The Women’s March on Main hit Park City on a snowy Saturday morning, turning the first weekend of Sundance into a very different kind of must-attend event. Despite the frigid cold weather, turnout was high and the crowd remained energized during the march and hour-long parking lot rally, which spilled out around the surrounding hills and streets.
Despite the slow traffic — packed shuttles and lines of cars stretched down the ski town’s main thoroughfares and out of town as women and men flocked in from Salt Lake City and local environs — the mood was jovial, and at least one shuttle broke out into a chat of “this is what democracy looks like!” before even arriving at the rally.
Marchers included such Sundance Film Festival attendees as Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, carrying a Planned Parenthood sign and wearing “I’m with Meryl” stickers on her parka, John Legend, and Sundance filmmakers Rory Kennedy (“Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton”), Marianna Palka (“Bitch”), Zoe Lister-Jones (“Band Aid”) and Sundance veteran Laura Dern (“Wilson”).
“As a daughter, as a granddaughter, as a mother, as a citizen, and as an artist,” Dern told IndieWire,” I am thrilled to have the opportunity to stand with these amazing people to say, ‘love not hate will make America great,’ to protect my daughter’s and my family’s rights, and my mom and grandma who fought for those rights. I was sad to not to be in DC, but equally happy to be with this tribe of family members who can all try to say something about humanity for years.”
“We need to be thinking harder about stories that need to be told and quickly,” Lister-Jones told IndieWire, “in order to reach a larger audience so we can create a dialogue in this country about what’s wrong.”
Thousands of protesters marched down Main Street, including celebrities like organizer-host Chelsea Handler, who led the march and introduced the rally with pal Mary McCormack. Although the event was not sponsored or affiliated with the Sundance Film Festival, executives John Cooper and Keri Putnam also attended. “This isn’t 1917, this is 2017!” said Handler, promoting beleaguered Planned Parenthood, “which is for men as well as women and does more than abortions.”
“It’s a safe place, added McCormack, who quoted Eleanor Roosevelt: “A woman is like a tea bag: you never know how strong it is until you put it in hot water. Who knew we were the new tea party?”
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