Pride Month reaches to a close this end of June, as celebrations in all US major cities had their parades and festivities. Such is the annual month for solidarity and recognition of LGBTQ members in our civilization for their basic rights, and to coexist freely without the effects of bigotry and persecution.
This weekend also marks the 50th anniversary of the clash between police and gay bar patrons in Manhatten, New York City known as the Stonewall riots. Building frustrations from the local gay community in the late 1960s boosted the modern gay-rights movement, building much in the decades ahead.
Meanwhile here in Seattle, a large parade would draw thousands of people over, along with two major festivals in Capitol Hill and the Seattle Center. I missed most for personal reasons tending elsewhere. Yet, I did take around 20 minutes to watch a little of the Sunday parade.
For that moment, and observing the huge crowds of support, I see great development since the Stonewall riots. LGBTQ activism and solidarity are more freely expressed, with growing support and understanding. But, there remain other areas in our world, where such expression is forbidden and met with a terrible penalty. We look to our own leaders, and some failings with the current administration to help protect what should be equal rights to openly engage in same-sex relationships, have legally accepted civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Also, not be discriminated in for employment situations, public accommodations, housing, education needs, and more.
Therefore, the marches and festivities shall move on in more Pride months, perhaps for another 50 years at least. Along the way. humanity collects and grows as we learn to love better.
– Orion T
“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
Today, a beautiful day in honor of the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Many had the day off and joined others at special marches across the US. Seattle represented itself well where thousands took over many blocks, giving tribute and spreading many of Martin Luther King Jr’s messages on racial prejudice, economic inequality, social injustice and change, the effects of war, the need for peace, education, and much more.
Among them, I felt a great optimism of such strength in numbers, that we can move forward for the better. But, there is still a lot of work to be done, after the marching is over.
– Orion T
Yesterday on March 24th, millions took to the streets in the first “March for our Lives” national event. This one, very different from recent marches from the last two years, as the focus this time was mostly on gun policy change, stricter background checks, banning ARs, resistance to the NRA lobbying campaign and propaganda, safer schools, and many related issues. The event, led by survivors of the Parkland, Florida high school mass shooting with other young prolific speakers on stage in Washington D.C.
The Seattle city took part with its own impressive numbers on this beautiful sunny day. I joined among them, in support of sensible changes and sane thinking to the troubling counterpoint of arming more civilians and looser restrictions. Seeing the many passionate marching people wanting a safer future with no mass shootings fill me with great hope for these tough times, as I expect them to heighten the debate on the complexities of the issue, then drive toward improvements on current gun policy.
Here are some picture snaps of the day from me…
– Orion T
On Saturday and mostly in the cities, the second annual series of Women’s Marches happened across the United States. Big results followed through once again, with an emphasis of unease towards the current President, his administration, and GOP establishment (also the year anniversary of #45’s inauguration).
The people of Seattle and surrounding areas arrived, and filled the march route for several hours by tens of thousands in number. The weather was murky with spots of light sprinkles with a forgiving temperature of the upper 40s. Signs on hand were many focused toward “liberal” causes, many of which are championed by strong-minded women fighting back today.
Especially for the Seattle event, there was a grand presence of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls March happening within. Such was heartfelt for the troubling history involving such, bringing awareness to the ignored gender-based violence in the United States and Canada to Indigenous Women. Here with the march, drums and native symbology mix with red cloth for solidarity to the victims and unresolved cases.
Here are my pictures of this event…
An overall good day, with refreshed optimism and new unity for our challenging times.
“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…
This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
Today is the 32nd third Monday of January, known as Martin Luther King Day, in celebration of the greatest civil rights activist leader of our lifetimes. We spend it as a day off for many, and in remembrance of King’s message and strive for justice, liberty, and peace for all.
Here in Seattle, there was a march and a rally held, of which I sadly missed. But the message remained on signs and shirts later on in the day. The current vibe focused on the road ahead toward the full accomplishment of Dr. King’s dream, with sentiments on social movements on civil rights for immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and others marginalized by oppressive systems.
A general theme can be seen throughout brought on by organizers to “Take a Knee for Justice” referring to the prayer actions of Martin Luther King and company during his famous march in Selma, Alabama, then recently brought back by modern civil rights activist/ NFL star Colin Kaepernick and company, overall in solidarity for wrongs in the system against people of color. Signs throughout are a reminder, there is still much to do, and more unity needed to achieve a nation where persons will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
– Orion T
This Earth Day on April 22nd in 2017, hundreds of thousands of persons (at least) worldwide participated in the first March for Science. I was part of that, for.
I was part of this, for which I am proud. My stake is the desire for cleaner air and water, renewable clean energy, wildlife and nature conservation, end to reliance on oil, more funding in public education and access to educational public resources, a stronger pull with the science community in politics than corporate lobbyists, more critical thinking in public policy towards the cause/effect on environment and those living in affected areas, climate change monitoring and reports, an overall emphasis towards the betterment of humanity through science and the continued pursuit of knowledge from our world leaders. Also, I feel troubled with the current Commander in Chief’s statements and actions in Congress on the many science-related issues that concern me.
For Seattle, there was rain and a gloomy sky, for which was nothing yet notable for the chill atmosphere provided. Many showed up at Cal Anderson Park in the Capitol Hill district, where the Science March began. The journey continued through the Downtown area, through Belltown, and by the Space Needle in the Seattle Center. Such was a much shorter march, compared to the record-breaking Woman’s March back in January; yet notable and attention-getting in current headlines.
Here below, are some unedited pictures from the March of Science in Seattle, giving a small portion of the overall grandness, for which I hope will have lasting effects in the years to come for our ever troubled planet.
– Orion T
The latest rally against Trump across many cities, here again in Seattle.
Though, this particular gathering happened in response to the sudden and troubling new Executive Branch order put forth by President Trump. Such was the denial of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, for the next 90 days while suspending the admission of all refugees for 120 days. A great many including myself, were not happy with this confounding orders, frustrating many while driving tens of thousands across the nation to protest.
The Seattle crowd this time, took a more focused approach on immigration, in defense of those wronged by the new policy. The most popular chant was “Say it loud, say it clear..immigrants are welcome here,’ delivered in massive unison through the streets. The police led them around the blocks, and I think split the marching portion crowd into separate groups. A clever ploy to dwindle the crowds perhaps, as they seemed much smaller in number with less time to prepare. Still, all went well for the protesters in the thousands gathered to have their say, including Mayor Ed Murray and Governor Jay Inslee.
To where all this will lead, is foreseen. But such unity is inspiring a great hope for the troubled times ahead, that all will be okay in the end.
– Orion T