Morristown Green

Morristown Officials: Bring Your Issues To Saturday's Women's March...And Leave Everything Else At Home

Morristown Green — January 17, 2018

By Kevin Coughlin

Participants in Saturday's Women's March on New Jersey are expected to bring concerns about congressional representation, equal pay, sexual harassment, and reproductive rights to Morristown.

But they should leave everything else at home.

For security reasons, police are prohibiting these items at rally sites and along the South Street march route:

Marchers also are being encouraged to leave their cars at home, and carpool or take mass transit instead.

Mayor Tim Dougherty anticipates between 3,000 and 6,000 people at the Jan. 20, 2018, event, which starts at 11 am outside town hall and concludes a few blocks away on the Morristown Green around 1 pm. The forecast is mostly sunny, with temperatures in the upper 40s.

women's march nj logo 2018The town's projected security costs were not clear as of Wednesday, the Mayor said. But he is excited that organizers have chosen the historic county seat of Morris for this second-anniversary march to promote equal rights.

"We're proud to be the host of this march. It makes a clear statement going back to George Washington's time. Once again, it's going to be a Revolutionary capital," said Dougherty, who is scheduled to welcome speakers including Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.), among many others.

The Morris County Sheriff's Office will be among several agencies assisting Morristown police to ensure public safety.

"That's what makes America beautiful. People are allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights. We certainly welcome it," said Sheriff James Gannon.

Marches also are planned in New York, Las Vegas and elsewhere, one year after women across the country took to the streets to protest the inauguration of President Trump.

Three local groups — Black Lives Matter Morristown, Wind of the Spirit and the League of Women Voters of the Morristown Area-are among the Morristown organizers.

Others are Action Together New Jersey, BlueWaveNJ, Communications Workers of America - District One, Mobilizing Montclair, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Working Families Alliance and Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey.

Another organizer, NJ 11th for Change, spends virtually every Friday demonstrating outside the Morristown office of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.).

"Many of us will be out in Morristown for the march specifically to shine a light on Frelinghuysen's record and help others see that he's not the moderate he tries to portray," Stacey Murphy, NJ 11th for Change co-executive director, said in a statement.

"In 2017, he voted more than 90 percent in line with the Washington agenda, even when it harms his constituents," said Murphy, whose volunteers have been pressing the 12-term Congressman to hold his first town hall meeting since 2013.

NJ 11th for Change member Saily Avelenda plans to be there on Saturday. Frelinghuysen singled her out as a "ringleader" in a letter to her bank board last year.

"In supporting anti-woman, anti-child, anti-science and anti-environment policies, Frelinghuysen's votes will harm New Jersey irreparably. We hope he hears our concerns loud and clear as we march near his office this weekend," said Elizabeth Juviler, co-executive director of the grassroots group.

Saturday's theme is "Power to the Polls." The march will honor New Jersey Civil Rights leader Edith Savage-Jennings, who died in November at age 93.

The public is invited to a start the day with a 9:30 am Shabbat service at Temple B'nai Or, at 60 Overlook Road in Morristown. Rabbi Mary Zamore, executive director of the Women's Rabbinic Network, will preside.

"Beginning the day in prayer and the celebration of Shabbat will fuel us spiritually as we march and raise our voices for justice for us," Zamore said.

"Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel spoke of his 'feet praying' when he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will pray with our hearts, voices, and feet as we stand up for women's rights: The right to safe workplaces, control over our bodies, and equal pay."

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