For the second straight year, women “and their allies” will march in downtown Casper in opposition to President Donald Trump, the event’s coordinator said.
“We want to make sure that people understand that this is not normal,” Jane Ifland said Thursday. “The second thing is that we object to the things that we feared that are now materializing. And the third reason is that we hope to be joined by people who voted for (Trump) in good faith and now find his policies intolerable.”
Last year’s Casper march — which mirrored similar protests in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the nation — drew roughly 750 people, Ifland said. This year’s march will begin on Second and Beech streets at 1 p.m. Jan 20. and will proceed to the Lyric.
Ifland said she wasn’t sure how many people would show up this year: Organizers originally predicted around 60 last year. As of early Thursday evening, 55 people have RSVP’d on Facebook, and 78 have said they’re interested.
Organizers are holding a sign-making party at Backwards Distillery at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18. An alcohol-free event will be held at 900 S. Nebraska from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. before the march.
Ifland, ShoShoni Rose Arthur and Democrat Gary Trauner — who announced he would challenge Sen. John Barrasso for his seat — will speak. Ifland said it was still unclear where — whether at the Lyric or somewhere between the march’s beginning and end.
There will also be an open mic set up wherever the speakers ultimately present, Ifland said, so attendees can speak and have their voices heard. She recounted a story of one of the organizers who received a form letter from Barrasso’s office. The person then reached out to the senators from North Dakota, one of whom replied with an identical form letter to Barrasso’s.
“That is how profoundly we are not being listened to,” Ifland said. The mic is “so we can at least hear each other.”
She acknowledged that she and the march’s other organizers were running out of time to get the march organized, which she said was caused by a mixture of personal issues and march-related complications. For instance, the event did not have insurance or a parade permit last year. Both will be needed this time around.
Wyoming’s congressional delegation — Barrasso, Sen. Mike Enzi and Rep. Liz Cheney — are all being invited to the march, Ifland said.
Organizers will raise money at the march to pay for the space in the Lyric, where tables will be set up for organizations to recruit interested volunteers.
Ifland said marches will be held across the country — including in Chicago — and she hopes the message sent will echo in the years to come.
“In 100 years, when somebody wants to know the history of this period, in this place, I want that person or people to be able to find out that people here resisted what we saw going on,” she said. “This is far less about 45 and far more about us.”