This Year’s Women’s March in Eureka Started With One Woman Who Wasn’t Even in Humboldt County at the Time

women's march 2018 Eureka California

Marchers pass the Carson Mansion in Eureka yesterday during the 2018 Women’s March. [Photo by Dan Barton]

Yesterday, 4000 to 5000 people showed up to participate in the Eureka Women’s March, according to an estimate by Police Chief Steve Watson. This is over 3% of the population of Humboldt County. And, yet, this local march almost didn’t happen in spite of a strong national and international movement that yesterday saw over a hundred thousand participants in New York City alone.

On December 30, one person who wasn’t actually in Humboldt County at the moment saw that there were no plans in place to have a Woman’s March and she set the ball in motion. A number of other people stepped up to help make the event happen, but Allison Edrington saw a need and started the process of getting a permit and gathering a team that would create a platform for thousands.

Allison Edrington

Allison Edrington [Photo from her Facebook profile]

Edrington who lives in Fortuna told us, “I was in Wyoming on a family vacation when I saw those posts advertising [the Women’s March in Eureka] and also trying to sell t-shirts…” Soon, she realized that page didn’t represent an actual event but was there to sell merchandise. In an effort to find whether a march was happening, Edrington said, “I called the city of Eureka and they said nobody had applied for a permit.”

She began asking around. She told us,  “I heard from a lot of folks that wanted to see it happen. So I put in a special event permit application.”

Edrington said she was lucky that she had a solid template to follow. “The Women’s March last year…was really successful and I wanted to repeat it,” she said. Some of the details, including the route the marchers used, changed she explained but “all these women, most of whom I had never met, in this community helped.”

One of the goals of the team that put together this year’s march was to allow a diverse group of people to voice their concerns, said Edrington. “The value that we saw in putting the Women’s March,” she explained, “was bringing together voices in the community–Here are the problems in our community and here are the ways we can move forward,” Edrington said.

sign at the Eureka 2018 women's march

The participants in Eureka’s 2018 Women’s March had large goals. [Photo by Stormy Taylor]

With the short notice, the March organizers weren’t able to gather all the speakers from different groups they had hoped to have give voice to different concerns. “There are definitely people we would have liked to have included but couldn’t be there because they were already booked,” she explained.

A marcher carries a flag at the 2018 Eureka Women's March.

A marcher carries a flag at the 2018 Eureka Women’s March. [Photo by Stormy Taylor]

Nonetheless, Edrington said there were a number of people speaking about concerns ranging from sexual assault to systematic racism. One of the people who “really fired up the crowd,” Edrington said, was Paula Arrowsmith-Jones, Community Outreach Coordinator from North Coast Rape Crisis Team.  Edrington said, “She was very powerful and involved the crowd” in call and response.  Edrington said Arrowsmith-Jones would say something like “I want to live in a world where rapists are convicted” and the crowd would yell back “Me, too,” a reference to the phrase actress Alyssa Milano encouraged survivors of all types of sexual crimes to tweet in order to bring awareness to how many people had suffered.

Baby carriage with "With all our help, I won't be another #MeToo

A sign reading, “With all our help, I won’t be another #MeToo” was taped to a baby carriage at yesterday’s march. [Photo by Anna Cotter]

Edrington said there were speakers ranging from those sharing the concerns of immigrants who were explaining the need for being a Sanctuary Community to Native people sharing their concerns about the systemic problems that they face.  “I heard a lot of support for removing the McKinley statue,” Edrington said.

Several groups of indigenous people marched yesterday. [Photo by Stormy Taylor]

“Personally hearing what these other women in the community are going through was eyeopening, because it is easy to be in a bubble,” she explained.

Supports of SB 582 joined the Women's March.

Supporters of California SB 562 joined the Women’s March. [Photo by Anna Cotter]

The speakers, the posters of the marchers, and tables set up by various groups included Calls to Action, such as registering to vote, calling or writing representatives frequently, supporting the Healthy California Act–SB 562 which would provide healthcare for all, as well as support for being a sanctuary community.

This year thousands of people marched and were inspired to take a number of political actions. And, the Eureka Women’s March happened in good part because one woman began creating a pathway to protest. And, in twenty days, others, inspired by her effort, set in motion a march that brought thousands of people together to talk about issues that mattered to them.

Women and girls led the march holding a large sign. [Photo by Stormy Taylor]

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52 comments

  • Good for you taking a leadership role, Allison! I checked with City Hall too but saw on the website there was a 30-day lead time required for a permit so I didn’t pursue. This event is SO important to me, to be around so many wonderful, peaceful people speaking their truth and accepting all others, which isn’t that common in this day and age, sadly. Rock on!

  • Love women… None of us would be here without them… Love your Father, love your kids…. Love is all we really have!

  • Bull#hit there were 4,000 or 5,000 people there. According to another media story the police scanners were saying 2,000. These higher numbers are a figment of someone’s propaganda imagination.

    • If you were there, you would know there were at least 4000 participants. If not 4000, well over 3000.
      And the important thing is, no matter how many, these folks turned out to support each other and causes important to many.

    • 2,000 was the preliminary estimate by one of my Captains before the march itself was fully involved. We really have no way of knowing with a high degree of accuracy how many participated. People were still arriving and joining the march even after it started. As the front of the march circled back and was nearing the start part it ran into the tail end where the stragglers were trying to catch up so there were a lot of people. One of my Captains who planned our traffic control operation estimated 5,000 so I guessed 4,000-5,000 when asked by a reporter.

      Regardless of the actual number it was a huge turn out for a county/city our size.

    • Well, that’s what you are hoping, anyway.

    • So you’re questioning EPD Chief Watson? Cuz hes the one who gave that estimate. So now the EPD are propoganda mongerers??
      Listening to scanner traffic rarely gives the full picture.
      Classic how some people back the police on everything, until they say something not liked.

      Thanks for reminding us of the exact mentality we are going to change in this country!
      If you were there you could have counted people yourself 😉

    • Damn Trump!! Always over estimating.

    • You weren’t there. You don’t have a clue. I was there and it was at least as large as last year. Maybe larger. And a good cross section of diverse demographics. Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, LBGTs, Old, young, kids, babies and even a few pregnant ladies, People of color and a couple of right wing conservative Trumpesters. Maybe three. Of course, they claim, there were tens of thousands of Trump supporters wearing Make America Great Again. But I bet you will claim you were one of the three.

      • EWM 2018 Co-Coordinator

        The ‘official count’ (by a man who is experienced and who’s numbers have been accepted by agencies, etc.) put the number at 4630 people. An Event Organizer was told by EPD that they estimated 5000. So, unless you have facts and can substantiate them, your figures don’t figure.

  • The EPD said the final tally was close to 5000. Regardless, it was a wonderful outpouring of people from all walks of Humboldt life expressing the deep need for equality and justice, whether in our county or in our country. Praise to the organizers and the many *thousands* who marched!

  • Reading this and similar stories, I seem to get that a lot of these people aren’t really that big on Trump. Even though this particular article doesn’t mention the guy’s name. But, do you realize who would be our President if he weren’t? It would’ve been that arch-criminal Hillary Clinton. You talk about corporate oligarchy and military aggression all that bad stuff, sheee! With that woman in the Oval Office. Trashing Libya, bringing us to the brink of war with Russia over Syria, and just the big dirt trail she has behind her. Do some critical thinking, please.

  • Regardless of whether readers agree or disagree with the premise of the rally, Kym you did an excellent job of highlighting the power that can be generated by an individual.

    Here we have a local, who remotely recognized a need and got the ball rolling. Here in Humboldt we need folks like that. I don’t care your personal political/ religious views etc, if you care about this community I think people can come together. Nobody was spewing hate at the rally yesterday, and while some readers may be offended by what they consider the vulgar nature of the pink hats, female reproduction imagery etc, the bottom line is the people who marched came because they care about their community.

    Thanks Kym for highlighting a woman who cared enough to break through some of the barriers, in a very short time frame, that often keep North Coasters divided and disorganized.

    • I think we all need to recognize the power of an individual to start or keep an idea going. Every one of the people that helped and attended put effort into making the march happen.

      • The hypocrisy. Where we’re they when Kennedy was grabbing pussy, where we’re they when Teddy drove drunk and murdered Mary Joe, where we’re they when Slick Willy Clinton was grabbing pussy for years….years? Where we’re y’all. Most of your signs are spouting the very hate you say your March is in protest of. Your Liberal Progressive hypocritical bias is showing loud and clear. See ya next year, hopefully the one’s spreading peace and understanding will get through to the rest of you.

        • I agree that liberals need to call out and push out liberal men in power who engage in the same acts that they are calling out conservatives for doing. So far, Democratic Senator Al Franken was pushed out.

        • 1) Teddy Roosevelt was a republican [edit]
          2) [edit]
          3)Consensual sexual interactions are very very different, but all of that aside (because I agree it was not only unprofessional but wrong) you don’t care about the women in Kennedy/Clinton situations. The women affected mean nothing to you as long as you make a point and that’s disgusting.
          4) The way you talk and the things you say make you sound like the sort of person who politicizes human rights. Educate yourself. Strive to be a better ,more compassionate person. Read a dictionary. ❤️

          • That’s similar to what my favorite podcaster, Quite Frankly, said when he shared the story about Mr. Tesla’s feelings. Except, in reverse. Mr. Tesla was looking for a caring, compassionate, modest, strong, beautiful inside and out, woman to put on a pedestal like in the days of old. He couldn’t handle the rough & ready in your face to hell with your feelings let’s take care of my feelings first, change your behavior to suit my ideals, type of woman of today back then. Back then. Movie era “A league of their own”? No, more like the roaring 20’s, the Flapper girls era?
            In any case, my point is, we all have our own ideals, and all ideals are admirable when they are indeed our own. Standing up for self and for others is always admirable, on both sides of the aisle.

  • Funny how these marches started within months of our current president being elected to office. It’s like the issues raised in these marches just magically appeared. Where were these people during the previous 8 years with what went on. Bernie being thrown under the bus by Hillary and the DNC as just the last travesty that I didn’t see these marchers go to the street to voice their horror. What I saw should have made people like this with their so called “voices”
    Scream in the streets years ago. They didn’t care about you then.

    • Absolutely this is not a women’s march, it’s a political protest against our
      democratically elected president. This is more of the ongoing democratic tantrum
      about losing the election last year.
      Just because you are female doesn’t mean you have the same opinion on politics.

      • They prefer creepy Joe Biden for President and that’s all there is to it?

      • Liberal hypocrisy

        Like the name says

      • That’s an interesting take on the marches. Too bad reporters didn’t do surveys around the country to determine the amount of Trump voters/Clinton voters that marched. Bottom line is this country was doomed for the next 4 years no matter who was elected. The worst 2 candidates in history. Anybody but Hillary could have beaten Trump if the Dem party had been smart. Proud of the support by all the people at these “marches/protests”. We need so many changes.

      • That’s ok. It shows a nice uppity spirit that should enliven democracy.

  • A huge THANK YOU to Allison Edrington for being on top of your game. Without your forethought, effort and quick action the Women’s March of 2018 might not have happened here.

    Thank you to all the organizers, speakers, supporters, attendees and everyone involved to make this happen. All your hard work and efforts paid off well.

    I’m a business owner in Old Town. Last year before the march started, I over heard a group of people ask a police officer how many people were expected to participate in the Women’s March. The officer answered with a shrug “couple hundred.” As the March started, I stood by and watched as thousands walked by. They kept coming holding signs, pushing strollers, dogs on leashes, holding hands, arms linked together, children riding on parents shoulders, groups of friends, families, men, women, babies, toddlers, teens, young adults, middle aged and the eldery. Some singing, some chanting, others shouting their messages and others waving. It was obovious in the first
    3 minutes this crowd was 10 times bigger or more than a few hundred people. As they advanced past the Gazebo I felt a sense of pride and inspiration that I had never felt before. Seeing that many people gather together in little old Eureka, California for a common cause gave me hope.

    This year I worried that the crowd would be less and it would not inspire the same feelings inside me as it had before. By my accounts this year’s crowd was just as big as last year and it was just as awe inspiring as it was in 2017. However, I hope the organizers will consider changing the route to march past the Gazebo and through the heart of Old Town as they did last year. The Gazebo is the hub of Old Town and it’s a shame not to march through the heart of Old Town. Just my 2 cents worth.

    When you really stop and think about it, the amount of people that came out to be part of this March is amazing for the size of our community. I wish we could take this effort, mindset and momentum and funnel it to make a bigger impact or further action towards change.

    Thank you all for making the time to take a stand.

    • Allison Edrington told me the route change had to happen because they got the permit application in too late to get the old route. Hopefully, a committee will take on the role to be ready for next year.

  • All I have to say to Spankie – selective memory – John & George Straw – is

    Pssssssssssssssssssssst

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it

  • I loved this March!! Not only WOMEN were Marching, MEN WERE ALSO MARCHING WITH THEM. …OUT STANDING…..
    Awesomeness 😍😍😍😍😍

  • Marching is good. Voting is better. If 80% of eligible female voters actually voted we wouldn’t need to march.

    The same was true back when we failed to pass the equal rights amendment. Stupid.

    Women, please vote. If enough of you do the world will be a better place.

    • Dear Randum, voting is certainly important. But we live in a state with a democratic majority, and in our districts all of the elected officials to the State and Federal government are democrats. California went democratic in the presidental election. If every single woman in Humboldt county had voted, and voted democratic, it would not have changed the election outcome. Certainly everyone should vote, but for people in our area to have a true impact on the next election they need to see where republicans hold federal office, and then support the democratic challengers with money, and if possible, with time and energy.

      • Ed, I was referring to females, not democrats. When only 50-60% of eligible females vote, it’s not difficult to understand why issues important to women don’t get addressed.

        I believe that women are undermining their own power by failing to vote in greater numbers and I hope that changes.

      • Right. Nothing like demanding ideological cleansing for making a monculture. Or war. That esthetic has a tendence to create violence. Mostly started by those who advocate that and find humans are not as easily ordered around as they thought. They just keep upping the pressure all the way to murder. Stalin comes to mind.

        • What? You think of Stalin when it is proposed that more eligible females vote? Do you even understand what is being discussed?

          • About the type of comment I would expect from someone under the “guest” tag. I think you make a solid point about voter turn out.

          • Nope. Stalin had his own choices of undesirables. But in the end, it’s the same principle. The good of the people must be victorious, even if it kills the people.

          • I do have a question that I hope someone can answer for me without labels.
            I’m still unsure about what this march was all about. I’ve seen reports it was a pro life march, an anti Trump march, a pro voters march, and a “me too” march.
            Was it a single theme? Or everything rolled into one big walkabout?

    • Why should anyone go to a link just because it’s posted without any information?

    • Not surprised at all to hear that went on at a march for equality. Only equality if you go along with their agenda. Can you only imagine the horror if a trump supporter had knocked a hillary hat,,, That is the problem with al these marches is how it fuels people into a mob mentality and the exact rights they claim to be marching for are the ones they violate of someone who has a differing political persuasion from them. And to call that woman a bad mother because her daughter has a trump hat on. I think part of being a good parent is letting your child discover their own way and formulate their own views and opinions without you dictating exactly how they should think.

  • I am disgusted by Trump and his war on women. Women should continue to protest the rollback on their right of being able to control their own lives and bodies.

    My daughters marched in SF and I support the right of women to be equal and to receive, equal, decent and respectful treatment by our leaders, whether we like the leaders or not.

    Women ARE the leaders, and the repository of the strength to force change.

    • wow like Bill Clinton didn’t degrade a woman while in office and Hillary did not leave his ass so she condoned it by her silence. come on people all of the politicians lie and cheat the American people. Dam its hard to pick the lesser of two evils.
      Neither the Dems or republicans had a candidate worth a shit so I voted for the Green party and I am a Republican.

  • EWM 2018 Co-Coordinator

    I read about the March in the preceding days of it. Realizing I would be in Eureka and have skills with crowds and organizing, I sent a message to one of the Organizers who invited me to a meeting. As a man, I wanted to be careful and respectful to support what the women wanted, not make it mine or ‘mansplain’ about it (an interesting opportunity to look at the way I present my ideas to a room of mostly women). I was honored that they accepted me as an equal and were happy to have me as a ‘co-coordinator’.
    Allison made the moves to get this going. She deserves LOTS of credit. AND. There were about 8 other women who stepped in, from different parts of the community to make this happen. (Without permission I will not share their names. Maybe they can be discovered on the EWM 2018 facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/143666453087704/). Most of the women had not worked together and many had not even known each other before. Yet, they worked seamlessly, cooperatively with a common goal in mind.
    If you look at the non-profits and organizations in Humboldt that thrive mostly on human energy, my experience have shown me that the majority of the people behind those good efforts are women.
    There was a post-March meeting of Organizers and Coordinators to discuss what was learned from the 2018 experience. Many great ideas for making the March 2018 (and possibly other events…. teaser 😉 better). Stand by.
    …..Or don’t wait. Get involved! Go to the link above and send a message or call the number on the page to offer YOUR SUPPORT of the community!

    • Playing the numbers game..............

      To begin getting involved start by emailing elected officials. Nearly all have email addresses. Google that. Then send your posts to officials And then to friends and family and suggest they write emails. Tell them they can edit your posts or write their own and then tell them to email their their friends and families sending the same instructions. I added one more element. I asked my friends and family to Bc me their posts. In three short months I have received over 100 posts. I put them in a Word file and now I can draft letters just by copy and pasting them and sending them off. This is about volumes. I checked with my local Congressman and their staff told me letters pertaining to issues are collated by issues and sent to the Representative. If the numbers are very high the staff paraphrases the important parts for the Congressman to read. All representatives have multiple offices and I assume the workload is divided. You may have a great idea, but to get noticed there has to be hundreds/thousands and maybe millions of emails. That is why it is so important to send volumes of email and the way to do that is to get everyone you know sending and everyone of your friends and family they know and on and on and on. This is a take off of the phone tree. Same concept. Last I send to Representatives and Senators of all parties. Especially ranking members. Ranking members control lesser ranking members. Once you develop and email address file the rest is easy. To date the one Senator who I have had the most responses from is Sen. John McCain, and lesser responses from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders and of all Senators Lisa Murkowski. The last on surprised me. I sent her my thoughts and experiences of when California legalized marijuana. Her staff member responded because Alaska has large numbers of indigenous natives they could pose a special condition because all the villages are so remote. Alaska passed legalization about a year or two ago. Demographically few Alaskan Natives voted and the measure passed because so many non natives in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the SouthEast voted and carried the passing of the measure. But I am off the subject. I encourage everyone reading this to pass the idea on at school, work, church, at social functions and social media sites. The larger the number of emaings the greater the effect.

      The Constitution states, “Gov’t by the PEOPLE”. We need to take that more seriously.

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