It’s been a little over two months since Donald Trump was elected the unfortunate 45th president of the United States. Nothing celebratory accompanied his Inauguration. The parade and subsequent balls failed to clear the dark clouds over Washington. The following day, defensive anger streamed from the podium of a new administration dealing with the political reality of being in power.
As the nation swore in this monster, myself and millions of others were planning our descent on the nation’s capital and sister cities. We turned off our televisions and packed ourselves into cars and buses full of like-minded others bent on being heard. We steadied our voices and strapped up our marching boots.
It’s interesting because we all had our own personal reasons for participating in the Women’s March on Washington. For some, it was about the election. For others, it was about the future. For most, it was about the enduring inequalities and injustices entrenched within the systems of power, but we were unified in the idea that women’s rights are human rights, and that women’s rights affect us all no matter how we identify ourselves.
This is what I hope people remember.
Of course, the typical vision of a protest march is angry citizens raising their fists and screaming angrily through the streets. This is inaccurate and it is a credit to the organizers of this march for promoting it as a rally rather than an exercise in hostility. Resentment did not cast over this crowd and manifest itself in aggression. Instead, we found comfort in the convergence of a common understanding that this is not normal.
The spirit of community echoed in the streets as marchers and police officers thanked each other for their shared service to our country. Our first amendment rights walked safely beside the protection of our public servants. The city merged beneath our heels and residents shouted out from their windows or blared their car horns in solidarity. We took from Donald Trump what he wanted most.
We the People, brought change to Washington.
I want people to remember the joy and hope of a million faces. I want my daughters to grow up knowing that we weren’t beaten down by the disappointment of a century. That we believed in a future that exists for them. That we fought for it not through war and violence, but optimism and love. That the gloom this man created didn’t last long enough to break us.
That we empowered ourselves.
To those that participated, to those that witnessed, to those that will remember, never forget that the day after Donald Trump took office we spoke with one voice to tell him that his plans are not absolute; that his power is limited by the strength in our numbers; that his ability to carry out his backwards agenda will be hampered by our continued presence.
We the People will never stop.