Today we saw just what a mass demonstration can look like. In all 50 states and over 600 cities and towns, literally millions of people marched in protest. The great thing about this protest was that it was started by a retired lawyer in Hawaii. She tweeted the night of the election that there should be a “woman’s march on Washington” the day after the inauguration.
When she woke up the next morning, she discovered over 10,000 retweets and responses. It all took off from there. In Washington, D.C. there were hundreds of thousands people marching. In Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and many other cities hundreds of thousands of people joined the Washington March in Sister marches.
The protesters were from all backgrounds. They were from all races. They were from all religions. They were from all sexes and sexual orientations. They were there to voice their opposition to the policies of the new president and what they mean for people in this country.
There were of course some detractors. One I heard talked about there were “too many issues” and no one could be sure what the purpose of the marches was all about. But, that is the point. These people were not there for a single issue, they were there for several issues that they all are willing to support.
They were there for sisterhood, brotherhood, and humanity. They understand that if you can take away the rights from one segment of who was there, you can take rights away from other groups. They were there to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and with the crowds that was about all they could do, to support each other.
As one speaker said, she is always asked about what is “women’s issues”. She answers by saying you want to talk about women’s issues? Okay let’s talk about the economy. Let’s talk about national security. Let’s talk about health care. Let’s talk about voter rights. Let’s talk about equal pay for equal work.
Women’s issues are the same issues that should be all of our issues. They want the same thing that we all want. They want a country that is free. They want a country that treats all of its citizens equally.
They were voicing their opinions and telling the new administration that they were not prepared to sit back and give them carte blanch to strip our rights out of the Constitution. They were also telling their representatives that they better listen to them as well.
The great thing about this march was that it was a true grass-roots movement. Politicians did not organize this. Groups did not organize this. A retired lady in Hawaii actually organized it. Yes, they looked to organizations for help in putting it together, but they organized it at the grass-roots level.
Women went to the various marches with their daughters. They went with their husbands. They went with their friends. They went and joined together with one voice of warning that they are here and they do not plan to go away.
This was the first time I have seen such protests since the Civil Rights and the anti-Vietnam protests of the fifties and sixties. And, to make matters even better, there was no violence at any of these marches. They were peaceful and purposeful.
These marches took place on all seven continents. That is right, there was even supposed to be a march, or protest, on Antarctica. I know that there are no electoral votes on any continent but ours and in no other country but ours. But, these people were also showing their support for our people and our rights.
The other amazing fact was that thousands upon thousands of people who participated were in their first protest. For the first time these people felt concerned enough to get off the couch and join the protest.
There were a lot of signs at these marches. Some were nice and some were vulgar. However, there was one sign that I saw at the Washington March that made me laugh and think about a lot of women I know. It simply read “DJT Don’t Make Us Come Back Here”.
When I read that sign, I could imagine that woman wagging her finger in Trump’s face at the same time. It was classic. Another thing I saw was a pair of glasses with writing on each lens. On one lens, it read “A Woman’s Place” and the other said “Is In Your Face”. I loved it.
This was a march that was organized by women. They put it together and they managed it, and they pulled it off beautifully. It had magic. It had grace. It had meaning. It was what we needed exactly at the time we needed it.
Since the election too many people have been moping around. They seem to have lost their will to do what is right. These women woke everyone up again. They are not willing to mope around and let Trump and the Republicans do whatever they want. They intend to make their voices heard and fight back whenever and wherever needed.
It is the kind of activism that can cause change. It is the kind of activism that can make politicians take notice. It is the kind of activism that mobilizes the common people to rise up and take back our country from the greedy and the wanna-be kings.
In my lifetime, no president survived when their administration or policies were the subject of massive protests. Lyndon Johnson dropped out of the 1968 race because of the anti-Vietnam protests.
Richard Nixon struggled with protests during his time in office. Some will even argue that these protests had a very negative effect on his mental stability which led to his eventual resignation over Watergate.
We don’t know what will happen from here. But, I am hoping that the activism shown today by these wonderful women will continue as time goes by. I am also hoping that these marvelous women drag the rest of us along with them.
We are at a time in our history where our very democracy hangs in the balance. Trump has shown his willingness to scrap the Constitution in order to become our authoritarian ruler. These women have thrown the gauntlet. We all need to throw down our own gauntlet and tell Trump don’t mess with our country.
Thank you ladies. You provided us with the medicine we need. Please keep the doses coming so we can continue to be the immune system our country needs to stop the viruses of divisiveness and hatred that is infecting our country.
To all the women out there, congratulations on a marvelous day. You are our heroes.