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.”

Author: Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com

My blog is about travel, relationships, photography, and whatever else pops into my head (even, sometimes, issues surrounding retirement and aging).

67 thoughts on “We are the Storm”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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???

  6. “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

  7. 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! 😉

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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!

  11. 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.”

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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” (womensmarch.com) and hoping I can overcome my fears to join in something there. You’ve inspired me.

  17. 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.

    1. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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…

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

    1. 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.

  21. 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.

    1. 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.

  22. 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.

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

    1. 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.

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