I know it has been a few weeks since the women’s marches all over the world, but I’ve had some time to process and I think it’s the right time to do a post. It was my first march, first protest, first anything really, and it was absolutely incredible. If you want to watch a video of the march, click here.
I participated in the Vermont march on Montpelier. They expected a few thousand people to show up, but there were around 20,000 people. Women, children, men, and everything in between showed up to show their support. The march itself was a part of the women’s movement, but there was a rally held afterwards that was called the ‘unity rally’ and all different movements came together to hear speeches and show the president that he will not silence the people of this country.
It was so inspiring to be in such an enormous group of passionate people. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Even as we pulled into the parking lot an hour before the march, there were people with signs and shirts and pussy hats. A friend made me a pussy hat, but I opted to not make a sign and take my camera instead. There was even one woman wearing a ‘votes for women’ sash like the original suffragettes who led the way for us.
When we got to the starting point, the energy was high. Everyone was so ready to go, but the size of the crowds were unprecedented and it slowed everything down. We waited half an hour before we even started marching, but t was worth it. Some women had brought instruments, others were singing, kids played on the grass, and some people started up chants and cheers.
The march itself wasn’t far, but we walked slowly, picking up chants as we went, some people singing and clapping as we made it through the town, and the people who had come to watch were so supportive.
It was at the rally that everything took off. The speakers were incredible, if hard to hear at times. The most incredible part was when we started to hear people cheering. I was towards the back and no one around me really knew what was going on until we heard people start chanting ‘Bernie’. Our beloved Bernie Sanders had flown from the march in Washington to Vermont to speak to us and tell us to keep pushing for what’s right. The crowd went crazy for him, and rightly so. His was the most empowering of them all and I think everyone left feeling ready to speak up and take action in the coming years.
A lot of people have been saying really negative things about the marches and protests. I’ve heard so many people say that we voted for him and now we have to deal with it, telling us to “stop being sore losers”, and that they’re sick of the negativity. But I will not be silent. Women have fought for centuries to get me the right to protest and to speak out. Protesting is a political right that I will exercise to its fullest. To those people who say that I need to just deal with it, I say I won’t. No matter who is president I will always be active, will always stand up for my beliefs, and if you just sit back and let the abominations around you happen, you are as bad as the racist, misogynistic, ignorant man that is in charge of this country.
This march was the perfect way to start my activist career. As the first of many protests and rallies I will attend, this will be something I keep with me forever. There is always something that can be done to make a difference in the world and most people forget that.