Reminiscing on the days they spent protesting the Iraq war in front of the Greencastle Courthouse, Harriet Moore, School of Music professor, and Lucy Weiland, Greencastle resident, took up their signs once again, but this time for another reason.
A group of about 20 people stood in front of the Greencastle Courthouse on the International Day of Women, wearing red and holding up signs to demonstrate their support for economic and social justice.
The demonstration was organized by Rise Up Greencastle, whose organizer is Dana Dudle, professor of biology at DePauw. Dudle described Rise Up Greencastle as a “loosely affiliated group of concerned people in Greencastle.”
Greencastle residents, faculty, staff and senior Yating Yang stood in front of the courthouse from about 5:35 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. In that time they stood holding signs, which had messages such as “This is what democracy looks like” and “No hate in our state.”
Before standing outside the courthouse, people met at Conspire, a shop owned by J.D. Grove dedicated to regional and local art, to make the signs for the demonstration. Grove is a member of Rise Up Greencastle and said that they were there to support diversity and human rights.
Weiland said that now, more than ever, it’s important to stand up for all marginalized groups. In addition, she said people need to stand up for Planned Parenthood. “It [Planned Parenthood] is absolutely essential for reproductive rights, it’s the only affordable care that we have,” Weiland said.
For the Hartman House Office Manager Christina Krause, this demonstration and “A Day Without a Woman” is a continuation of what she saw at the Women’s March. Krause was one of the faculty who took students to the Women’s March. “This day is staying on the wave of momentum and keeping people engaged and keeping people active and focusing on the important things that are happening,” said Krause, “as oppose to tweets and whatnot that are meant to distract us and get us to stop us from thinking about the important things.”
Rise Up Greencastle has been working with Putnam County Greater Good and they plan to follow the agenda of people who organized the Women’s March on Washington. The event today was part of the call by the organizers of the Women’s March to complete 10 actions within the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s new presidency.
A member of Rise Up Greencastle and Associate Professor of Geosciences, Jeannette Pope, said that one of the actions is a strike, but the group decided a strike would not be the most effective. “When a number of people from Rise Up Greencastle discussed this, we decided that the point of the strike is to cripple or squelch an activity and we didn’t really want to withhold our labor from DePauw or the students,” Pope said.
Director of the Women’s Center, Sarah Ryan, said individual faculty made decisions about whether they were going to class or if they would discuss the International Women’s Day in class. “I know of at least one faculty member who cancelled [their class] and I know it [“A Day Without Women and International Women’s Day] was a part of discussion in other classes,” Ryan said.
Rise Up Greencastle hopes to continue to fight for social justice and plans to stand in front of the courthouse every Friday from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This group of Greencastle residents hopes to make people aware of the conversations and importance of all forms of justice. Pope said, “We’re for gender equality, we’re for equality for people of all sexual orientations, people of all abilities, we think that love and fairness and justice should prevail.”