Ladies, we are heading into one busy, busy stretch full of events that matter. Really matter. Whichever “side” you believe is right on the big issues of the day, you’ll have several opportunities in coming weeks to ‘walk the talk’, as they say.
Check the list below and you won’t be able to say, “Oh, if only I had known.” If you can’t attend in person, not to worry. Use Google to find any number of online tie-ins where you can add your voice, or money.
Saturday, January 19: Gun Appreciation Day. Sponsored by conservative political groups and individuals, this event will apparently take place at any gun store or gun range anywhere in the country. The website urges supporters to show up “with your Constitution, American flags and your ‘Hands Off My Guns’ sign.” The idea is to show that “gun owners are not a monolithic bunch of crazies.”
Prediction: Women will attend this event, some to show “appreciation”, others to call for new gun restrictions.
Monday, January 21: Inauguration Day. Like it or not, Barack Obama will be ceremonially sworn in to a second term as President of the United States. Me, I happen to like it. (*Mr. Obama will be privately sworn in on Sunday, January 20th, as prescribed by the Constitution. The public event was moved to the weekday.)
Prediction: It won’t be difficult to find local activities and gatherings for people who voted for this President, and those who didn’t.
Monday, January 21: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The synchronicity of America’s first African American president being sworn in (for the second time) on a federal holiday honoring a black man who fought for civil rights and the end of Jim Crow laws is lost on no one. In Dr. King’s memory, “MLK Day” is generally observed as a day of service.
Prediction: Not enough people will take this day seriously, even in its 26th year.
Saturday, January 26: The March on Washington for Gun Control. The event was conceived by several D.C.-area activists led by Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith. Even so, the protest has been dubbed the “Million Moms March” because of the involvement of One Million Moms for Gun Control and Moms Rising, national organizations that were launched after the Connecticut school shooting last month.
Prediction: “Mom” labeling won’t hold when the cameras reveal who really takes to the streets. Look for lots of men,children, teens and of course, NotMoms.
Friday, January 25: 40th Annual March for Life (Washington, D.C.). Forty years since Roe v. Wade, a broad range of speakers, including former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, will address attendees as they walk to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Women for choice will note the anniversary at local events, some held as early as January 19. NARAL ProChoice America will mark the anniversary at a special dinner in Washington on February 5.
Prediction: The majority of us will continue to oppose overturning the federal law. A Pew studyreleased January 16th reported only 29% of Americans support a total reversal.
And one more:
Tuesday, January 22: Congress Goes Back to Work. Here’s an event to pay attention to as lawmakers have the chance to renew the Violence Against Women Act at last. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) declared it will be his first priority this year. Contact your elected officials. Tell them how you feel about VOWA, guns, and any other issue you feel strongly about.
Prediction: This will be the year you add your voice.