Four Windham Women Join March in Washington

February 3, 2017


by Barbara O’Brien

When hundreds of thousands of men, women and children congregated in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, four Windham residents were among the crowd to peacefully express their concerns and fears about a wide variety of issues.

The four local women, who made the nearly 800-mile round trip from New Hampshire to the nation’s capital, were Kathleen DiFruscia, Diana Fallon, Ellie Rouillard and Lisa Ferrisi-Guttman. Due to problems with the bus company that was originally scheduled to transport approximately 160 New Hampshire residents to D.C., the trip nearly became a last-minute crisis. Twenty-four hours before the event, the original bus company canceled, leaving many without transportation. Fortunately, however, the organizers of the transportation, Willow Pfahler and Rose Garcia, members of United Progressive New Hampshire, who were already in Washington, D.C., were able to secure alternative transportation for those nearly stranded in the Granite State.

United Progressive New Hampshire is a non-profit organization that strives to bridge the gap between organizations, community leaders and businesses in order to create a state that leads the nation in social equality.

The five charter buses finally got underway just after midnight on Jan. 21 and headed south, arriving in Washington, D.C. about 9:30 a.m. According to Diana Fallon, most of the New Hampshire contingent arrived at the site of the Women’s March shortly before noon. Some in the group met up with New Hampshire Congresswoman Annie Kuster and marched together under the New Hampshire state flag, while others proceeded directly to the rally site.

After spending the day listening to inspirational speeches and sharing experiences with others who attended the massive rally, the New Hampshire coalition headed back to New Hampshire; returning home just before the sun rose.

Kathleen DiFruscia, a former Windham selectman, said she found the trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Women’s March, motivating and inspiring. “I enjoyed the trip considerably,” she said. DiFruscia, an attorney, who was politically engaged during the 1960s and participated in protests in Boston, said she feels it is vital to stand up for issues that affect women. “We need to be heard,” she said. “The trip to D.C. was cathartic and helped men and women bond with others who also feel strongly about exercising their power.”