On January 21st I was privileged to attend the massive Women’s March in Washington D.C. I joined my good friend Mary and her granddaughter Katie and Katie’s friend Emily. What an experience. There was such a massive throng of people. Elders, like us, youngsters like the girls, and everyone in between from infants to people in wheel chairs to young men and old men.
While the crowd pressed around us I grew a bit frightened. Some freak action (or some crazed violent person) could get us trampled. But there was nothing but courtesy and good feelings. All the people we talked to were delightful. And so kind! After the horrid election campaign with terrible chants and scurrilous insults tossed about it was encouraging to meet so many truly NICE folks.
Some wisecracking Jersey girls entertained us with some funny stories. An Arabic man and his wife gave us space to get some air. Two very tall young men guided us out after the crowd got too much. A very kind server in a packed restaurant found a table and some food for us tired older women. Most of the protest signs were positive or made with good humor: “Love Trumps Hate”, “Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Ovaries”, “I Can’t Believe I Have to Protest This Shit Again”, and my personal favorite, “Free Melania”. No talk of locking anyone up or even worse. It restored my faith in the American people.
But, and there is always a “but”, what comes now? I still believe most people would want the things that the Women’s March advocated: women’s health, reproductive rights, civil rights for LGBT and diverse ethnic communities, fairness to refugees and immigrants. How do we continue to advocate for these basic human needs with a president and Congress so opposed? It seems an oligarchy has taken over the country. Just look at the rich white males in Trump’s cabinet.
I know smarter people than me can analyze how and why this happened. Still we have to keep fighting for the rights we thought were won with the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s Movement, the Gay Rights movements. But I guess liberty can never be taken for granted. Christopher and Patrick are already planning to meet with their educator friends to begin to lobby their Member of Congress regarding education policy. They are inspired by the creators of INDIVISIBLE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RESISTING THE TRUMP AGENDA “to replicate the Tea Party’s success in getting Congress to listen to a small, vocal, dedicated group of constituents” (more info at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/).
I ask the readers of our blog for their suggestions to continue the March to greater freedom and equality. The arch of justice seems bent low now.