Like hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, my husband and I took part in the Women’s March this past Saturday. Just as it was last year, the event was exhilarating, empowering, and inspirational. It was wonderful to see so many women and men – young and old – joining together to voice their concerns about what is happening in this country and to remind people of the power of their vote.
This woman was part of her sign.
Listening to the speakers before the March
Both the crowds and the clouds were glorious that day.
At one point early in the day, my husband asked if a friend of ours was planning to come to the March and I said that I doubted if she was coming, that it “really wasn’t her thing.” My husband responded that it didn’t seem like it mattered too much if it was someone’s “thing” or not, that it was more important to show up and be counted. As I looked at the sea of people around us, I had to agree.
To all the people who joined the Women’s March and who step forward in other ways to make their voices heard, I am so grateful that you show up and are counted. It is important.
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.
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.
Crowds at the staging area. Credit: Andy Trimlett
Participants were even watching from the parking garage.
Ready to march!
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.
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.
Walking along the Embarcardero.
After the march.
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.
Respect my existence or expect resistance.
Women’s March in Oaxaca.
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.”