I am filled with thoughts and emotions as I reflect back on the Women’s March. It was exhilarating, exhausting, inspiring, and fun. The detractors have it wrong. Diverse women and men from across the nation came together to share their stories and to have their voices heard. And though some will deny it, we were heard.
I attended for so many reasons, but they basically distill into two. I wanted to be a part of something larger than myself. There is a real movement. There is energy. There is will. I also fundamentally disagree with almost everything that the new administration and legislature wants to pass. I want to make a change and this is a mechanism of demonstrating that change.
In true blog form, I will share my day. On January 21, 2017, I was nourished by a friend’s aunt and uncle. Gracious, thoughtful, and generous hosts who were thrilled to share their home so a few feisty friends could march. Food was amazing.
The metro line was much longer than we expected! It moved quickly, but it was an energizing way to start the day. Two women of the cloth were handing out water and cereal bars, people were cheering and marching. Here is the line at the East Falls Church station, getting on the metro, and actually being on the train. We were underground for about an hour and then, we couldn’t get off close to the march! Too many people on the platforms so we went out a couple extra stops and walked in. Everyone was polite and excited. No negativity even though we were underground a LONG time. Did I mention that we were on the metro for a long time?
We made it to the Capital and encountered the crowds, which were stunning.
Then, I was interviewed by the Norwegian TV station NRK! She liked the poster I was carrying so, I carried it while they filmed me, then took my photo, then interviewed me. Honestly, I REALLY wanted to be interviewed by NPR, but NRK is awful close. Here’s the Norwegian version of the reporting says. (I’m pretty sure they referred to me as Kristin Gillibrand one time. Man, she wishes.)
We made it to about 3rd and Independence to the start of the march, but there were SO MANY PEOPLE! I think the largest crowds I’ve been in before yesterday was attending a Red Sox game. That’s legit, but this was HUGE! We found our way to the corner of the National Museum of the American Indian. We took turns sitting on a rock for a view. And we really couldn’t move. Some nice dude in a flag baseball cap decided to tell people what to do (mostly that they could get any closer), but he didn’t look official. Honestly, no one was in charge but I never felt unsafe and no one was agitated or violent.
Then, we stood and sat. Waiting for the march to start. At this point, we were getting tired and a bit cold. We couldn’t hear the people on stage though had a view of the side of it. The group would occasionally shout, “March, march, march!” Phones basically didn’t work. You could get an occasional text, but we had no information about the actual march. We finally got bored and tried to move closer.
This is when weird rumors about a march not happening started. It turns out, way more of us showed up than they were expecting and the march route was already filled up. There was no place to march. At this point though we could see the jumbotron and stage. Then, MADONNA! As a child of the 80s, I have to say that seeing Madonna was a real highlight. She sang, and she spoke of unity and the revolution.
We left the rally point to rest. Found comfort in the National Gallery on the Mall where there were a TON of people. We knew there were a lot of people but it was truly difficult to gauge the scale.
After a brief repose, we actually thought we were done. This was my low point in the day. We hadn’t marched – though had stood and clearly been a part of something. We discussed finding a coffee place then returning to Arlington.
Then, we found the march! As soon as we left, on Pennsylvania, people were marching! Signs in the air, we joined in.
Turns out, this march was going by the new Trump hotel. As much as my stomach turned to walk by, we marched and chanted. And, left this delightful little message to Trump.
We avoided walking by the White House. I know he is there but I am still somewhat in denial. And, let’s face it, we made our mark. Our message, while likely not heard by Trump, is resounding and will not be forgotten. We are here. Before walking back, we signed our names to a 100-meter long declaration of independence. I signed for truth, justice, peace, equality, and science.
I will never be as eloquent as Angela Davis, so I will close with her words from the march:
The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.
I am here. I am woke. I act. #fiveminutes