‘Anyone But Trump’ at Portsmouth Women’s March, Surprise Stop By Bernie

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Susan Dromey Heeter photo

The Portsmouth Women's March drew a large crowd despite the cold, including surprise speaker U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

PORTSMOUTHDecoding the Vibe tends to be a column about a presidential candidate.  This primary season, I’ve covered everyone from Sanders to Yang, Warren to Trump, Buttigieg to Gillibrand. 

But today’s Vibe is about the Portsmouth Women’s March, held on Saturday Jan. 18 at Market Square.

The vibe of the event was captured by hats:  wool hats, hand-knit hats, fleece hats. While the temperatures were literally freezing, the vibe of the event felt excited, felt honest, felt grateful to be around hope.

Deidre Boucher, 45, of Portsmouth is pictured at the Portsmouth Women’s March on Saturday. Susan Dromey Heeter photo

Hats pulled down around ears worked double duty as statement carriers. The pink pussy hats were in abundance as well as hats sporting messages including:

“Veto Sununu 2020,” “Bernie Beats Trump,” “Defend America,” “Racial Justice Now,”  “Women for Pete.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made a special guest appearance, wearing a warm hat around his ears and sporting woolen mittens that could have their own Twitter account. 

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made a surprise stop at the Women’s March in Portsmouth Saturday. Susan Dromey Heeter video

Sanders was fresh from a dispute with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over his alleged remark at a private gathering in 2018 that a woman couldn’t be elected president.

Bernie hats were in abundance Saturday in Portsmouth.

The signs reflected the vibe of today’s women’s march as well.  “Trump is worse than menstrual cramps.” “Resisterhood.” “Well, apparently Rock Bottom has a basement.” “Grab Trump by His Putin.” 

When I approached women and asked to whom they may be leaning for #46, Elizabeth Kilcayne, 70, of Newburyport, Mass., said she “wanted to live in an Elizabeth Warren world” but was “for anyone against Trump.” 

Erin Kenney, 35, of Newmarket, carrying a “We are not Ovaryreacting” sign, supports Elizabeth Warren.

The crowd at Portsmouth Women’s March came armed with lots of signs and warm clothing.
Susan Dromey Heeter photo

A group of middle school girls from Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, carried signs reading “Girls Just Wanna Have FUNdamental Rights,” “Guns have more rights than my vagina” and “Be Brave Make Change.”

When I asked them who they would vote for if they could, one teen remarked, “Anyone but Trump; I’d vote for my eight-year old sister before him.”

Susan Dromey Heeter photo
The Leftist Marching Band is pictured Saturday at the Portsmouth Women’s March.
Susan Dromey Heeter photo

Sen. Sanders warmed the crowd by reminding all that the “function of a president is to bring people together as Americans whether we are black, whether we are white, whether Latino, whether Native American, whether we are Asian Americans, whether we are straight, whether we are gay, whether we were born in the United States, whether we are immigrants, we are Americans – we will not accept the divisiveness of this president trying to tear us apart.”

Warm hats and political signs were the order of the day. Susan Dromey Heeter photo

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

The opinions expressed are those of the writer. InDepthNH.org takes no position on politics, but welcomes diverse opinions. email nancywestnews@gmail.com

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