“Tell us what democracy looks like – this is what democracy looks like!” chanted by countless voices rang through the National Mall. I and two of my friends were in the middle of the Women’s March on Washington yesterday, along with about a million other people. From creative signs to the chants, the crowd was seriously pissed off. At the same time, there was a serious sense of solidarity and dare I say – hope.
As Dave Engledow, the photographer of the World’s Best Father set of photos, says, it felt like the scene in The Grinch Stole Christmas when all of the Whos in Whoville sing together despite the Grinch trying to ruin everything.
Maybe democracy doesn’t come from a store – perhaps democracy means just a little bit more!
A few of my highlights from the day:
Arriving at the Metro Station at the end of the line and for the first time, having a sense of how big this event was going to be. Standing on the top of the parking garage, a sea of pink hats spread out below us. We had to wait an hour just to get on the train.
The fact that even though we didn’t hear a single speaker, we had a great time anyway. We were so far away that I couldn’t even see the stage, much less hear anything. But a sense of camaraderie pervaded the whole thing. Seeing people with signs go by and talking to our fellow marchers was more than enough.
Belting out “Little Light of Mine” and “This Land is Your Land” as loud as possible. I found it terribly appropriate to sing This Land is Your Land, when my most patriotic moment was listening the Pete Seeger version of that song while waiting on the National Mall for President Obama’s inauguration to begin.
Reading all of the creatively hilarious and heartfelt signs.
Watching a random stranger we were hanging out with finally find her husband. We stood for a couple of hours next to a lady who had been serving as a march marshall until she lost her husband in the crowd. Instead of wandering around, she decided to stand in one place and let him find her. There was zero cell phone service – sorry for anyone hoping to see a Facebook live feed from me! – which made this task much harder than usual. She had a special texting program, but would still only get enigmatic texts from him every 20 minutes or so. When they finally reunited, we all cheered.
Getting a text from my husband when cell service finally went through, who was watching it on T.V. with Sprout, Little Bird and my parents. The photo of the T.V. screen showing the National Mall from above showed there were so many more people than we could even imagine.
The lady we stood with and her husband body-blocking the crowds to give my friend space once we started marching. One of my friends had a pretty severe case of claustrophobia and they helped us create a bit of a human wall. The lady said she used to be a bouncer – despite her size, I could believe it.
The diversity of people I saw. There were a huge number of races, ethnicities, and ages represented. In addition, the signs showed how much people cared about intersectional justice: black lives matter, LGBT rights, education, climate change, and if course, women’s and reproductive rights.
Chanting “We need a leader / Not a creepy tweeter.” Mainly because it made me laugh.
Exiting the Metro station and high-fiving the Metro Station Manager. She was so happy that we were there. So were we.
If you were there – or even if you weren’t – you can continue the work by joining the Women’s March 100 Actions for 100 Days.