Today I had the privilege of quite literally being one in a million. The Women’s March on Washington had a record breaking turnout as hundreds of thousands of people showed up on the streets of D.C. to express mutual love and solidarity following the Inauguration of Trump yesterday. Although the expected turnout was only around 200,000, organizers and city officials report that over half a million supporters showed up for the march. I was so proud to be one of them.
I truly believe that I witnessed the best and worst of humanity today. This march brought so many people together but it wasn’t without its challenges. Counter-protesters screamed anti-semitic, homophobic, and to sum things up, disgusting slurs at us as we marched on. But their insults were no match for our strength in numbers and positive energy.
I began my day at six in the morning in order to catch an early metro ride into the capital. Even though it was hours before the rally and march, there were easily thousands of people at the Reston metro stop. The line to just get into the metro stop stretched for blocks.
The march had yet to begin but the spirit and energy was already radiating from every individual. Many already holding up handmade signs promoting their cause. I was definitely pumped up before we even got to D.C.
The only major problem with getting to the march was the MASSIVE and I mean, MASSIVE amount of people cramming themselves into a single metro car. Personal space? Forget it. You probably ended up breathing more carbon dioxide than actual air at the point some of the cars were at. But surprisingly enough, no one let this inconvenience damper the mood. About half was through the ride, everyone in my car, young and old, sang “We Shall Overcome” together in unison. It was touching. Eventually, the lyrics shifted from “we shall overcome” to “we’ll overthrow Trump”, which gave everyone quite a laugh.
One of the most impactful things I witnessed at the rally had to be when a few individuals began helping other protesters up a wall in order to see the crowd better. It doesn’t seem like a lot but with Trump’s promise of a wall along the Mexican border, watching us easily scale one with teamwork and trust was heartwarming.
These kind people also managed to hoist my mother and I up on the wall as well. The view was incredible and we ended up meeting a lot of interesting individuals. One woman I spoke to flew all the way from the U.K. to be a part of the march. This really touched my soul. Knowing that someone could care about another country’s politics and social justice movements so much that they join in solidarity with us is amazing.
As the day went on, we listened to several different motivational activists speak on TVs placed around the march. A particularly special treat was surprise performances from both Madonna and Alicia Keys. Madonna was especially fired up and shared some “choice words” on how she feels about the Trump presidency. I recommend finding the video if you can (not with small children though).
Unfortunately, the number of people restricted movement so much that I had no choice but to hop on the nearest metro and head home after about an hour of marching due to suddenly catching a cold. It was definitely worth it though. The weather was dreary and the streets were full but we were not stopped and our peaceful protest prevailed. I am so honored to have been a part of this movement and I am confident that my fellow activists and I will continue to spread a message of hope and love during these uncertain times.
For now, let us work to make America a safer place of everyone, regardless of their individual characteristics. Today, I am proud to be an American.
Until next post,
(More pictures will be up soon!)