Women’s March in DC
I’ve had a few moments to give some thought to what I would write about the experience of the Women’s March in DC on Saturday, January 21, 2017. First, I decided the night of the election that I would be in DC for this March. I may be incorrect about this exact date – but as soon as it was announced that Trump had won, I knew I was going. Alone, if necessary. Three wonderful nasty women decided to go along with me: Sharon Mueller Miracle (who signed on as co-pilot immediately), Pat Dillow, and Amy Thorsheim. They were the perfect three for what I needed.
We left Friday morning around 9:30, and bonded and talked and shared all the way there. Once, after we made a few stops, we arrived at their hotel about nine hours later, I went on to my adorable niece and nephew’s home, to spend time with them, and with cuteness, their precious 7 month old daughter.
The next day, Saturday, January 21, 2017, is almost indescribable. The numbers of people at our metro station in New Carrollton kept arriving to get on the metro. They just kept coming. Pink hats in all styles and shades of pink, signs with the most creative things written on them (Putin is a Man-Date; the Fempire fights back), women of all ages – babies, small girls, teenagers, 20’s – on up through 70’s and 80’s, people in wheel chairs, using walkers, and canes. Men of all ages, all colors, from all states. And the most polite people I’ve ever seen. No one pushing or shoving, no anger, simply coming together to state loudly that women’s rights are human rights, immigrants have a home here, LGBTQ people have rights in America, misogyny is wrong, racism is wrong, and we MUST not allow the newly chosen cabinet members, yet to be appointees, to take us back to the 50’s. We must fight these appointees. We must come home and take up the torch. Either run yourself, or find someone to support. But do NOT stop at the march. Keep going. Keep sharing. Keep the kindness but keep fighting.
We heard Alesha Keys, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd, among others. We were implored to keep the action going when we got home. Many promised to run for office. We chanted “March, March, march” when the speakers wouldn’t stop speaking. We learned later that there were so many people, the organizers considered cancelling the actual march – there was nowhere to walk. People were pushed together like sardines in a can. Yet, it was almost as if everyone was trying to “out-polite” the others. There were screens set up to enable all to see the speakers, but difficult to locate because of the throngs. This didn’t matter at all to me. I came to see the crowds. To feel the energy. To be part of a passionate group of people trying to make a change in an administration that scares us. It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to the 60’s marches.
On the way out, women climbed poles and shouted, “Tell me what democracy looks like!” The crowd roared back, “This is what democracy looks like!” It was magical. When we heard the numbers at the many other marches, we cheered. We cheered going home on the metro. I’ve told my students it’s the next thing to seeing the Grand Canyon – almost inexpressible.
I’m hopeful that the change is coming. I’ve made calls to our Senators. I plan to attend the Democratic Party meeting on Saturday. Perhaps we can do it. Equality for all. Sounds like a pipe dream. After all, I’m a history instructor. Still, I have to try.