Show of Strength

MONT VERNON – Andrea Baver went to Boston on Saturday to send a message to the new administration in Washington.

She said she returned to New Hampshire with new energy and resolve.

Baver, of Mont Vernon, took a bus to Boston with nine other local women, and she said she ran into several more people she knew. By 9 a.m., they were on a knoll on Boston Common.

“Before we knew it, we couldn’t move” because it was so crowded, she said.

“It was packed,” she said. “It was amazing.”

The reported crowd size was about 175,000. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoke, along with human rights advocates. State and local officials seemed to be well represented.

Ever since the election, Baver said, she has been going through a range of emotions, including anger, sadness and disbelief.

“I think the new administration will be harmful to many Americans,” she said.

The march renewed her spirit.

“It was very healing and gave perspective, because there were marchers all over the world,” she said. “There is strength in numbers, and good can triumph over evil.”

People who are comfortably insured, for example, don’t think that getting rid of the Affordable Care Act will matter to them, but anyone can find themselves in the midst of a life-changing event and find themselves in need, she said.

President Donald Trump’s “lack of compassion frightens me,” she said. “There are some very unstable leaders, and the world looks to us as a beacon.”

What also frightens her is a new authoritarianism she sees in government that has “so many parallels in history” and shows itself with “vilification of the media and the turning against civil servants,” Baver said.

“We’ve seen it before, and it never ends well.”

Baver says she marched for the sake of “science and facts,” to support women’s rights and the LGBTQ community, and especially for diversity and social justice.

“I believe our country is a beautiful tapestry,” Baver said. She said she doesn’t want the new president and administration to negate “the values that make our country special.”

Baver, a social worker and the mother of two grown children, said she has a flexible work schedule that will allow her to “really take part in democracy” and go to Concord to “make sure our elected officials aren’t supporting policies that are harmful to the greater good.”

Joining Baver was Linda Lannin, of Mont Vernon, who said that she wanted to “stand up for the rights and respect for 51 percent of the population. When women are denied health care, reproductive rights and economic stability, they suffer, children suffer and our country suffers.”

Wendy DePuy, of Amherst, went to the march with her husband and daughter and a neighbor and her daughter.

“Everyone seemed so quiet, polite, kind and courteous,” she said in an email. “Where we were standing, we couldn’t see the speakers or even the giant video screen, but we could hear most of what they said.

“One speaker said at one point that she wanted us to lock eyes with someone we didn’t know. I felt like, really? But actually, it was really nice.”

DePuy said she wanted to do something postive.

“Involvement in the political process and in the community is more important now than ever,” she said. “The march was a way to show our fellow citizens and our representatives in government that we support each other and that we reject the negative attacks, conflicts of interest and ‘alternative facts’ coming out of the Trump campaign and administration.”

DePuy said she was glad she brought one of her two daughters, and that the other one got to hear about the march firsthand.

“I wanted my daughters to see the hundreds of thousands of people who all feel strongly enough about supporting their rights to get out there,” she said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland @cabinet.com.