The Women’s March: Perspectives

Beth, top right: “It was all very positive, about making change and coming together in a nonviolent way and, but saying no, we aren’t going to put up with this anymore. It was a very positive attitude about okay we aren’t happy about this, but we’re going to change it. We’re going to make our voices heard, and we aren’t going to sit back and say this is the way it is.”

The update:

Upon getting the news that the march was taking place in Cleveland, I dropped everything and raced north as fast as I (safely) could. I was disappointed to have arrived shortly after the primary event ended, but I was fortunate to get to meet and talk with dozens of the 15,000 men and women who had marched in sister marches (current estimates are at two million protestors who marched today in all the sister marches!).

Photos courtesy of Anna (FL, marching in DC): “I for one am marching for my students and my children, which is the same thing really. I’ve been most impressed with the intersection of experienced activists in their 60s and 70s and 80s and beginning activists in their teens and 20. It’s history in the making for sure.”

This was such a fantastic event to be part of, both in the small scale of marching in my hometown as well as in the larger scope of knowing that while we marched, thousands upon thousands marched with us not just around the country, but around the world. What an incredible rush!

When I left my house this morning, I had never participated in a movement like this. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even now that it’s over, I’m still not sure I am able to process it yet. To quote Anna, “I don’t think we will realize what it’s been like, what we were a part of, until after it’s all over.”

 

Top photo clockwise: Danthea, Kathleen, Kristin: “It was really encouraging. It’s been kind of dark since the election. It was really encouraging to see that many people not only here, but across the country, even worldwide, on all seven continents. It was really comforting to know that there are people out there who support what we believe in.”

 

Photos courtesy of Jenna (NY, marching in DC): “The energy of the crowd was unbelievable. Everyone was very positive and kind. I think one of the most memorable times of my day was actually walking to the march from RFK stadium through a residential neighborhood and the streets were lined with people outside their homes handing out water and saying thank you and starting chants.”

 

Photos courtesy of Melissa (Boston): “Today was the first time I did something like this- march. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was full of people, all different types of people who just want love and equality to prevail in our society. I’m so glad I was there to witness people of all ages coming together in peace. I went because I felt I needed to do something for myself to remind myself I have a voice and am allowed to stand up and use it.”

What I do know is that amidst the camaraderie and solidarity there was this overwhelming sense of relief. As I worked my way around downtown and talked to people, group after group expressed similar feelings and experiences; words and evidence of diversity and unity in the name of human rights echoed around me.

One thing is certain: we will not be silenced.

Photos courtesy of Tim (Santa Ana- view his blog here): “It’s huge and a great vibe! [I march because] I believe women are people.”
***Note*** Out of courtesy to their privacy, only first names were used for those gracious enough to offer photos or phrases.

 

The following is the rough draft of the original blog I had started to write when I realized I could get first-hand experience a mere hour away. I felt it was important to keep here alongside the updated version since attending the march changed the structure of the original blog.

**BREAKING** The movement is in Cleveland! And I’m off!

Oh, how I desperately wish I could be marching with you right now! I sit in my office; it’s quiet, my husband has brought me coffee and breakfast, and my heart is pounding. I am excited. I am ecstatic. Thank you to these warriors for snapping my head out of the fog surrounding me from yesterday’s chaos. You have given so many of us hope.

I am so proud to have friends who are marching in this movement, some in DC, others across the country in California. I’ll be updating here periodically as they fulfill my need to live vicariously through their fierceness.

To everyone marching: you kick so much ass.

Motivations:

“I believe women are people,” Tim (CA)

“I for one am marching for my students and my children, which is the same thing really,” Anna (FL, but marching in DC)

The Experience:

“I’ve been most impressed with the intersection of experienced activists in their 60s and 70s and 80s and beginning activists in their teens and 20,” Anna (FL, but marching in DC)

It’s history in the making for sure.”

“It’s huge and a great vibe!”

“I haven’t felt this spirit, this desire of ordinary people to make a difference since I marched against the Vietnam War,” Vivian (OH)

Realizations:

“For the next rally, you should take a lot of time to make your signs” Anna (FL, but marching in DC)

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