Hundreds Turn Out in Broomfield to Show Passion of Resistance Still Burns
A fire that was lit when President Donald Trump was elected, one that propelled millions of women across the country to march in protest, is still burning strong and was seen across the faces of hundreds of Broomfield marchers on Saturday.
Men, women, children and dogs returned to the Broomfield Amphitheater with their signs, their pink hats and rallying cries for change.
One voice would ask “What does democracy look like?” and others chanting “this is what democracy looks like!” as about 400 people marched around the pond Saturday morning as other Women’s Marches were held around the country.
People from across the north metro joined the Broomfield Women’s March, which was organized by Wendy Fiedler, the resident who started the local movement last year, and Kathy Ayala, chair of the Broomfield County Democrats.
In her opening remarks, Ayala made note of the thousands marching simultaneously through Civic Center park in downtown Denver, which was joined by many from Boulder County, some of whom convoyed there by bus.
“We are here because this is where we live,” she said to roaring applause, “and Broomfield is relevant to this state and we need to make sure our voices are heard as well.”
Ward 5 Councilwoman Guyleen Castriotta talked about how this movement is “obviously so much more than a women’s march,” and about the importance of grassroot efforts to affect change. A year ago a resistance was formed, she said, and since then the number of women running for office around the country has surged.
She and other women decided to “run as we are and we got elected” and she encouraged others to run too.
“Our country is challenged by a vile and growing cancer. We are governed by those who practice a divide-and-conquer system of lies and personal pocket lining with complete disregard for the new colossus that promises sanctuary to its tired, its poor its huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Democratic state Rep. Matt Gray, who lives in Broomfield, talked about the systematic abuse of women in all areas — business, media and among elected officials — and how it needs to stop.
There are two groups that have allowed decades of abuse to perpetuate society: the “disgusting” men who commit those acts and those who look the other way.
“It’s not fair for us to say ‘it’s a women’s issue and I don’t want to get involved,’” Gray said. “When we do that we’re complicit.”
Several Broomfield City Council members spoke, including Ward 3 Councilman Deven Shaff, Ward 4 Councilman Kevin Kreeger and Ward 1 Councilwoman Sharon Tessier, who listed impactful women such as Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama.
Shaff, who like Castriotta was elected in November, talked about a “political revolution” that the country has seen since Trump was elected.
“We are not going to erode our rights as humans,” Shaff said. “We are not going to erode our women″ rights, we are not going to erode our immigration rights, our workers rights, our health care rights, our LGTBQA rights and our environmental rights. Climate change is real.”
He talked about revolutions starting from the “ground up” and a need to remove “hate and bigotry” from the White House. Shaff, befitting of a retired opera singer, led the crowd in singing “We Shall Overcome.”
Ward 1 Councilman Stan Jezierksi and former Ward 3 Councilman Sam Taylor were also in attendance.
At the end of the march, Sarah Egolf-Tarr helped man a table for information about a recent merged group, including One Broomfield Indivisible, Broomfield CAN (Community Action Network) and #Resist Broomfield.
Cherylin Peniston, who went to Denver’s march last year, came Saturday with other members of her Progressive Women political group to Broomfield where they had space to move and far better parking.
“Instead of sitting around drinking coffee and (complaining) about it, we decided to do something,” Peniston said.
So the group meets periodically to talk about current issues and brings in speakers on various topics. Last year’s march in Denver was their first official “event.”
“There were overwhelming numbers in Denver,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience. It was so fun, people were polite and the signs were hysterical.”
Their location last year, right by the Civic Center, was almost too crowded to move, she said. Still the feeling of the movement was the same at Broomfield’s event, despite the significantly smaller crowd.
Broomfield’s march had a distinct “local” feel, she said, and she hopes it shows that there are strong groups outside of Denver making a difference.
Peniston was also excited that Broomfield’s crowd was bigger than last year and that the movement is still alive across the nation.
“Usually things like this — people get angry and active and then it fizzles,” she said.
Boulder saw its own protest Saturday as more than 100 people walked around Thunderbird Lake in Admiral Burke Park. The march was organized by the Indivisible group of Frasier Meadows Retirement Community. Afterward the marchers had coffee and sang “We Shall Overcome” and other songs.
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios