'Positive march' through Milford to make their voices heard

‘We’re trying to make a better America’: Marchers say they want to have an impact

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  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • Jean Schneider, an 89-year-old World War II veteran, said, “I’m one of a kind. You don’t see anybody else my age." (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • Marchers in Milford on Friday, Inauguration day (Photo by Linda Fields)

  • Marchers outside the Patisserie Fauchere (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • Ed Gragert, organizer of Friday's march, with some of the banners made by members of the new Democratic Club (Photo by Linda Fields)

  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

  • (Photo by Anya Tikka)

Editor’s note: This story has been expanded and updated from the online story posted last Friday.

— Just a few hours after the 45th President of the United States was sworn in last Friday, the recently formed Delaware Valley Democratic Club marched silently from the Patisserie Fauchere on Broad Street to the Key Foods Supermarket on Harford Street, and back through the borough.

Along the way, they held up signs to show their displeasure with the Trump/GOP agenda.

Organized by Ed Gragert, the demonstration was in his words “a positive march” to make sure the voices calling for diversity, women’s rights, minority rights, and the rights of the disabled, among others, are heard.

“I’m a person who wants to make real the values and opinions that I hold, and I when I saw some of those values being trashed as part of the Trump campaign, that angered me, that frustrated me,” said Gragert. “So I want to make sure that at least I lend a voice and hold our public officials accountable.”

Milford resident and author John DiLeo also marched.

“I want people who didn’t vote for Trump to know they’re not alone and there’s a lot of us still fighting to preserve the things we fought so hard to achieve, like marriage equality and reproductive rights, and to make sure those freedoms don’t slip away,” he said.

Theater director Jeffrey Stocker said he was “marching in solidarity with all fellow Americans who are marching all over the country for equality, freedom, tolerance, the first amendment and diversity.”

“We’ve just started!” called the marchers outside the Patisserie Fauchere, where the march started, and where they’d been making signs.

A mostly peaceful marchAbout 70 people marched through the borough’s streets. Many said were exercising their First Amendment right to protest President Trump’s agenda.

Many men and some children took part in the mostly peaceful march. There were some unfriendly calls from passing cars.

Among those protesting was Jean Schneider, an 89-year-old World War II veteran, whose sign stated: “I’m not a sore loser. I am an informed citizen.”

“I’m one of a kind,” he said. “You don’t see anybody else my age. We’re protesting what’s happened. We’re trying to make a better America.”

He pointed to his veteran’s hat.

“I wore this hat 70 years ago, and I’m afraid I might have to wear it again shortly,” he said.

Another marcher, who also protested against the Iraq war before it began, said: “I think actions speak louder than words. I’m going because that’s what democracy requires — participation in our government, whether you support it or disagree with it. Right now I’m disagreeing with President Trump’s agenda.”

Mayor Sean Strub also joined the march. He said some people were honking in support, “but some are giving us the finger. One guy stopped in the middle of the intersection in his car, and, seat up, and screamed, ‘F*** you all , dirty liberals’ several times over, and then cars moved by calling, ‘Killary, Killary.’ It’s really nasty, surprisingly so.”

Miesje Jolly talked about heading on the bus from Milford to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the following day “to march for women’s rights and rights for all people, and the affordable health care which is being destroyed. I don’t think Trump supporters realize what is happening to them as well, and we’re going to stand up for people’s rights.”

She said she thought the march would make a difference.

“I’m a little older than a lot of the people, and I went to Washington to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak,” she said. “It had an impact on what happened afterwards.”

Rene Hoover, county representative to the State Democratic Committee from the Pike County Democratic Committee, held the banner in front.

“I’m here to support this group and with great concerns about our new government with Trump and the President and Republican-controlled Congress, and where this country is headed,” she said. “I’m hoping we the Congress gets the money out of Washington, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen now, because of the power that’s represented in Washington to our Congress because of all the money that supports these congressional leaders, and who Trump’s surrounded himself with. Until we get the money out of Washington, nothing will happen for the little guy here. Everybody look out, because we’re about to be ripped off.”

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