Newspaper article

A Tea Party Moment? in March on Washington, Trump Opponents See Birth of Sustained Resistance

Newspaper article

A Tea Party Moment? in March on Washington, Trump Opponents See Birth of Sustained Resistance

Article excerpt

They came from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Wayzata and Mankato, joining Americans from around the country to clog the streets of the nation's capital after the inauguration of Donald Trump to send him a message.

If the protest signs were any indication -- "Build a wall around Donald," "Obamacare saved my life," "this pussy grabs back" -- they wanted to send a lot of messages.

But the protesters at Saturday's Women's March on Washington -- which attracted over half a million people of all genders -- chiefly wanted the new president and his supporters to know: They're angry, and they're not planning to go away.

If Friday's inauguration was a movement moment for Trump supporters, as Barack Obama's was for his supporters in 2009, Saturday's march was perhaps a Tea Party moment for Trump's foes, a galvanizing event leaving them energized and talking about concrete steps to oppose the president's agenda.

'We came to be counted'

For those who traveled from Minnesota to Washington, it wasn't about justifying the trip -- it was about justifying not making it.

When Noreen Buhmann and her daughter Elizabeth, from Minneapolis, got word that the march was happening, they didn't think about it for a minute. "We booked flights and got a room. There was no question," Noreen said.

Both said they had never seen anything like the demonstration that unfolded on Saturday.

Recalling her experience protesting in the 1960s and 1970s, Noreen said, "I never thought in my age group we'd still have to be in the streets," as she and her daughter took a break from marching outside of the National Archives building on the Mall. "I haven't seen anything like this, haven't seen this probably, ever."

Elizabeth said it was an incredible scene: "I finally feel good for the first time since Trump got elected about the community ... especially compared to yesterday and how few people showed up for the inauguration."

After marching, Noreen planned to attend an environmental advocacy gathering in D.C. sponsored by groups including the Sierra Club. She said so much is under threat with Trump's presidency that each person needs to find "that one thing that you can be a part of and educate and write letters."

Others are putting that energy into direct pressure on members of Congress. Lynne Gehling traveled to Washington from Wayzata, along with her daughter. After the election, she became a part of a group called Indivisible Minnesota, which aims to stand up to Trump's agenda by cribbing the Tea Party's agenda of putting relentless pressure on lawmakers and scrutinizing their every move.

Gehling, who lives in the district represented by Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen, says her group is planning to flood him with calls and questions.

"We're going to be asking Erik Paulsen, we wanna know what you're going to do to keep health care affordable," she said. …

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