Casper Women, Men, Children And A Beagle March For Equality
They're not going to take it anymore, even though "it" -- the administration of President Donald Trump -- has been in effect for only a day.
"We thought it was important to show our opinions like you should do in a democracy," Kyle Hunsicker said Saturday during what was billed as a women's march in downtown Casper.
Hunsicker and his friend Andrea D'Onofrio were accompanied by their blind 12-year-old beagle Sydney Sue. Of all the causes proclaimed by the crowd, theirs was the only one with a sign "Beagles Against Bigots," referring to President Trump's comments about women, minorities, Muslims and others.
Hunsicker, who owns a local business, said what he's seen of Trump's economic policies and cabinet nominees will hurt Wyoming in the long run because they will thwart the need to diversify the state's boom-and-bust energy based economy.
"We have no idea what to be prepared for," Huntsicker said. "So I think absolutely there's going to be things that continue because we're hit by surprise after surprise, unprepared unqualified cabinet nominee by cabinet nominee, and I don't see it getting better yet."
Hundreds of women, men, children, and other pets thronged Second Street during the noon hour as they marched, hoisted signs, chanted slogans -- "No registries! No walls! Equal human rights for all!" -- and a few kept time with drums. The march on the crisp, windless day started at Beech Street, and headed five blocks west on Second Street to The Lyric near Ash Street.
Their concerns, based on what many said they saw in the presidential campaign, included protecting equal rights for women, minorities, and diverse sexual orientations; defending science and education; environmental quality, and other rights and issues.
March organizer Jane Ifland because she wanted to give people in central and northern Wyoming an opportunity to protest without driving to Cheyenne for that march.
The event did not have any speakers and not much of a program, Ifland said. "My hope was that people would talk to each other. In the course of this effort, I have heard, I don't even know how many people, say, 'I thought I was the only one.'"
A pickup drove by and someone shouted, "Trump, Trump, Trump,Trump."
"Except that guy, no one is alone in this," Ifland said.
Organizers intended the march to be peaceful, which Ifland emphasized to the crowd before the march, which coincided with similar events in Wyoming, across the United States, and worldwide.
Locally, Casper Police Lt. Richard Brown estimated the crowd at between 400 and 500. (Other observers pegged the number closer to 600.)
The event went without a hitch with no incidents, arrests or injuries, Brown said. "It went like textbook because it was so great."
Police provided escort vehicles and maintained a visible presence because of postings on social media by people who said they would show up armed to protect the city from what they called potentially violent demonstrators.
The event drew statewide support, with protesters driving here from Lusk, Sheridan, Gillette, Rock Springs, Buffalo, and 23 from Jackson.
Sarah Zediker said Jackson is a liberal city, and she wanted to see what was happening elsewhere.
"To find people interested in going outside of that little blue bubble that we live in, and seeing the rest of Wyoming and the rest of the red state and having our voices heard, off the pulpit, was very exciting," Zediker said.
The march in Cheyenne was even larger. See story HERE.
K2 Radio has contacted all three members of the Wyoming Congressional delegation for their comments on the demonstrations. We will let you know when we hear back from them.