My roommate’s mother traveled from Florida (stayed with us) to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. “This is one for the history books!” she said. Indeed it was!
We set out at about 8:30AM to walk down to the National Mall, and almost immediately started seeing pink-clad people toting signs and greeting one another with an energy that held up all day long. The rally started at 10AM and was scheduled to end at 1:15 but ended up going about two hours over. Some people started marching early, but it was difficult to get anywhere due to the sheer volume of people—a half million people, it turns out. Some things I want to remember from this day:
I was inspired to see so much diversity at this march. Signs for Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ Issues, Reproductive Rights, and Immigrants were all represented. Older women and children who struggled with the physical challenge of the day. The organizers were women of color, as were many of the speakers. Everyone was different, with different issues at the forefront of their concerns, but everyone could come together to agree that what is happening is not acceptable.
The message that all issues are women’s issues was especially highlighted by Senator Kamala Harris’ speech. She talked about how in each position she’d been elected to, she’d been the first woman or the first woman of color holding that position. She said, “Folks would come up to me and they’d say Kamala, talk to us about women’s issues.” Her response? “I”m so glad you want to talk about the economy.”
Along with Kamala, many of the speakers were women of color. A favorite was six-year-old immigration activist Sophie Cruz who brought the crowd to tears with her speech about welcoming immigrants in America, which she recited in English AND Spanish. “She’s the future!” said the woman behind me.
If things had gone the way they were supposed to, we all would have been crowding to celebrate Hillary’s inauguration. People were tired, emotionally and physically, and feeling a lot of feelings, such as anger. It was inspiring to see spirits so high. There were a few Christian evangelists with signs about sinning, but marchers simply stood around them and held their signs higher. Marching passed Trump tower, the crowed booed, still smiling, and continued onward with chants like “We want a leader, not an angry tweeter!” Also it should be noted that no one got arrested. Probably because it was dominated by women.
Women are funny and creative. The “pussyhats” were creative; I wish I would have thought ahead to get one. And the signs were pretty amazing. A popular “I’m with her” with arrows pointing outward was one of my favorites, symbolizing solidarity and a nod to Hillary. Another favorite was “This bitch face never rests.” And—even though this is about women—shoutout to Shepard Fairey for his beautiful “We the People” series which could also be spotted frequently in the crowd.