I am not what you would call a protester. I used to play school as a kid for heaven's sake. I like rules and check lists, and staying INSIDE the lines. I woke up today around 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. I was looking at my phone and seeing all these marches around the world: France, Australia, Antarctica, England, New York City, and saw the image of an insanely crowded Metro station in D.C.
Last week, Momsie and I had talked about the march. "Are you going?" She asked me. "I dunno." I told her. "I hadn't thought about it." Later she texted me saying she had looked closer at the organization and wasn't sure she wanted to march, as she didn't agree with everything they stood for. "Ok." I texted back. "I guess we will stay in."
Fast forward to early this morning. I knew I wanted to go, but wasn't sure I was brave enough or even could. None of my friends were going and Momsie wanted to stay home, and also, I agreed with my Momsie. I wasn't sure how I would feel if I were surrounded with signs that were trying to promote something I disagreed with. I talked to The Husband about it. "It's about equality, right? You believe in that." I do.
So, I hopped in a car, early this morning with a co-worker, and sped off downtown. It was PACKED. No one expected that many people to show up -- no one. And it was awesome. We all gathered together peacefully, and cheerfully. The organizers told us: "We will encounter oppostion today. Do not engage. Tell them you love them, and you are marching for them." Which, of course, we were. We were marching together -- a diverse collection of women and men-- all of us united around only one idea: that democracy is for the people; and the people are demanding that this new administration remember ALL of its citizens. It was peaceful, and hopeful and wonderful.
I was marching in the middle of the crowd when I got a text from Momsie: "I am at the Veteran's Park." She also had decided that she wanted to be there and bravely showed up on her own. Miraculously, we were able to find one another in that crowd, and stood together while people spoke. We were too far back to really hear every word, but were buoyed by words like: equality, involvement, and unity.
It was kind of beautiful. I saw tons of people I knew, and met some new friends. We all were given lists of contact information for our representatives so that we could add meaning and effectiveness to the march. We encouarage one another that the march was just a gathering to encourage one another to get going and to do something to ensure that all Americans have a voice.
I know there are some who have already posted about the "crybabies" who lost and just can't get over it. They think that people who march just can't accept the reality that is in front of them. They say that people are freaking out and acting "crazy" because of the lying media.
They are wrong. They are wrong about me, and about the folks I know. My issue isn't that my "guy" lost the election. I am simply pointing out that America belongs to the people. I have a right to express my thoughts and concerns about those who are in power, now, just as I was free to do so, when Obama was our President. I did then and will continue to do so now. It is my right, and if I believe that I am seeing injustice, just as Thomas Jefferson pointed out, it is not only my right to speak up against it -- it is my duty. I make no assumptions about those who thought our current President was the best choice -- I am sure you had clear and thoughtful reasons. I respect that. I also respect that he is now our President -- which of course means that he works for you and for me. He is a public servant, and I am the public. This is not radicalism - this is democracy, and as those sweet high school girls chanted in that crowd today over and over: This is what democracy looks like - a beautiful, peaceful crowd gathered to remind each other that America is formed for us, and by us.