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Northern Michiganders take on Women's March on Washington

Women's March on Washington

A Traverse City contingent will attend the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. March organizers expect around 200,000 marchers to gather on the National Mall the day after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.

Organizers have released a set of guiding principles stressing that "women’s rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are women's rights."

Becky Beauchamp organized two busloads of women and men making the trip to Washington D.C.

She says the 105 participants will wear bright pink t-shirts inscribed with messages. 
"One woman on her shirt said ‘the earth does not have four more years to wait,’" says Beauchamp. "One woman wrote, ‘I’m the daughter of a refugee.'"

Friday afternoon Beauchamp's crew will climb onto two of the buses leaving from Traverse City. She says her passengers span seven decades in age. 

Becky Beauchamp's passengers meet to decorate their identifying bright pink t-shirts.

"Many of these women are old enough to know better than to do this to themselves physically," says Beauchamp, a 62 year old Traverse City resident. "They know how uncomfortable physically this may get, but they are just up for it."

They’ll ride the bus overnight for 15 hours. Get off the bus. March for a few hours in crowds of hundreds of thousands of people. Find the bus. Get back on, and travel the 15 hours home, returning on Sunday.

"Folks are very undaunted by it," says Beauchamp. "I’m so impressed, and I’m sure we’ll energize each other."

Beauchamp says she expects to make "forever friends" as they travel together.

She says there are two or three additional buses also headed to D.C. from Traverse City.

Sister marches are scheduled to take place in over 600 other cities and towns in the United States and across the world. One will be held in Traverse City. It starts at noon on Saturday.

"I think this March is going to become one of those indelible events in American history. I have that sense," Beauchamp says.


Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.