On Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, more than 500,000 people descended on Washington, D.C., to protest, to demonstrate, to send a message to the American people and it’s new leadership. I was one of those protesters, one of the people exercising their first amendment rights.
“Because of people power. Because this, this, is the other side of the downside,” said Gloria Steinem referring to the sea of humanity in front of her. “This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy like I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age. It is deep in diversity. And remember the constitution does not begin with ‘I, the president.’ It begins with ‘We, the people.’”
Legendary feminist icon Steinem was just one of the many speakers at the rally before the march. Civil rights activist and author Angela Davis was another.
“At a challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we, the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans-people, men and youth who are here at the Women’s March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, hetero-patriarchy from rising again,” said Davis. “We recognize that we are collective agents of history, and that history cannot be deleted like web pages.”
“We are mothers,” stated recording artist Alicia Keys. “We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.”
My enthusiasm ascended to new heights after seeing and hearing these inspirational luminaries, especially after the gravity of the campaign upset sunk in and made final by Trump’s swearing in ceremony.
“Once the heaviness [of the election] began to subside, an opportunity has presented itself to make real long-term change, not just for future Americans, but in the way we view our responsibility to get involved with and stay active in our communities,” said actress Scarlett Johansson. “Let this weight not drag you down, but help to get your heels stuck in.”
I know what it’s like to wear heels. I wore them at a fundraiser called “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” to support domestic violence awareness. Now I’m supporting many causes.
“Continue to embrace the things that make you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable,” said singer songwriter Janelle Monae. “You are enough. And whenever you’re feeling doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.”
“Know that we are not afraid,” added Madonna. “That we are not alone, that we will not back down. That there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity.”
Our unity was obvious as we all marched across D.C. It didn’t matter what cause we supported, we all walked together as Americans demonstrating true democracy.
“If we – the millions of Americans who believe in common decency, in the greater good, in justice for all – if we fall into the trap by separating ourselves by our causes and our labels, then we will weaken our fight and we will lose,” stated actress America Ferrere. “But if we commit to what aligns us, if we stand together steadfast and determined, then we stand a chance of saving the soul of our country.”