Confluence film, politics and weather, storms through city, offers lessons
The Park Record editorial, Jan. 25-27 2017
January 24, 2017
In terms of safety and camaraderie, Park City's March on Main last Saturday was an enormous success. Despite overloaded buses, traffic jams and an incessant snowstorm, a giant crowd turned out and delivered a powerful message.
Most gratifying of all: Everyone returned home, safe and sound.
Park City and Summit County officials, along with local law enforcement, transit and public works personnel deserve much of the credit for ensuring the event fulfilled the organizers' hope of creating a loud, but positive rallying cry.
Saturday's perfect storm of film festival attendees, weekend skiers, marchers and a potent blizzard, however, could have turned into a nightmare. These days, a crowd dotted with celebrities against a volatile political backdrop and with a potential for major media coverage is an attractive target for violence. Thanks to professional planning, dedicated personnel, regional support and lots of volunteers, the day was not marred by tragedy.
But as city and county officials debrief, there will be some negative issues to address. Many who do not agree with the underlying messages associated with the march were impacted: Destination visitors found their vacations disrupted and local businesses lost an important day in the high season.
Those are not reasons to avoid celebrating political activism, but they should be mitigated for future demonstrations. Granted, Saturday's worldwide day of women's empowerment marches, was unique. But the March On Main organizers' decision to cast their invitation far and wide put enormous pressure on the community.
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Nevertheless, we hope there will be many more opportunities in Park City to focus on political activism and engagement. A political commentator on one of the national networks asked an important, but uncomfortable question: Where were all of these people when it was time to vote?
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