warmth.

In a movement which began last year in reaction to President Donald Trump’s election, inspired by the social media posts of a woman in Hawaii, hundreds of thousands of women, men and children took to the streets around the country to march for progress and women’s rights. It made its way to Alaska as well, with more than 900 people marching in Homer last year.

The focus of this year’s march in Homer was once again on women’s rights and the fact that they are human rights, said coordinator Sandy Garity.

“We are celebrating the success of the anniversary of the first (march),” she said. “And we still have women’s issues. We have human issues, let me say that.”

The theme of this year’s march was “Together We Rise.”

Another focus of the Women’s March on Homer 2018 was the importance of voting and voter registration, she said. Registrars were ready and waiting at the end of the march in WKFL Park to get members of the community registered to vote.

“We feel that everybody who can vote should be out to vote,” Garity said. “Their vote will make a difference, and we’re encouraging it, however you vote, just to go out and vote.”

Garity estimated about 700 people marched, logged by a volunteer with a clicker near the end of the march. Men and boys joined women and girls in the two-by-two parade up Pioneer Avenue.

One boy, Elliott Greet, 11, held a sign that read “Boys will be boys,” with the second “boys” crossed out and replaced with “good humans.” Greet said he marched for “equality between genders … to respect everyone, whatever their beliefs.” He had some advice for how boys should treat girls.

“Be nice to them. Treat them how you want to be treated,” he said.

West Homer Elementary students Gillian Bremicker and Caitlin Smith, both 12, were surprised to be given the march’s lead banner bearing the theme.

“I’m very excited,” Smith said prior to taking off down Pioneer Avenue. “I’ve never led a parade before.”

The girls were just as excited to be participating in the march with their fellow women and peers.

“I just wanted to support everyone, because it’s really important to everyone,” Bremicker said. “So I thought I would just come and support.”

“And it’s — well it’s our future, so we want to make it better,” Smith added.

Many parents marched with children from toddlers to young adults. Lisa Asselin Martin and Jane Dunn were there with their respective 5 year olds, Webster Martin and Skyra Martin (no relation), who are friends.

“This is the world we’re raising our kids in, and I want to make sure that they know when something’s not right that you can stand up for yourself,” Dunn said. “I want to see changes in the world that they’re going to be taking over.”

“Really, for my son, I really wanted him to experience that a community can make a difference, and that if we work together we can actually change things,” Asselin Martin added. “And to support his mom and his friends and his women friends.”

At the end of the march, presenters from the American Civil Liberties Union-Alaska, Cook Inletkeeper and Bunnell Street Arts Center spoke at the WKFL gazebo, as did a local minister.

“We have seen some amazing things come out of this dark time,” said Tara Rich of the ACLU. “… What do we do in these dark times? Take a seat in the halls of power.”

Pastor Lisa Talbott of Homer United Methodist Church started her talk by holding up a sign that read “#MeToo,” the slogan of people calling attention to incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Talbott related her experiences with harassment and assault from childhood to adulthood, with each anecdote saying, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Advocating for women’s rights doesn’t take away from men, she said.

“Empowering women does not mean disempowering men,” Talbott said. “A rising tide raises all boats.”

As a Christian and Methodist, Talbott put her experiences in the context of her faith.

“Jesus said, ‘I came so you may have life and have it abundantly. … We can choose to live in the fear of scarcity or we choose to live in the hope of abundance,” she said. “I choose hope.”

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com. Reach Michael Armstrong at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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