The Women’s March Might Be America’s Biggest Protest Ever
The fast-approaching Women’s March on Washington is snowballing into a colossal event. In the words of Time Magazine’s Person of the Year himself, “It’s gonna be yuge!”
First, on January 20th, Donald Trump is going to officially be sworn in as 45th President of the United States. The Women’s March comes next. So two days after the band ironically famous for singing, “If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman” welcomes Trump into office, millions of people will begin marching in protest and unity, in what is likely to be one of the biggest nationwide political demonstrations in United States history.
Scheduled for January 21, The Women’s March is set to be most epic call to nonviolent action that this country has ever seen. In Washington, D.C. alone, over 200,000 people are anticipated to attend. In my city of Denver, Colorado, we are expecting a squad of almost 30,000 (and that’s not including the ultra-enlightened folks who don’t use Facebook). As of this writing, there are 386 registered “Sister Marches” with over 735,000 registered participants.
Here’s a little comparative context on just how major this protest is. The 1963 “March on Washington” in Washington D.C., where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, consisted of around 200, 000 people. It was this march that is believed to have led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In October of 1969, 500,000 people gathered in Washington to protest the Vietnam War. In 1997, upwards of 300,000 people, primarily African-American women, led The Million Woman March in Philadelphia.
With over 700,000 attendees formally signed up, 2017’s The Women’s March is making some seriously historical moves. According to Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, “It’s never happened that so many people have gathered in opposition to the new administration on day one. Will it be the largest US mass mobilization ever? I’ll be able to tell you on January 22.”
So, what’s the point of this whole thing? According to The Women’s March website:
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear…In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.”
If you think Susan B. Anthony was nothing short of a badass and have admired the fearless tenacity and rebellious spirit of leaders like Congressman John Lewis or MLK, Jr., then consider joining a march this weekend.
If you’re scared, feeling victimized, disempowered, or just plain pissed-off, I urge you to join a march. If you care about equal rights, healthcare, the environment, or refugees, I implore you, please, join a march.
If you’re just fucking sick of reading Donald Trump’s ignorant, bullying, grammatically incorrect tweets, JOIN A MARCH.
It’s important to note that this election extends far beyond the borders of this country. No amount of walls or nationalist rhetoric can stop the world from feeling the effects of this type of transfer of power. Over 55 cities on 6 continents, from Denmark and France to Colombia and Ghana, are marching on January 21st.
We are not alone in our anger or our fears, and we have not been abandoned. Moreover, the Women’s March organizers stress that the march is not even about the United States, or even Trump, per se, rather it is a global movement and expression of solidarity for values that are necessary and vital for all of humanity – kindness, acceptance, safety and equality – intangible virtues that are fundamental for the survival of our species.
And no, I’m not being fucking dramatic. We need to love one another, and we need to protect one another, dammit.
Without those things, what’s the point?
The Women’s March this weekend is just the beginning of what is set to be a historical, organized global push against violence, racism and misogyny. #IWillMarch is being used to help individuals depict who, or what, each person is marching for.
According to Marcia Chatelain, a faculty fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice, The Women’s March and its “Sister Marches” are meant to be the catalyst for larger, more organized social movements that will hopefully institute progressive policy changes and address global cultural realities of economic, racial and gender disparity: “Movements are not just the dramatic moments. It’s about the everyday acts of resistance that the marches are also trying to represent. Everyone has the capacity in their communities to resist.”
If you can’t march, try to send a tweet, a share, or just have a conversation about the event. Tell Donald Trump and his crew of self-serving, misogynistic, racist, billionaire, Bible-rationalizing cronies that the women and men of the world are watching.
Know that you are empowered by your own call to empowerment. We can wear our unity like armor, while our weapon is our voice. To quote the aforementioned Susan B. Anthony, “I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.”
To all you boss bitches and social justice warriors out there, I told you a few months ago that the time to stand together in protest was coming soon. Well, my friends, that time is here and now.