Politics & Government

She had planned to go to D.C. on inauguration day, just not for this

Noelle Nolen-Rider
Noelle Nolen-Rider

For one Coast woman who is among several going to Washington, the Women’s March on Washington isn’t the event she’d hoped to be attending.

Biloxi photographer Susan Guice made hotel reservations and booked a flight in August.

“I wanted to take my 10-year-old son up to see the first woman president,” she said. “I thought it would be something he’d remember all his life. Now he’s going to remember it for totally different reasons.”

They won’t be going to the inauguration.

“We’ll probably go to the Smithsonian on Inauguration Day,” said Guice, who’ll have her husband, political consultant Reed Guice, with her. “But I’ll have my camera, and there will probably be some interesting things to take photos of.

“I’m hearing more and more people are going up.”

Not so many from the Coast, though, she said.

“It really sucks the sound out of a room when you say, ‘Hey, I’m going to D.C.,’ ” Guice said. “And they’re like, ‘Really? Cool, you’re going to the inauguration.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m going to the protest.’ You say that down here and nobody has anything to say.”

On the bus

Ana Maria Rosato, a Bay St. Louis native living in the Jackson area, will be a bus captain on a whirlwind ride for at least 55 Mississippians to the Women’s March. She said she’s also the self-appointed “food goddess” for the trip because the bus will be able to make only a few 10-minute stops after leaving Jackson at 1:06 p.m. Friday.

If all goes well, they will be in D.C. at 7:30 a.m. Saturday but they will have some wiggle room because the march doesn’t start until 10 a.m. at the corner of Independence Avenue and Third Street.

Rosato, who has been a Democratic congressional aide, political consultant and activist, said marching is a matter of patriotism. And this is one thing she’s doing for herself.

“There are a number of (Donald Trump’s) values with which I disagree,” she said. “But the overarching value is patriotism.

“I believe it is amoral to cozy up to Vladmir Putin. I believe what Donald Trump is doing is unpatriotic, un-American and amoral.”

Most Mississippians, of course, won’t be going to Washington. Dozens, though, will be going to a march at 1 p.m. Saturday in New Orleans at Washington Square Park at 700 Elysian Fields.

There will be a MS Gulf Coast Sisters Solidarity Rally at Cafe Climb at 1316 30th Ave. in Gulfport. It was originally scheduled for Jones Park in Gulfport, but organizers moved it because of the threat of severe weather Saturday. As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, 118 had RSVP’d that they would attend.

For her goddaughters

Noelle Nolen-Rider of Ocean Springs will be going to the bigger march in New Orleans, where thousands are expected. She said she had already promised her goddaughters she’d be there when the Coast march was announced.

She used a vacation day Tuesday to make posters for the march.

“For me, on a personal level, my goddaughters ... are very scared about the new administration,” she said. “(Trump’s) Twitter feed has just been unreal. I never would have thought I would see a president-elect attack — verbally attack — so many people I respect. That last one was Rep. John Lewis. He is a civil rights hero.

“I’m appalled and ashamed that this is our new administration. How he has degraded so many women. There’s the whole grab comment.”

She said failing to protest would be like saying she believes that behavior is acceptable.

“And it’s just not,” she said.

Coast contingent

Longtime Democratic and LGBT activist Renick Taylor will be going to New Orleans, he said, because protesting is the last check on the new administration. He said he’s going with a group of about 20. He expects dozens from the Coast will join the march, but getting an accurate count is hard because many are going on their own.

“Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues will be free from any meaningful checks from the government they own and control,” he said. “We must show the incoming administration that we are many and we will be vigilant so that it does not operate without fear of repercussion.

“That is why this protest movement is so vital, because it is precisely that fear which is so destructively lacking.”