MUNCY - The Women's March in Washington D.C. that took place on Saturday, January 21st turned into the country's largest protest march that ever took place in history. Some local women from the Muncy area attended that day in the spirit of democracy and to uphold "women's rights as human rights."
Glenda Heyd who has been a business owner in Muncy for the past 8 and a half years was one of the main organizers. With phone, i-pad and computer on hand she was able to fill three buses that left early that morning from the Lycoming Mall in Muncy Township. She said it didn't take long to find bus captains and many of those going were able to connect with her from her small shoppe, Glenda's Knit Knook on Lycoming Mall Drive. "We're coming out," she told the media and WBRE news. "We are among a wide circle of people who are concerned of the direction the country will take under the forthcoming administration."
After discovering the event on Facebook, Heyd said she created a Facebook page for this area for the march and used social media to get the word out and to keep everyone up to date. "I had to think about this for a few days before I decided to do this," said Heyd who is 63.
BARB BARRETT/The Luminary
Glenda Heyd and Lauralea Bodle were organizers for local buses for the Women's March in Washington D.C. on Saturday. Heyd, who is owner of the Knit Knook in Muncy, and a core group of women knitted the symbolic pink hats from her shop for the local bus riders.
In the weeks prior to the event a core group of knitters got together at her shoppe and made the symbolic pink hats for the riders going to the demonstration. Heyd who has owned her business for 17 years said, "It was a labor of love." She and her husband Mike, who also attended the march, own the property that was once a motel for 18 years. They have remodeled the rooms into rental apartments next to Glenda's shop.
Deb Steransky from Muncy who rode the bus on Saturday said, "We did a really good thing today. It was awesome." Vicki Eshleman, also from Muncy said, "I went for my granddaughter. It was exciting and wonderful to see there are people who feel as I do. It was bigger than I thought it would be, and a lot of positive energy."
Christina Dorward who lives in the Muncy borough said she posted photos of the event on the local Facebook page and asked, "What's next?"
Although the movement spread to more than 200 countries across the world, not everyone was pleased with the Women's March on Washington.
"I listened to much of the presentations," said Susan Seybert from Muncy. "As I woman I am glad I did not associate myself with this movement. I couldn't believe so many mothers exposed their young daughters to such language and behavior. Madonna talking about blowing up the White House. Ashley Judd talking about being a "Mean Bitch Woman". If anyone else would have called her that, she'd probably sue them for slander. I would never have exposed my daughters to such behavior. Very unfeminine." Some of the signage was anatomically explicit, and Seybert felt that some of the exposed messages were too vulgar.
Others posted comments about the trash left behind. Washington was not prepared for the large numbers of people that came from just about every state, over 500,000 that far surpassed expectations. It didn't take long for waste receptacles to overflow and signs were not allowed in most of the public buildings. As the crowd rallied past Trump's International Hotel that was once the Post Office, many protestors left their signs in protest around the building adding salacious remarks.
NBC reported no arrests and that it was a "peaceful march." Security was very amicable, helpful and guided the continuous long lines for bathrooms, the Metro, the port-a-potties and the march itself that led to Independence Ave. and Third Street. Many could not reach the destination to the White House as the crowds representing all ages, races, genders and denominations were so thick that they found it difficult to get to the stages or platforms where the speakers were positioned.
Public schools and churches opened their doors to get warm, change babies, take a break and use the restrooms. Long lines were everywhere and many were kind and patient according to the local bus riders. "We met lots of new people and spoke with many new faces," said Mary Sieminski, a local supporter and women's historian.
The trip back was perplexing for some as there were close to 2,000 buses lined up in the RFK stadium.
The three buses from the Lycoming Mall returned close to midnight. On the return home the women reflected back on the day and remain hopeful that senators and congressmen will take note of who they are and notice the massive numbers who came to voice their displeasure with their government. "We expect to be equally represented," Heyd said. "More women in government are more apt to compromise. We are all the peacekeepers and the caregivers. It's time to step up."