Inspired by Political Events, A Show Of Unity In Red Bank

first_imgBy John Burton|RED BANK – It wasn’t just women who came to a rally at Riverside Gardens Park last Saturday.“More than 50 percent of our population is women,” said Errol Logan, a Bound Brook resident who traveled to Red Bank last Saturday to participate in the gathering. “So, it’s important to show our support for women and their issues. “Women’s rights are human rights,” Logan said.Logan was one of what organizers estimated were roughly 500 people – men and women from a wide range of ages, many with young children in tow – who gathered at the borough’s Riverside Gardens Park on the afternoon of Jan. 21.The intent of the rally, organized by the recently formed Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, was to show solidarity with the worldwide series of marches and rallies taking place that day. Those marches, initially in support of women’s issues, also came to include concerns over the environment, civil liberties and immigrant rights in light of comments made by President Donald J. Trump leading up to the election and since taking the oath of office on Jan. 20. Many of the participants were wearing the same pink hats visible at the events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. They held signs expressing their views and concerns.The Red Bank event, according to one of the organizers, Ellen Herman, was intended as a nonpartisan expression in the spirit of Red Bank’s tradition of fostering diversity and inclusion. But, as fellow organizer Suellen Sims said in her remarks to the crowd later that afternoon, “That diversity is always an ephemeral quality that can be extinguished too early.” Naulty has “major concerns about this administration’s changes to environmental regulations” and stressed how important it is to “protect this world and all who live in it.”Rubina Tareen, a Muslim who traveled from Pennsylvania to participate in the rally, told the gathering she came to combat fear-mongering. “We gather here today to meet ignorance with understanding,” she said.Red Bank resident Barbara Boas said she attended Saturday’s rally because she was concerned about the direction the nation could be taking with the new administration, especially concerning public education. “It’s not a protest,” she maintained about the day’s activities, “but an announcement that we are here and we’re not going anywhere.”“I felt strongly enough and wanted to be a part of something,” said Nicole Korman, Howell, who came with her 2-year-old son, Logan. “Clearly, something has to be done to keep our ideals.”“The real question,” asked Herman, “is where do we go from here?”“I truly believe the antidote is to get involved,” Sims said.Tim McLoone, the local restaurateur and musician who is active on many community fronts, served as the event’s M.C. and said he believed there is always something to be done. “If you can’t change the wind,” he reminded the crowd, “you can at least adjust your sails.”Lynn Cremona, Neptune, vowed to stay active and offered a warning. “If they thought we were uppity feminists before,” she said, “watch the next four years.” Sims said the day after Trump’s election it was important to reaffirm the shared beliefs of many in attendance. Of the treatment of the immigrant population everywhere, she asked, “Should they be tarnished as ‘the other’?”Several hundred people gathered at Red Bank’s Riverside Gardens Park on Saturday afternoon in a show of unity. Photo courtesy of Anthony V. Cosentino“The values we share,” said the Rev. Jessica Brendler Naulty, senior pastor for the United Methodist Church, 247 Broad St., “is basic human decency.”last_img read more