ITHACA, N.Y. — A handful of words written on poster board — that’s one of the biggest unifying and defining aspects of the Women’s March on Washington and the local Ithaca march. The mostly homemade signs were funny, smart, vulgar or personal. But they all seemed to capture the historic moment in some capacity.
“I love, really, the signs. That’s my favorite part of this,” said Freeville resident Tina Phillips. “I think we just want to send a great big message — lots of messages.”
She was among more than 400 Ithaca-area people who boarded buses to go to the national March on Washington Saturday. Her daughter, Jessie Phillips, a Dryden High School student, joined her for the march.
“Being a part of something like this makes you feel like you have a voice,” Tina Phillips said.
She said that, for her, she wants to show her daughter that she has a choice when it comes to how she can live her life and what kind of healthcare she’s able to have.
Jessie Phillips said that coming from a school that isn’t very diverse, it’s important for her to experience other people’s perspective.
“Just being part of something so awesome…” she said, mattered to her.
Tina Phillips pulled out her phone and showed pictures of signs she liked, something people were seeing doing all day.
In a separate interview later, Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, D-Dryden, said the signs were also one of her favorite parts of the march.
“I took a bunch of pictures too,” she said.
Trump, because of many of inappropriate comments he’s made, kind of gives people a license to be bawdy, Robertson said. And that was reflected in the signs people made and in the pink pussyhats men and women wore.
Pink pussyhats were also a trademark of the march. The generally handmade hats were crocheted, mostly pink and had cat-shaped ears on top. They were a jab at Trump’s comment that became public earlier this year where he said that as a celebrity, he could do anything to women and they’d allow it.
“Grab ’em by the pussy,” he said.
“(It’s) taking what somebody’s done to you and flipping it around…,” Robertson said about the signs and the hats.
“There was just so much. It was expressive. There’s so much that was just proud of self and really strong,” she said.
Some of her own favorite signs — and it was hard to pick just a few — were the simple ones.
“Even just certain things as simple as ‘Science is not fake news’ and ‘Make America think again,’” she said.
And it’s all a launchpad for further action.
The Women’s March on Washington organizers have since announced that they would be advocating ’10 actions for the first 100 days,’ a campaign meant to continue the exciting momentum the march started.
In Ithaca, a Hear Our Voice Postcard Party is happening from 12:30 t0 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Circus Culture, located at 116 W Green St. in Press Bay Alley.
The event is meant to pinpoint important issues and make them known on postcards that will be sent to local officials.
“We’ve got to keep it going. We’ve just got to keep it going,” Robertson said.