Saturday, January 20, at the Women’s March in Park City, UT. © 2017 Sundance Institute | Brandon Cruz
Eric Hynes, Dana Kendall, and Jeremy Kinser
While millions of people gathered throughout the U.S. and around the world on Saturday for the Women’s March, an estimated 8,000 turned out in Park City—a total exceeding the town’s year-round population. That the march coincided with day three of the Festival, when the small ski town typically swells with guests from the global film industry, surely played a factor in that turnout.
But as our team of reporters discovered along the event route, plenty of locals and greater Utah residents also flocked to Main Street. Bundled-up actors marched alongside families and filmmakers high-fived excited high schoolers, all in a spirit of solidarity and to have their voices heard on the second day of the Donald Trump presidency.
Though the march began at the top of Main Street in downtown Park City, the queue stretched all the way back down the hill on the parallel-running Swede Alley, such that the front of the procession threatened to join the back when the vanguard looped back around Heber Avenue.
The most common refrain during the walk down Main was “Love Trumps hate,” a slogan frequently sounded during Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid but given new urgency in light of the New York real estate mogul’s ascension to power. Many marchers wore pink, double-eared “pussy hats,” which matched the ubiquitous pink signage supporting Planned Parenthood, an organization at risk of being significantly defunded under President Trump.
The march ended in an open area just north of the transit center, where a planned rally commenced and featured speakers such as comedian Chelsea Handler, director Kimberly Peirce, actresses Maria Bello and Connie Britton, labor organizer Dolores Huerta (subject of Festival film Dolores), and Jessica Williams (star of Festival film The Incredible Jessica James), whose speech captivated a crowd that continued to thicken throughout the morning.
“I grew up thinking that the civil rights movement already happened,” Williams said. “But this election was a wake up call. The silver lining of this election is that we are here on this early ass morning in literally 21 degrees supporting each other.”
But it was not just celebrities who gathered on Saturday morning to advocate for women’s rights and offer an opening salvo of dissent toward the new regime. Here’s a selection of those voices, as told to our team of reporters.
Scott Zaborski, St. George, UT
Zaborski was on his way to Chicago for grad school auditions when he saw the Park City exit sign.
“I said, ‘Am I going to regret this in 50 years if I don’t take the exit?’ And so I got here at about 5:30 in the morning, sat at the gas station for about an hour, had some orange juice, and then made my way over.
“The reason I’m here is because of our future, because there are young girls whose parents aren’t letting them be here, and we can’t get anywhere if we don’t fight in our grassroots campaigns… These small and simple acts of truth are what’s going to change our world.”
Annie Jeeves, Los Angeles, CA
“I’m marching today because I don’t believe our country wants hatred and intolerance. We want inclusion and support for one another… I’m happy to be here in a blizzard in the slush walking with my fellow humans. I think a peaceful protest is important. So is making a choice and being very active and speaking out and reaching out to your local representatives, as well as your state government. This doesn’t happen at one level. We need to be a voice for change and we need to keep active. We can’t just march today. We have to keep going, to keep talking.”
Cami Richardson, Park City, UT
“I’m transgender and I’m marching to support rights for transgender people and all the LGBT community. This is the great start of a great movement.”
Kim, marching with her two daughters, Park City, UT
“It’s important for them to stand up for what they believe in and understand what that looks like when people do that.”
Brandy James, marching with her 6-year-old daughter Sadie, New Jersey
“I wanted to show my daughter what we can do as women. I want to show my daughter how important it is for women to stand together. I’m so excited to get to do this with her.”
Tamara Uchima Burton, marching with her two young daughters and toddler son, Utah
“We’re liberal, we’re not of the religious majority, and we’re of color—we could not be more of a minority here. Unfortunately, my kids kind of feel it in school and sometimes they feel isolated.
So I wanted to come here and show if you want to make yourself heard this is what you do—to let them know that there’s other people who think like them too.”
Jonathan Moss, marching with his wife and baby, Los Angeles, CA
“I’m marching in support of women and issues that we feel are a threat as a result of the new administration. I’m marching to show support for my daughter and my wife. I want her to grow up and live in a world that is supportive of women and people of different cultures and gender identities.
“We just want to show that no matter where we are, in our hometowns across America we stand together with residents of Utah and anyone who cares about women’s rights and human rights.”
Sign messaging spotted on Main Street:
“A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance” over a picture of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.
“The Radical Idea that Women are People.”
“Hell Hath No Fury Like 157 Million Women Scorned.”
“Girls Just Wanna Have Funding for Planned Parenthood.”
“Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Arts.”
“Hate Does Not Make America Great.”
“The Future is Still Female.”
“Laws Off My Pussy.”
“Misogyny Is Not Normal.”
“Burn Reality TV Burn.”
“I’m With Meryl,” evoking Meryl Streep’s speech at this year’s Golden Globe Awards.
“Middle Fingers Up,” evoking Beyoncé’s “Sorry.”
“No Human Being is Illegal.”
“Our Bodies, Our Minds, Our Power.”
“This is What Americans Look Like.”