|The train downtown|
I saw the pictures on social media of women on planes, on trains, in buses, and at rest stops, all traveling to DC. When I waited with friends to take the train in Chicago, we watched our already-filled train speed past us, and boarded a second train, which quickly filled up. It was like the march was began right on the platform into Union Station. The city was alive with a stream of signs and hats, and men and women pouring through the loop to get to Grant Park.
|At the Rally|
During the rally, we were far enough that we couldn't see or hear anything actually going on for the rally. We stood, and chatted, and took pictures and admired signs.We watched the helicopters swirling above. I speculated about how someday, when the kids of the future learn history from virtual reality holodecks, they might be stepping into our pictures and video and virtually marching with us.
|" We all move forward when we recognize how RESILIENT and STRIKING the women around us are. "--Rupi Kaur|
We had no idea what was going on, and no one around us could get a connection to access social media on phones. After the "march" was supposed to happen, some people cutting through the crowd said there were tweets saying the march was cancelled. But eventually the crowd started to move, the marshalls told us to turn around, we followed the crowd, and we marched.
|The giant IUD was one of my favorite "signs"|
We marched, and we chanted. "This is what democracy looks like," "Our bodies, our choice/Her body, her choice," "Black lives matter," "We're here, we're queer, we're fabulous." The atmosphere felt positive, energetic, inclusive, intersectional. There were certainly a whole lot of white ladies, but there were women of different races and ethnicities, men, and range of sexualities and identities. There were babies, and older kids, and plenty of grandmothers. There were signs in Spanish and Arabic. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
|My run buddies double as march buddies|
And then when I went home and caught up with social media, I saw my friends posting from cities all over the US. I saw pictures and video of marches from different cities, different states, and different countries. We marched in every state! There was a tiny town in Idaho, where half of the town's 63 residents came out to march! We marched all around the world, on every continent! Even some penguins turned out!
I hope we can hold on to that momentum and the motivation, because things are getting scary FAST. The current administration is doubling down on outright lies, cracking down on scientific research and communication, and going forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline. In just four days, there's been a terrifying move to suppress facts, suppress science, and endanger womens' rights, indigenous rights, and the environment.
We still have more work do on building a intersectional movement. But as we do that, we need to continue to keep resisting. There is so much that is frightening and overwhelming, and I'm not quite sure how to cope with it. But we need to keep up the calls, the e-mails, the protests, and reminding everyone we know that this is not normal.
Facts are verifiable. Science is real. We are entering a fascist, authoritarian rule and this is not normal. Resistance is never futile, and we have to keep at it. Let's keep on holding onto those truths.
Here are a few of the resources I've been drawing on to keep up with action items.
Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience
Action for a Better Tomorrow (IL)
It's Time to Fight
Women's March 10 actions/100 days