On Saturday, I marched alongside about 175,000 others to protest Trump and advocate for women’s rights. It was my first march, and quite the experience. While it had all the logistical problems and other annoyances of any large gathering of people, it was absolutely worth it, and I hope it’s read as a strong rebuke to the atmosphere of hate and lies that the Trump administration has been building up, even before he officially took office.
We started out in Judkins Park. There were some speakers, though Jill (my marching buddy!), her friends, and I were stuck far enough back it was hard to hear. I did hear bits and pieces of some of them, with Aneelah Afzali leaving the strongest impression.
After her speech, it was time for the march to start. It took us over an hour to get out of the park and the streets immediately surrounding it, but after that we were walking at a pretty good pace all the way through the International District, and then up 4th Ave through downtown.
My favorite moment of the march happened when we were walking up 4th. Some guy had gotten himself a mic and a speaker and was rambling on at the marchers passing below his fire escape. Eventually, someone in the crowd decided we weren’t going to take it anymore, and a moment later we were all chanting “Stop Mansplaining!” at him. It was magical.
It’s hard to sum up the march succinctly. To me it was more a series of moments like that. I was approached by a young woman who saw my sign about being bi and proud and told me about how she works with a bisexual advocacy group in China. I saw a bunch of very, very clever signs. (Including one that just said “This Sucks!” which I very much appreciated.) I ran into a few friends.
I got to talk to Jill, Judy, and
their friend whose name escapes me because I am so very bad with names Cathy (Thanks, Jill! – I), about how the meaning of identity politics has changed over the years. I got to see the Space Needle rising up above a ton of protestors, an image that I will hold onto tightly even as my adopted city continues to change.
Perhaps the biggest thing that I got to see was how a bunch of people all walking together with signs can symbolize something far greater. It can show us how we’ll all have each others’ back as we resist this administration. It’s a good memory to call on for drive to keep doing more, not letting ourselves go “whelp, I marched, time to do nothing the next four years.” It was a sign of hope for progressivism, and how we aren’t going to let a gaslighting egomaniac snuff us out. That no matter what he destroys while he’s in office, we’ll be there to rebuild when his ass gets booted out.
It was a great experience and definitely worth it. I look forward to continuing to resist alongside all of these wonderful people in the future. We can do it. 🙂 We just have to keep our hope alive. After all…