Oxonians to march at home and D.C.

Published 10:11 am Thursday, January 19, 2017

Susan Mason and her friends meet each Friday for lunch to talk about whatever comes to mind.

Most recently, it was how they wished they could be in Washington D.C. Saturday to join others for the Women’s March on Washington.

“Everyone can’t go there, so we decided to hold our own march here in Oxford,” Mason said.

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Mason was issued the necessary permits from City Hall for the first Oxford March for America that will begin at 11 a.m., rain or shine, on the east side of Lafayette County Courthouse. Mason said the time was picked to coincide with the east coast march in Washington D.C., which begins at 10 a.m.

Mason said Oxford’s march is open to everyone.

“People have a variety of concerns, from women’s rights, to education, health care and more,” she said. “We’ve had a great response so far and it’s growing much bigger than we expected.”

Marchers are asked to begin gathering at 10:45 on the east side of the Square and are welcome and encouraged to bring American flags and signs, with Oxford March for America written on them along with their messages.

“The Oxford march is intended to convey to our community, country and world our belief that the United States of America must continue to stand for the dignity of all people, equality and freedom from discrimination, and protection of the global environment for the benefit of current and future generations,” stated a press release about the Oxford March for America.

Washington or bust

Almost 900 miles away, several Oxford women have decided to make the trek to Washington D.C. and will be marching with others from around the country.

Susie Romig says she’s going because it’s important that women have their voices heard when it comes to women’s issues.

“The right to control our bodies, our health care and receiving equal pay for equal work,” Romig said. “I work in IT and I’ve been on the short end where I’ve worked side-by-side with men who were paid more than me for the same job.”

Romig is leaving Friday night with a group of about six other women. “We’re going to show our solidarity and do it in a peaceful and respectful way,” she said.

The Women’s March begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time Saturday at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street in Washington D.C., near the U.S. Capitol. A rally with speakers and entertainers will follow the march.

Women’s issues at forefront

Romig said while the march is an important step to get concerns out in the open and before President-elect Donald Trump the day after his inauguration, the effort to keep women’s issues at the forefront is multifaceted.

“People need to be writing their congressmen and congresswomen and advocating locally,” she said.

Edy Dingus, an AmeriCorps VISTA with the United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County, said she’s excited about going to the march in Washington D.C., but isn’t happy about going.

“I’m not happy to attend because if most of us had our way, there would be no need for a march, but I’m grateful that I’m able to represent those who are misrepresented and unrepresented in the proposals and polices of the new administration.

“If the march affects anything in the new administration, I hope that it illuminates and eradicates any future bigotry in the Oval Office. I hope it teaches all Americans that to be American isn’t to be one thing, but to be all things, and that to be a patriot means to love all things, not just one.”