Around 20 people, many affiliated with the group Oakhurst Area for Peace, braved rainy weather Friday morning at the intersection of highways 41 and 49 in what organizer Tim Madden called a “moment of reflection.”
“It’s just silent reflection and contemplation about where our country is, how we got here, and where we’re going in the future,” Madden said. “We had a really contentious election cycle, and I think it’s time now for us to come together and find some consensus on how to move forward. It’s important to us that all people feel respected, and feel heard. People of color, the LGBTQ community, women’s rights, environmental concerns, health care concerns, all of these are things we need to work on. We can always improve this country.”
Madden said the gathering, held from 8:45 - 9:30 a.m., was not a form of protest against Donald J. Trump, who was sworn in Friday as the 45th President of the United States.
“We’re going to have a new president for at least four years, and I think the faster we can get over this mentality of ‘us versus them,’ and realize we’re all Americans and we all have to work within this system, it will be a better place,” Madden said. “And part of that system is to make public statements like this. This isn’t against anything, it’s not anti anything, it’s let’s look at where we are, and where we’re going, and make sure we have an inclusive society, not an exclusive society.”
At 10 a.m. Saturday, the group will lead a march in solidarity with those participating in planned marches around the world. It will begin at Oakhurst Community Park and head north to the intersection of Highway 41 and Road 426 for people to share in the event.
The Women’s March is open to all people, and has been called a grassroots effort to protect the rights and safety of women and other groups such as minorities, LGBTQ people, Native Americans, immigrants, and refugees.
Positive signs are encouraged at that march.
Details: Susan Madden at @firstname.lastname@example.org.