On January 21st, the day after the inauguration, we joined almost 500,000 women, men, and children to march in Washington DC and stand up for equal rights. The feeling of solidarity was incredible, as we walked through the streets with residents cheering us on as we passed, and officers giving us high fives and encouragement when we crossed the street. Churches, residents, and businesses opened their doors to provide bathrooms, drinks, and snacks. People handed out Kind bars on the street. I’m not a fan of crowds, but this was a great one.
We got up dark and early at 6:30am to catch a chartered bus that a group from my neighborhood started. There was so much interest that the group grew to 6 buses full, with people on a waiting list. Our group started planning immediately after the election, which was a good thing, since the Metro was packed. As we slowly made our way through traffic, we passed the Greenbelt station (a major start point for a lot of people going into DC), everyone gasped and OMG’d at the line of people weaving through the full parking lot, with the exit closed off. We knew that this was going to be YUGE. Sure, transportation and lines were inconvenient for a lot of people, but nobody complained! Everyone was just glad that it meant that we were a part of something big.
We originally planned to metro from RFK stadium, where our buses were parked (about 2.5 miles away from the march) but knew the metro would be crazy and just decided to walk it. What an experience! This was an open and diverse group of people from all walks of life. We all came together to stand up for our rights and fight back against this new administration, and remind the country and the world, that we are still the majority, regardless of the electoral college. The best part for me, was seeing young kids leading chants, a little girl protesting with a fist in the air…gave me hope for our future.
We couldn’t get close enough early enough to see any of the rally and celebrities but we didn’t feel like we missed a thing. We walked up along the Washington monument and got a great view of the people marching down the street before rejoining the crowd. Truly a sight to behold. Every once in a while, we got a glimpse of the sheer magnitude of this march and the size of the crowd, looking down the street to see a sea of people behind us, as far as the eye could see. Another such moment-walking by a bar and being able to see big screen TV’s through the window that showed CNN and MSNBC reporting about the very march we were in, with aerial views of the crowd. Breathtaking.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, were how big all of the other protests were across the country, or that there were even protests all over the world. Los Angeles even exceeded DC’s turnout with about 750,000 people!
As inspiring as that Saturday was, we need to remember that this was just a warm up. This was our pep rally to marches and activism to come. This will be a long 4 years of fighting to get our voice heard and resisting the policies of an administration that is actively pushing an anti-woman agenda (be it through anti-choice legislation or cutting funding to programs that combat violence against women, among many other examples), actively doubling down on dirty energy and an environmental agenda that will only hasten the effects of climate change and nominating big oil execs for both SecState and Secretary of Energy, actively fight civil rights through voter suppression, discriminatory policies and the confirmation of a backwards Attorney General…we have a hell of a lot of work to do.
So I’ve created a new section to this blog to work as a resource for activism, however you feel you could help make a positive impact and RESIST this administration’s agenda. I’ll be adding links and articles to it as I find them.
VIVE LA RESISTANCE!