Saturday, February 4, 2017

Women's March

Women's March
Gauzy yet powerful images by @clairelindsay of the 750k-strong LA women's march ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ



Two weeks ago, along with hundreds of thousands of other women (and men), I traveled to D.C. to be at the Women's March on Washington. It was an overwhelming experience that's hard to encapsulate, but here are a few thoughts.


\\ I was inspired in the days leading up to the march and at the march with the evolving platform of the Women's March, and their effort to make their leadership and speakers intersectional and representative. Aside from the obvious and necessary resistance to Trump, rising awareness that intersectional feminism is crucial is a major benefit of this protest and others that have followed.

\\ Hearing hundreds of thousands of people's voices, peaceful but insistent, rising through the streets stirred something communal and made me realize the importance of simply making noise and being heard. Let's let each other know we're out here and let those in power know we're out here.

\\ Speaking of hearing, there were too many people for us to get anywhere near enough to the stage to hear the speakers, but as we left the most crowded area to walk down the fast-filling mall, we happened upon a man with an FM radio that he was amplifying through a megaphone (maybe a good investment). With cell service sapped by too many people, this is a useful old-school protest protip.

\\ I took to heart the people who brought up, in the days after the march, the ways in which these protests were treated differently and policed less aggressively due to being perceived as largely white and female. Yes, it's good the administration had nothing negative to go on to counteract the narrative, but we must realize that outcome had also to do with privilege.

\\ So, I'll see all you nice white ladies at the next Black Lives Matter march, right? I also took this message to heart. When I got back to Oakland, I went to a human billboard protest organized by SURJ Bay Area, a group that organizes white allies to support Black Lives Matter and racial justice in general. Let's make plans to stay in the intersectional loop and keep showing up.

\\ Resisting involves getting our of your comfort zone. Traveling across the country wasn't something I'd planned on, and for some of us, just holding a sign or calling one of our Member of Congress is something we wouldn't normally do; but these times aren't normal, and it's up to us to step up and do things we otherwise wouldn't. Invest in some poster board and markers, save your MoCs phone numbers to your contacts, sign up for local protest group updates and gatherings (like Solidarity Sundays, which I highly recommend) — do whatever speaks to you as your form of resistance.

\\ But also, take a break. People keep comparing protesting and resisting to a marathon instead of a sprint, but it's also a relay. I've been so impressed with and inspired by people I know (personally and across social media). We're all keeping each other engaged. When I get tired or overwhelmed, I can see that you're still doing something and that keeps me engaged to come back after some necessary tuning out of the nightmare machine. Let's keep passing the baton to one another and cheering each other on from the sidelines when we need to take a rest.

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