I vote, but I don’t vote a party line and I always try to support whoever makes it to office with the intent to support our ongoing struggle to fight for justice and equality. I rankle when public servants impose their personal agendas on us.
Because this nation’s last presidential election was so, well, bazaar, I decided to make my way to the Women’s March, to unite for the sake of uniting.
While traveling to Washington D.C. on Friday, I sat in a truck stop diner eating lunch and watched and listened to the inauguration over the television. President Trump spoke pointedly against government status-quo.
But, my take-away on the inauguration was President Obama’s display of decency. A decency I hope never to forget and always to respect.
Come Saturday morning, I was on The Mall at 7 a.m. Words that come to mind to describe my observations until 6 p.m. are: impressive, well-organized, peaceful, offensive, and massive.
I chatted with Lisa Christopher. She told me, “I’ve lived in Washington D.C. for thirty years. I walk this street to work every day. This is big. I haven’t seen close to this big of a crowd since President Obama’s first inauguration. This is big. I was here yesterday during President Trump’s inauguration and it was nothing like this. I had to come see it for myself.”
Apparently, arrests were made on the day of the president’s inauguration. I was aware of no arrests on January 21.
The Women’s March pulled in an estimated 500,000 people.
Activist, Gloria Steinem, told us, “You look great. I wish you could see yourselves. It’s like an ocean.”
Steinem thanked the “hardworking visionaries. The women who led this inclusive march, one of which gave birth when organizing.”
Mayor of Washington D.C., the Honorable Muriel Bowser, talked about female empowerment and D.C. statehood. She told the crowd that women officials are more wrongly criticized than men, and when women are more harshly criticized for speaking up for equality, both women and men need to speak up for women.
The list of speakers goes on. Much of the language mirrored the condemnatory, self-serving agenda rhetoric touted by President Trump. But the majority demonstrated and gave voice and presence to integrity. I hope the same for new administration.
I personally knew someone at the March who voted for Trump. The voter wasn’t angry, but he listened to the marchers. I listened. We went to learn.
When the over-extended, fatigued human emotions were filtered out, a strain of awareness was apparent.
It was a show of we the people. Waking up maybe.
Singer, Alicia Keys, recited Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Rise,” before telling the crowd to respect mother energy.
Filmmaker, Michael Moore, encouraged us to join organizations, talk to our representatives, and run for office. He said, “Petition to run for any public office, whether for congress or the school board, be active.”
A few favorite signs I saw bobbing up and down in the crowd read: Trump, start leading, stop tweeting. All elections matter, local, state, national. I’m with her (next to a picture of the Statue of Liberty).
Once the speakers ceased, the mass of human bodies began walking to the White House.
The march was orderly, respectful, and powerful. We made way for wheelchairs and strollers without hesitation. There were some crude signs and language, but it didn’t barb the true purpose to unite and fight as we the people for the higher good.
During the hours required for the gathering to move, they chanted or rather yelled. The chant I remember: What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like.