Monday, January 30, 2017


Attendance was estimated at around 1100 people. My daughter and I were two of them. We arrived at twenty after four and almost all available seats were taken. We knew we were going to have to leave early, so we were happy to stand at the back. We had a lot of company.

The event was a PATH action in support of CB-9. The room was packed, standing room only, with others sitting in the floor down front and the lobby almost entirely filled as well.

But it's not the numbers that really matter. It's the hands.

Early on, one of the speakers had us join hands. He said, if we are not connected, if we are not engaged with one another, in relation with one another, then we will feel alone, powerless, lost. It isn't enough to protest and resist. We must be connected. It is in that connection, those relationships, that there is power.

"We, the people," I thought.

Now, holding hands is an intimate act and holding hands with complete strangers can feel awkward and risky. Maybe it seems a little hokey to you. I could feel that the woman next to me was a bit tentative about it. Her grip felt as though she were waiting for permission to let go.

I have been that person sometimes: afraid to cross boundaries, afraid to connect.

But we are living in a time where the deepest ideals upon which this nation is founded are being challenged and discarded. Resistance is not merely an intellectual exercise. Lives are at stake. Families are being torn apart. We must reach out, connect.

Let's be honest. We are holding on for dear life.

We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately
--Benjamin Franklin, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence 

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