(The Picket)– Shepherdstown women met Wednesday, Jan. 11, to plan their participation in the Women’s March on Washington to take place on the National Mall the day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.
West Virginia organizers have planned for five rally buses to depart Shepherdstown at 6:55 a.m. for the ride to Washington, D.C. The departure is planned for 200 East High Street, which is across the street from Shepherd University’s parking lot A. Bus tickets are $60, and those interested should look at the Facebook group, Women’s March on Washington – West Virginia. The buses are expected to leave the Capitol for Shepherdstown at 6:30 p.m. There are also buses leaving from Martinsburg and Charles town locally, as well as many other cities in West Virginia and nationally.
In conjunction with plans for the March, an ACLU non-violence training is being held at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church , 100 Washington Street ,from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The training will also be streamed live online via the WV Women’s March Facebook group.
Protesters from Shepherdstown and the Eastern Panhandle, which included about 30 women and two men, met at Town Run Brewery to organize the trip. They have many reasons for joining the March, from simple thoughts like equality to more specific and personal issues.
“I have a lot of motivations. My daughters, my granddaughters, my sons – I want them all to have the same rights,” said Barbra Graver, 64, a Shepherdstown resident who plans to attend the March.
The Jan. 21 march will be the second protest for Aileen Curfman, 67, a Berkeley county resident.
“A lot of people feel that the progress that has been made in the last four years is not progress,” Curfman said. “I’m worried about the changes to AHCA (Obamacare), and funding to Planned Parenthood. Women’s health issues are important and we need to make that point.”
Curfman said she has a passion for health care equality and said marching is important because, “It makes a visible statement.”
The Women’s March on Washington to take place on Jan. 21, 2017 beginning at 10 am on the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol, is a national event with marchers coming from all over the U.S.
Rebecca Drewy, 29 ,and Pang Tubhirun 32, both residents of Shepherdstown, said that this March is about equality.
“Equality and solidarity not just for women, but for the LGBTQ community, and minorities we need to show support,” Drewy said. Tubhirun added that she is going, “to show support for all humans really and disapproval of the current government actions.”
Kim Krapf , 33, and Kate Savidan, 40, state level organizers for the March, described their reasons for involvement.
“After the election I felt disheartened, so I decided to do something about it. I found the Woman’s March on Facebook and asked, ‘how can I help?’” Krapf said. She said she has found the experience rewarding “It’s like a train I can’t get off of. It feels positive. I am fortunate to have meet so many women, many people really that are involved.”
Krapf said another motivation for her participation is her children. “I want my daughters to live in a world where they are supported and feel safe,” she said.
Savidan, 40, a Harpers Ferry resident, had a similar story for her choice to involve herself with the March. “I was on Facebook the day after the election. Feeling down and a bit depressed. I got an invitation to the protest, I saw they needed organizers and then I saw Kim. I knew her. I didn’t really understand at the time how big this was. It has been more rewarding than expected,” she said.
Savidan is also concerned for her position as an immigrant. “I am an immigrant, and the immigrant rhetoric offends me,” Savidan said. She also noted that she needed “real activism, not just being an arm chair activist.”
Jessica Sharpless is a reporter for The Picket and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org