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January 21, 2017 /

We are the Storm

The concept for the Women’s March in Washington D.C. started as germ of an idea a grandmother in Hawaii had who was devastated by Trump’s presidential victory. Because she felt compelled to do something, she created a Facebook event page calling for a march on our nation’s capital. She expected a handful of people to sign up; a day after her post, she had more than 10,000 responses.

From that initial idea, a movement was started. Soon, in addition to the Women’s March in Washington D.C., solidarity marches were being planned all over the United States and around the world in opposition to President Trump’s agenda, and support of women’s rights and human rights in general.

Artist Brian Andreas created a poster just for the Women's March

Artist Brian Andreas created a poster just for the Women’s March

Today, my husband and I joined an estimated 30,000 – 40,000 of our fellow citizens to walk in the Women’s March in San Diego.

The crowds were large, loud, friendly, and optimistic. Some carried children and some carried signs, but all carried a determination to make their voices heard. As we stood in the on-and-off sprinkling of rain listening to a group of speakers, there was a palpable feeling that the crowd was anxious to start their march and show their numbers.

Travelers on a docked cruise ship watched and (some) cheered as we walked by.

Travelers on a docked cruise ship watched and (some) cheered as we walked by.

And march we did: from the Civic Center Plaza, down Broadway towards the Embarcadero, and finally culminating at San Diego’s Administration Building, one mile away. The crowds were so large that by the time the first of the marchers reached their destination, there were still those who were just leaving the staging area.

As I was walking with the other participants, I couldn’t help feeling that my mother and father were there right beside me. Many years ago, I joined them as they protested and marched against another very unpopular president and a war that exacted a huge human cost. If they were still alive, I am confident that they would have joined us today.

Media reports are indicating that the “sister marches” in all fifty states have shattered participation expectations. In addition, large crowds attended marches around the world, including, London, Paris, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Sydney, Australia. A friend of mine currently visiting Oaxaca, Mexico joined about 500 marches there. Global estimates indicate that over 3 million individuals participated in the marches, up from the 1.3 million initially anticipated.

I am confident that this won’t be the last time we are asked to raise our voices in solidarity. And, it won’t be the last time I answer “Yes.” As was written on one of the signs held by a fellow marcher:

The devil whispered in my ear,

“You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.”

Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear,

“I am the storm.”



Leave a Comment
  1. Still the Lucky Few / Jan 21 2017 7:10 pm

    What amazing, wonderful women (and men)! We had marches all across Canada as well. Some areas are still experiencing bad weather, but marcher were out nonetheless. Trumpiness cannot prevail for the full term.

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:40 am

      I really hope we can keep up the momentum. Even if he lasts four years (although sometimes it is hard to imagine), it’s important that he knows that we won’t be silent.

  2. dconnollyislandgmailcom / Jan 21 2017 7:29 pm

    Great post and photos, Janis. I so wish that there was a march near me that I could have joined today. I was definitely there in spirit. I was also very proud when I opened my Facebook (and my blog feed) to see so many familiar faces that I know personally out marching today. Thank you for being one of them.

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:42 am

      It was great to feel the power of so many voices. There was very little anger, just a lot of concern and determination.

  3. Terri Webster Schrandt / Jan 21 2017 7:48 pm

    Huge turnouts indeed! Love the quote at the end!

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:44 am

      Wasn’t that wonderful!? It was inspiring to be a part of a larger movement – one that spanned the globe.

  4. cindy knoke / Jan 21 2017 10:01 pm

    You know cats can ROAR!

  5. lisadorenfest / Jan 22 2017 1:50 am

    I was there with all of you in spirit Janis! I am comforted by the response to the Women’s Marches around the globe. My faith in humanity restored. Light over darkness. Love over hate. Thanks for marching!

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:46 am

      After being so disheartened after the election and then the inauguration, participating in the march made me hopeful again.

  6. Gabe Burkhardt / Jan 22 2017 3:06 am

    This truly is an inspiring moment in history isn’t it? Even here in Romania, where interest in the affairs of the US normally fall below concerns about the cost of cabbage, I’ve had several conversations recently with those who united in the need to actively voice their solidarity for the rights of ALL people to be heard, respected, and protected.

    Thank you for marching.

    • / Jan 22 2017 2:20 pm

      I know that many times, we in the U.S. are arrogant enough to believe that our concerns are felt by all (or, at least should be 🙂 ). The Women’s March was truly a global voice of solidarity. I hope it will continue to be heard.

  7. Denise / Jan 22 2017 4:15 am

    I am past the days of marching, though I was on campus in the 60’s when marchers were seemingly everywhere. I love the poster. I recognized the artist immediately. I have two of his pieces hanging in my office and one year all my staff received one of his drawings as my Christmas gift to them. Do you think the POTUS is even listening to us old, ugly women???

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:49 am

      I love Brian Andreas’s art too. He actually posted PDFs of this poster so people could print it out and use it to promote the march. I know he was watching since he’s already tweeted about it… sad.

  8. Anabel Marsh / Jan 22 2017 5:29 am

    Wonderful! And it’s heartening that all the marches, that I’ve heard about anyway, were so peaceful.

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:50 am

      I haven’t read any stories about any confrontations at all. Just a bunch of women, men, and children making sure their voices are heard.

  9. laura bruno lilly / Jan 22 2017 5:59 am

    “If they were still alive, I am confident that they would have joined us today.”

    …better yet, I’m sure they would be very proud of you and hubby.

    peace always

  10. Ally Bean / Jan 22 2017 5:59 am

    I am happy to know that you went to a march and that so many other people everywhere around the world did, too. The Donald always likes attention, so you’d think he’d be flattered by all these women [and men] who came together for a day… just because of him! 😉

    • / Jan 22 2017 11:56 am

      Ha! He did bring us all together. The media reports of all the marches held around the globe are truly amazing. I’m happy that we were there.

  11. Joanne Sisco / Jan 22 2017 6:06 am

    I wonder how the-man-who-mangles-facts will interpret yesterday’s marches. For me, it was awe-inspiring!

  12. Maggie Wilson / Jan 22 2017 6:31 am

    Thank you for taking part! I must say, the poem at the end gave me goosebumps! Carry on, all of us!

  13. Kate Crimmins / Jan 22 2017 6:32 am

    I am so proud of you and all the marchers. I marched in the 60s. We made change then and we can do it again. We cannot raise our children to be complacent! Freedom is easily lost and so hard to regain. I am also having issue with the “take” coming out of the white house. There are photographs as proof yet there is denial. With such a low rating I am wondering who voted for him. Perhaps SNL isn’t so far off.

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:05 pm

      The wonderful thing about social media is that it can help us to remain vigilant. We might not be able to turn back the tide – many could loose their health care, families could be torn apart, our rights could be trampled – but we can continue to speak out.

  14. susan@onesmallwalk / Jan 22 2017 7:32 am

    What an amazing turn-out. And best of all, with so many people all over the place marching – I haven’t heard any reports of anything happening but positive energy and civil discourse.

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:07 pm

      Everyone was so positive. I think we all felt relieved to be able to do SOMETHING. I hope it’s just the beginning.

      • susan@onesmallwalk / Jan 22 2017 2:55 pm

        Me, too. So many smiles and good-humored placards is a great relief after all that other brou-haha!

  15. Ann Coleman / Jan 22 2017 7:43 am

    Awesome! It is amazing what we can do when we work together!

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:09 pm

      It was awesome to be surrounded by so many positive, active people. No need to sit around feeling bruised when you can get up and make your voice heard around the world.

  16. Jude Richardson / Jan 22 2017 8:15 am

    I marched in Des Moines Iowa. It was the lift I’ve needed this season. Hope’s wings.

  17. rporter610 / Jan 22 2017 9:09 am

    It was an amazing day. My daughter marched with friends and I marched with my dog in St Paul, Minnesota, where we had 100,000 people turn out. It’s so validating to understand that we’re NOT alone, that we are the majority and we want equality! Thanks for memorializing this day in your post.

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:12 pm

      I was completely blown away to see all the people gathering around us. We got to the staging area a little early and watched people pour into the plaza. Someone from the cruise ship shown in one of my pictures posted a video on Facebook of the crowd from their perspective – it was amazing!

  18. Donna Cameron / Jan 22 2017 9:53 am

    Lovely, Janis! Thank you for sharing. Your final quote reminded me of one I heard yesterday on our Seattle march: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”

  19. jena c. henry / Jan 22 2017 10:11 am

    Exciting for you and I enjoyed reading about it. Different feelings here in the heartland. We started driving to Florida yesterday and it has been fun to chat about the Inauguration with folks at rest stops etc. From Ohio to West Virginia and the Carolinas I would say that we feel like we are the true revolutionaries. Anyways 👍🏻😀👊 to all!

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:21 pm

      I really think that most of us want the same thing: security, freedom, peace and prosperity. Keeping the dialogue open, not shouting over each other or shutting ourselves off from alternate opinions, is the key.

  20. Tom Sightings / Jan 22 2017 10:27 am

    Great that you all turned a disappointing result into such a positive experience. The key (imho) is to stay involved and keep the pressure on … not to prejudge Trump, but to stand up for what you believe in, which in my case is civil rights, civil liberties, protecting the environment, better regulations for firearms, and fairness to all.

    • / Jan 22 2017 12:25 pm

      Absolutely! That’s why I was so pleased to read that all of the marches were so positive and peaceful. In fact, the Women’s March was framed as not so much anti-trump, as pro-human rights.

  21. snakesinthegrass2014 / Jan 22 2017 2:20 pm

    Kudos to you! I’ve read so many posts today that have attacked the march (written by women, which disappoints me). Your experience has lifted my spirits. And how wonderful that you felt the presence of your parents. Job well done!

    • / Jan 22 2017 4:20 pm

      Thank you! I haven’t read much on the negative side… I can’t imagine what anyone would find wrong with a group of citizens exercising their democratic rights. Anyway, it was uplifting and powerful and I am so happy that I took part.

  22. Lynn / Jan 23 2017 7:27 am

    I am certain this must have been a very emotional day for everyone involved. I hope that people continue to speak out as the next four years unfold, putting pressure on the acting government to hear the voices of its citizens.

    • / Jan 23 2017 4:11 pm

      I think that was what most of us wanted to accomplish: making sure that our voices are heard and that our concerns are considered going forward. We’ll see…

      • Lynn / Jan 24 2017 5:46 am

        I sure hope so. I just wish there had been as much of a rally on election day!

  23. patwdoyle11 / Jan 23 2017 7:51 am

    Every time I read from a friend who participated I get a little uplifting thrill inside. Thank you for marching. I watched all the postings around the world and country and was so happy to see and feel the positive energy. My fear of confrontation kept me away personally but I am so, so happy the world (and my life) is full of women like you (and the men who support them, too.). I am looking at the “10 actions 100 days” ( and hoping I can overcome my fears to join in something there. You’ve inspired me.

    • / Jan 23 2017 4:18 pm

      There was a lot of positive energy and (at least on our march) no confrontation at all! I’m sure there will be other opportunities, including 10 Actions 100 Days, to add your voice to the chorus.

  24. K.L. Allendoerfer / Jan 23 2017 9:56 am

    I marched in Santa Cruz with a friend from grad school who lives there. I don’t love crowds so this was enough marching for me. It was nice and mellow, a real family atmosphere. I loved reading about all the marches all around the country and all over the world. It gave me a nice feeling inside to counteract the feelings of anxiety and impending doom that come over me when I think about politics these days.

    • / Jan 23 2017 4:28 pm

      I imagine Santa Cruz had a good turn out (I’m a U.C. Banana Slug alum)! I have a feeling there will be other marches – and other opportunities that don’t involve large crowds – in the future. I prefer action to anxiety.

  25. edebock / Jan 23 2017 3:28 pm

    Way to go, Janis! I’m curious about your personal motivation to march. I’ve heard many express the “supporting women’s rights” sentiment, but I’m wondering specifically which women’s rights you marched to defend, or for you was it a more general anti Trump statement? I’ve asked this same question of several women today and the responses have been interesting and enlightening.

    • / Jan 23 2017 4:52 pm

      That is an excellent question, and one that probably could have been answered in 40,000 different ways on our march in San Diego. My motivation wasn’t so much anti-Trump (although I didn’t vote for him), it was more to lend my voice and physical presence to a clear demonstration that those of us who believe in climate change, human rights, women’s rights, accessible and affordable health care, available, quality educational opportunities. a free press, ethical and respectful behavior from our leaders, free and fair elections, and fact-based dissemination of information (I’m sure there is more, but you get the idea 🙂 ) are vast in number and in strength. I have a feeling it won’t be the last time our leaders hear from us…

      • edebock / Jan 23 2017 5:11 pm

        I hope not! Thank you for your response. 🙂

  26. Liesbet / Jan 23 2017 9:59 pm

    It is so great that you joined the march in San Diego, Janis! I was with you all in spirit as well. A friend of mine marched in Sonoma and I know many who made the trip to D.C. or other city’s venues. If we wouldn’t have been in the middle of cleaning and clearing our last house that day, I would have happily marched in one of the Bay Area cities as well. I am so glad with the attendance everywhere in the US and the world. Women – and minorities – have come too far to go back in time now!

    • / Jan 24 2017 11:15 am

      I’m sure there will be other opportunities, Liesbet! Everyone was pretty fired up (in a good way) and anxious to know “what’s next?”

  27. Keith / Jan 28 2017 6:16 pm

    Janis, we need a storm to rinse off this slimy after affect. Keith

  28. rangewriter / Jan 30 2017 5:29 pm

    I joined the march in my city, too. It was moving and refreshing to see so many people out in really horrendous weather. In my very red state, we indies and blues feel disenfranchised, so this event was energizing and added grim hope to about 5,000 of us.

    • / Jan 30 2017 5:40 pm

      When I was growing up, San Diego was a very conservative city. My parents and their friends who were Democrats were definitely the minority. Now, it is so different; we have gone the way of the rest of California. It was great to march with so many passionate people, but I loved reading about the marches that took place in the red states too.

  29. Shelley / Feb 1 2017 4:09 pm

    Love that last quote.

    My husband and I will be joining the scientists and environmentalists on April 29 for the march in DC. The LAST time I marched in our nation’s capital, I was a college student protesting the Vietnam war.

    Never did I think it could get so bad here in the USA. I’m so grateful for the women’s march. It gave me hope and restored my faith in my fellow Americans.

    • / Feb 2 2017 6:23 pm

      There seems to be many upcoming opportunities to lend our voices to the movement. Some are in DC, but others are around the country – and the globe. I’m going to find out if the April 29 protest is in our city too. We need to feel our power.

  30. PiedType / Feb 15 2017 1:16 pm

    Thank you for marching for those of us who could not. The New York Times ran a very, very long stream of photos from marches around the world, and I was in tears before I got even half way through. And the last one was from Antarctica. I had no idea the event would be so huge and I was overwhelmed.

    • / Feb 15 2017 3:46 pm

      It was an amazing day! My husband and I, along with our friends, are eager to lend our voices and our shoe leather (or, in our case, rubber) to future marches and demonstrations.

  31. globalhousesitterX2 / Feb 24 2017 7:25 am

    Those last few lines, are powerful and sent shivers down my spine like the All Blacks Haka [New Zealand Rugby] always does. Loved it!

    • / Feb 24 2017 10:47 am

      I took a picture of that sign while I was on the march, and have it on the wall next to my computer. I get shivers each time I read it even now. Thank you for the comment and the follow! I took a look at your blog and will be happily following your adventures – my husband and I are very interested in the idea of housesitting.

      • globalhousesitterX2 / Feb 24 2017 10:50 am

        It’s certainly a wonderful lifestyle and we love doing it.

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