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After Hillary’s loss, Seattleites try to feel good again by holding hands around Green Lake

Monday, November 21, 2016 10:59
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Hands Around Green Lake Facebook photo

Hands Around Green Lake Facebook photo

From Seattle Times: Early Saturday afternoon, thousands of people alarmed by the election of Donald Trump sought comfort and community by joining hands in a loop of protest around Seattle’s Green Lake.

Teresa Kessenich-Chase, 35, a stay-at-home mother of three, said the presidential election result hit her hard. “I sobbed for three days. I couldn’t eat or sleep,” she said.

Determined now to become more politically active, she said she’s found solace in joining the “Pantsuit Nation” women’s movement on Facebook that celebrates Hillary Clinton.

Rallying around the Pantsuit...

Rallying around the Pantsuit…

Standing in the Green Lake circle, Kessenich-Chase held her 3-month-old in a baby carrier at her chest and a sign declaring “Racism, Misogyny and Xenophobia are non-starters with me.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, 34, a marketing manager at a telecom company, brought his 3-year-old daughter, because he said he finds it “horrifying” that Trump will be the first president the girl will come to know. “All presidents before him have had some level of service to this country,” he said. “He’s done nothing in any form except for himself.”

As the midday event unfolded amid rain and dark skies, people chatted with those who happened to be next in the line and made intermittent attempts to send a wave flowing along the loop of joined hand.The circle was punctuated by protest signs and a few U.S. flags. Spots on the periphery were designated as drop-off points where protesters left goods for the homeless.

Modeled on a similar protest around Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif., last Sunday, a Facebook event page asked participants to spend the first 15 minutes in quiet contemplation and then to let loose with “joyful sounds.” Some clapped and cheered. A small group sang “Amazing Grace.”

Psychotherapist Anna Rhodes, who played the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on a handheld speaker, said the event should encourage people “to channel anger and pain into compassionate action.”

Many participants expressed a need to remain active as the Trump presidency plays out. Asked what most concerned him about that prospect, John Larreau, 32, a higher-education administrator, said, “Where do I start? So much about him terrifies me.”

Holly Hidenrick, 43, an IT project manager there with her 12-year-old daughter Blue, said Trump’s attitude toward women has spurred her to become more active in the Seattle chapter of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement to work for equal pay.

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