There were crowds of people on the subway going to the rally and march on the Upper West Side of New York City on Saturday, January 20. Some were carrying signs claiming women’s rights and women power, while some focused on the Trump policies that discriminate against women, LGBT, immigrants. The 2017 pussy hats were everywhere, presumably worn by so many of the same people who dusted them off and put them on again, not having worn the symbolic hats for a whole year.
This was the anniversary of the first women’s march, and although smaller in size, the comradery and the sentiment was similar, if just a little more subdued. Over the course of the year, people were bombarded with daily scandals about Trump, criminal investigations related to Russian interference with the election and outrageous tweets by the president. It had been a long year. And yet, women, girls, men and boys—young and old– were marching once again on the anniversary of the first march. And I was marching with them in Manhattan while on a visit from Seattle.
We marched to voice outrage. How can this be happening? So many legal protections for the most vulnerable people in our society are threatened. Government institutions are being decimated by underfunding, early retirements and purposeful dismantling. The president is not fit to be president, to say the least. It’s dangerous and scary and we were marching for this.
There was a big bus parked on West 72nd Street and Central Park West that provided voter registration information. Many volunteers around the bus were registering voters, as were others along the marching route. This year, there was an emphasis on voting in the 2018 mid-term elections. We’re looking to the future. Hoping for change. Fighting the good fight to keep our democratic values safe.
We certainly cannot take anything for granted. Voicing opinions about the situation in our country on social media just isn’t the same as showing up in the streets. Politicians notice when their constituents are advocating for change—in person.
November 2018 is a long time from now. Elections will matter, but significant damage can be done in the meantime. Shouldn’t we be demonstrating more than once a year to really show how outraged we are? I’m in. How about you?