According to the Associated Press, over 500,000 people marched on Washington, DC on January 21, 2017, and the New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office counted 400,000 people marching in the Big Apple. Marches took place, not only in cities throughout the United States, but around the world, bringing that number to 2.9 million. Although this global show of resistance was sparked by the election of Donald Trump and was christened the “Women’s March”, as I made my way across 42nd Street and up Fifth Avenue in New York City, I found myself amidst a sea of protest signs running the gamut of issues.
Reproductive rights seemed to be at the forefront, but slogans focused on gay rights, climate change, immigration, healthcare, police brutality and a general “fuck you” to misogynists everywhere were also on display.
To me, the day was a cathartic, pre-emptive strike against an administration which has consistently promised to go right on the intersecting issues where sense of reason and heart go left.
In our own words
Below, the words of just a small handful of the women in attendance in New York City give a snapshot of the atmosphere of hope and sisterhood I experienced:
“My name is Bonnie Heller, I live in Manhattan. I’m a neighbor of Donald Trump’s. We’ve known him for many, many years. He has never done anything to help his city, so I don’t understand how he would ever help this country. Plus the fact that he’s a misogynist, racist asshole. So that’s about it.”
“My name is Carly Lissak, and I’m here because I don’t think anyone should feel that they are represented by someone who doesn’t believe in who they are or [the reasons] why they should be seen as equals. Also because I’m scared. I know that we are the pillar of the free world and when the face of the pillar of the free world is mentally unstable it’s just not good for anyone. Also this is an emotional outlet to feel better.”
“We are here to fight for our rights!” – Gia
“The reason why I joined the Women’s March is because I believe this day will be crucial and will go down in history. As an American female I have realized throughout my years of adulthood that there are so many right we take for granted each and every day. I protest to say ‘no more’. I protest because I am aware of what is at stake. I protest in the hopes that they don’t strip us women of our rights. I protest in hope that the planet does not go to shit because of some in-denial narcissist of a president that believes it’s all a hoax. I want my children and my children’s children to have the future they deserve. Ultimately, I protest because that’s all that we have left [in order to] fight back.” – Daniela
“I march because I need to use my voice to speak up for those that America is refusing to hear.” – Andrea
“If I didn’t care about this country I wouldn’t be doing this.” – Overheard on the train ride home
These words are nothing without continued action
Here are some links to help you get involved with just a few of the organizations empowering and connecting people to fight for the issues addressed at the Women’s March. Every action counts and the way forward is all about intersectionality.
The first step forward in the Women’s March 10 Actions / 100 Days is to start contacting your senator about the issues that matter to you. They’re offering printable postcards to get you started and I’ve got some of the messages seen on signs in NYC for inspiration:
No human being is illegal.
Presidential does not mean bully.
I’m pro-woman. He’s a con-man.
Love trumps hate.
We shall over comb.
Eyes on the state.
Hands off my rights.
Respect existance or expect resistance.
Black lives matter.
Science is real.
Made in ‘gina.
It’s time to ovary act.
Conversion therapy is going to be lit.