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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
5:06 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Women prepare for next women’s march

Recent successes have them looking forward, they say

MARCHING AGAIN

The Second Women’s March in Prescott takes place from noon to 2 p.m. on the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza. Participants are encouraged to bring signs or posters that support their beliefs. The peaceful March is open to everyone, and Prescott Indivisible Peacekeepers will be present.

The four women had never met before Dec. 19, but they gathered together in Prescott to make hats — pink hats, to be exact — in preparation for the second Women’s March in Prescott, Saturday, Jan. 20, on the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza.

Pat Beitel, a member of the Prescott Indivisible grassroots organization, said a year ago she couldn’t say the word these pink kitty hats are officially known as, but she uses the word freely now.

“We’re not embarrassed. It’s a strength, not a weakness. It’s power,” she said.

In Beitel’s living room, two other women sat near each other on the couch crocheting with pink yarn, while Joanie Mickel, 65, cut out pieces of pink fleece to stitch into hats. Beitel was set up at one of her three sewing machines.

An estimated 60,000 hats were made by volunteers by the end of December 2016 for the first Women’s March, sent from every state and places as far away as Europe and New Zealand for Women’s March participants to wear.

Mickel said her goal was to make 15 hats on this day. While wielding the shears, she also talked about her most recent challenge. Mickel wants to change her surname to her grandmother’s name. “She raised me. I’d like to honor her,” she said.

Even though Mickel didn’t take her current (second) husband’s last name when she married, it’s up to him to consent to — or contest — her petition to the court for the name change. This has her incensed.

Lois Case said last year’s Women’s March participants had their own reasons and different issues for showing up, as do the upcoming Jan. 20 marchers.

“What it boils down for me is that Trump and Congress are corporate whores. Well, you made the mistake of asking me,” the normally mild-mannered Case said.

Jan Suderman, 70, said her beginnings occurred in high school when she first heard of Gloria Steinem. Her mother was against Steinem and what she stood for.

Then Suderman disclosed, “I’m a #MeToo. I was molested and my mother didn’t believe me. Others won’t say it, so I always say it first. It gives others permission to talk about it.” She was molested by a brother for two years, from 6.5 to 8.5 years old, and her mother believed the brother, not her.

Case chimed in — she, too, was molested, at age five, and also stalked as a 13-year-old girl.

Beitel was too. She said the #MeToo movement has lifted her spirits. “This is such a good year. Let’s celebrate it.”

In Prescott, the first Women’s March in January 2017 prompted 1,200 men, women and children to show up on the courthouse plaza after a snowstorm that closed roads and streets.

Five million people on all seven continents showed up to march for “a world that is equitable, tolerant, just and safe for all, one in which the human rights and dignity of each person is protected and our planet is safe from destruction. Grounded in the nonviolent ideology of the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s March was the largest coordinated protest in U.S. history and one of the largest in world history,” states the

Womensmarch.com website.

“It was so remarkable. It changed a lot of people,” Beitel said. “It’s been the Year of the Woman. More female candidates are stepping up to the plate; there are marches all over the country. We need to have a good showing in Prescott.”

Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at stone@prescottaz.com or 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.