Accidental Activist Becomes Voice For Michigan Feminists

By Kristen Jordan Shamus
Detroit Free Press

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet Phoebe Hopps, an “accidental activist.” Hopps was tiptoeing into politics after the Nov. 8 presidential election by simply creating a website for Michigan women interested in attending the Women’s March on Washington. That website has led to a whole new career as a community organizer and activist.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.

Phoebe Hopps has her laptop open late on a Friday morning in February at Bubba’s, a downtown bar and restaurant that screams Up North hip, with honey-hued wooden tables and benches, specials scrawled on chalkboards and strappy teal leather chairs.

She types as she talks about all the things she is organizing now: a solidarity sister march in Flint to commemorate the 1965 civil rights demonstrations in Selma, Ala.; counter protests at Michigan Planned Parenthood clinics, rallies for International Women’s Day, and more.

She has become an accidental activist, tiptoeing into politics after the Nov. 8 presidential election by simply creating a website for Michigan women interested in attending the Women’s March on Washington.

Working on her laptop at cafes and restaurants in Traverse City and from her living room in Kewadin on the Lake Michigan shoreline, she organized thousands of women and their allies who took more than 100 buses from around the state to Washington, for the Jan. 21 Women’s March; thousands more marched in cities like Lansing and Ann Arbor, Detroit and Marquette on the same day.

A week later, she partnered with other organizations to stage a massive protest at Detroit Metro Airport to challenge President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily stop the admission of refugees, bar Syrian refugees indefinitely and halt travel into the U.S. by people from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

That executive order now faces court challenges.

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