Vail demonstrators participate in Women’s March 2020 |

Vail demonstrators participate in Women’s March 2020

About 65 people, some wearing ski boots, marched from Vail to Lionshead as part of nationwide event

VAIL — Participants attached protest signs to ski poles and hockey sticks Saturday at the 2020 Women’s March.

The group marched from Vail Village to Lionshead chanting slogans that summarized their efforts, including “this is what democracy looks like” and “Cory Gardner’s got to go.”

Knowing demonstrations were happening across the country, Vail organizer Bobbie Ruh said she didn’t want to be a part of a town that didn’t have one. About 65 people participated.

“I promised my daughters I’d be active for them, so that’s why I’m doing it,” she said.

Veteran and Republican participants

Ruh said she is a retired attorney and registered Republican from Littleton who became politically active following the Columbine Shooting in 1999.

“We lost friends at Columbine,” she said, speaking on behalf of her daughters.

Ruh’s husband, Jim Ruh, participated as well, holding a sign that said “Veteran against Trump.”

Jim Ruh said after returning home from Vietnam, he immediately sought out higher education at the University of Michigan.

“My first day of law school, nine hours back, I met my wife,” he said.

Jim Ruh said he was demonstrating to support Bobbie, their two daughters and three granddaughters.

Bobbie Ruh speaks to a crowd gathered in Vail on Saturday for the 2020 Women’s March. The group walked from Vail Village to Lionshead displaying signs and chanting slogans.
Chris Dillmann |

Now living in Edwards, Bobbie Ruh said she often feels disconnected from the political process.

“I wish I could do more,” she said. “I write Cory Gardner, I write my senators … I think the Republican party has lost its voice of moderation, and it needs to get it back, and I personally think we need more people who feel like I do to join the Republican party and work at the primary level and the caucuses to get rid of these Trump (supporters).”

Women’s rights

Other demonstrators were less nuanced in their criticisms. Participants made references to the president’s involvement in crime, including hush money payments made to X-rated film star Stormy Daniels, as well as the numerous allegations of sexual assault that have been made against President Donald Trump.

Marching in her ski boots, Avon resident Kaile Wilson held a sign that said “sex offenders cannot live in government housing,” with a drawing of the White House and an asterisk citing the code of federal regulations statute she was referencing.

Activists take to Bridge Street in Vail Village on Saturday during the 2020 Women’s March.
Chris Dillmann |

Dr. Patricia Qualls, who was visiting Vail from California, said she was most concerned about right-wing efforts to roll back abortion rights. She said while much of her political worldview had been shaped by her experiences working with children in Romania in the early 1990s, she only recently became politically active again in the U.S. and wanted to participate in the Vail march while she was in town.

“Guys telling young women what they can and cannot do … it takes me back to those orphanages (in Romania),” she said. “I got complacent again, and took democracy for granted.”

Members of the group said they also plan on gathering on June 5 in the Wear Orange demonstrations, which seek to raise awareness about gun violence in the U.S.

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