Sunday, January 22, 2017

The March

Since we couldnt get close to the performances at the rally, we walked around people and sign watching until time for the official March. At one point Maggie Gyllenhaal was right next to us in the throng of people and later John Kerry went by (with security detail, of course - but he was definitely in the crowd).

We had to get to the Smithsonian where the March was to officially start. As we walked that way and 500,000 of our fellow marchers did too, the streets became so packed that officials had to barricade some side streets and entry points.

I never saw anything violent or contentious except for perhaps a few testy exchanges between anti-abortion activists who tried their hardest to prickle nerves. But whenever they did, the crowd simply didn't take the bait. It was too important a day...the message was too precious to ruin it by getting off-message through ugly confrontation and the resulting controversy that would certainly follow.

I remember being at the Smithsonian and then just moving with the throng of people. All those people. All those people! So very many people perfectly practicing democracy and doing it in a hopeful, peaceful and joyous way. And sometimes we chanted, "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE"!

The March route was supposed to be 2 miles long, ending at the White House. Somewhere after mile 1 think, organizers started rerouting people...there were just too many people to continue on the original route. They had everyone retreat from proximity of the White House, but it was all very respectfully and peacefully accomplished. But even though the March was over...the march wasn't over. It continued with people throughout all the streets, continuing to shout with their signs held high.

I was moved by people coming together to fight for women's rights, human rights, climate change, gender equality and so much more. But at the crux of it all, I believe we marched for one thing: basic human decency.

I saw middle aged ladies holding signs touting "Women's Rights are Human Rights". I saw young moms with babies, marching for their child's future. I saw old ladies - very old ladies - pushed in wheelchairs by their grandchildren. I saw brave physically-challenged people doing their very best to complete the March.
I saw lots of white men marching, one whose sign read, "I am a white male and I apologize for Donald Trump". I saw Muslims and Mexicans and African Americans and beautiful people of all colors and shapes, and, and, and I saw America.

I won't forget the day. I won't forget all the joy and hope and fear and anger. I won't forget the March.

The March is over. But the march isn't over.


Anne burkley said...

Beautifully written and eloquently described. Thank you for the journey, your participation and sharing, and for the pictures!!!!