January 2017, Five Mile Recreation Area, Bidwell Park.
Early January brought sustained rains to the Sacramento Valley, a great volume of water draining out of the mountains, a muddy flow scouring the banks of rivers and flooding adjacent lands. I saw in this unrestrained force, a veritable image of the coming inauguration of a man who advocates racial and ethnic hatred and exclusion on religious grounds, a man who muddies the language with harsh and ugly words, a man intolerant of anyone who dares to criticize or even disagree with him, a man who brags of sexually assaulting women.
Between the election and inauguration of Donald Trump, January found some of us gathered in an interim of relative peace to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We took heart in the presence of each other and in Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolent resistance to whatever forms injustice might take. We shared a community meal, feeling mutual support and knowing we could face whatever threat might arise. It was a time of great beauty, a reassurance of shared humanity.
And in the pauses between January storms when the mud settled out of the river waters, I saw in the clear current an alternative to Trump’s muddy turbulence: an unstoppable human river of protest to Donald Trump’s inauguration that spread from the shores of the Pacific to the Atlantic. And here in Chico as well, the downtown plaza and streets flooded with the bodies of ardent protesters, knowing that they could rely on one another to survive even the most treacherous current in this time of crisis.
January 15, 2017, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Beloved Community Celebration, Trinity United Methodist Church, Chico
The People gather for the celebration.
Dorothy Johnson (red scarf)
Doin’ It Justice choir.
“We Shall Overcome” slide show compiled by Serena Kirk
Bethel AME Community Choir.
Bethel AME Choir singer.
Vince Haynie, Pastor, Rhema Word of Faith and MC for the Celebration.
“Light of Day” a Hearthstone School Dramatic Presentation.
Dominique Silva-Soares sings “Greatest Love of All.”
Armenta Hawkins, Director of Chico Peace and Justice Center, explains Alternatives to Violence Project, “Parallel Pews.”
Dr. Nandi Sojourner Crosby speaks of, “The Fierce Urgency of Now.”
“Blessing of the food” by Deacon Joe Person, Jr.
Beloved Community Dinner.
January 20, 2017
The Ugly Inauguration
Thanks to Miles, the Pageant Theater gave a free showing of Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! broadcasting live from Washington, on the day of the Trump’s inauguration. While Trump gave his speech, Democracy Now! simultaneously showed photos of thousands of protesters.
Later that evening, protesters gathered on the corner of Notre Dame and the Skyway in Chico.
January 21, 2017
The Beautiful Women’s March on Chico
An estimated 2,000 – 2,500 people marched through downtown Chico, the biggest demonstration in the history of Chico.
After the Women’s March the People returned to the Plaza in downtown Chico for music and speeches.
Indigenous women speak out.
(Not) The End . . .