What I Learned From The March

 

Yesterday I watched and learned.  I freely admit my fear and skepticism was unfounded. I want to begin by thanking my teachers.

I learned from my friends Leah and her mom, Natalie and her mom, my niece Sarah and her mom; my friend Tim and his ManKind project tribe; my friend Ellen, all at the D.C. march. I learned from my friends Chris and his daughter in DC; Laurel and her daughter in Victoria. I learned from my friends Angie marching in Denver, Betsy and her infant son in Toronto, Dale and her daughter in Halifax, Fiona in New York, Beverly in Philadelphia.

I feared that the message would be too fuzzy to be meaningful. Yet, I saw passionate proponents of diverse issues walking together. My friends wrote and read and shared images of clever and defiant signs.

I was afraid of violence and arrests. Instead, marchers endured lines and crowds, moved peacefully and with joy. The Women’s March on Washington didn’t yield a single arrest, according to D.C. Homeland Security Director https://t.co/zcChdT0hJ0

 

 

My biggest beef had been with what message was being delivered, to whom, and whether it would be heard. I had questioned the purpose of the march and wrestled with whether to go. I didn’t understand what the march would accomplish. I thought that the major purpose of a march was to “deliver a message” to the President and incoming Administration.

I was skeptical of that purpose because the people I thought were the intended audience wasn’t remotely interested in listening. The Trump team and supporting members of Congress already knows what I thought were the marches’ main messages: that the majority of voters, who did not support the President, intend to block Trump’s agenda on every issue, and they want their members of Congress to oppose the President, too.

The biggest accomplishments were things I didn’t anticipate. All my marching friends agreed that they left full of hope and solidarity and renewed resolve. Even as a non-marcher, I was unexpectedly moved by the power of solidarity. I did not expect the D.C. march to inspire marches totaling millions, in cities and towns and even on ships, on every continent. Women’s Marches Go Global: Postcards From Protests Around The World.  Organizers compiled numbers, because numbers talk.  Onsite estimates from march cities

For every million who marched, there are more, like me, who watched thoughtfully. Marchers, I heard you. I’ve got your backs. Don’t assume I’m not with you just because I didn’t march. We’re going to disagree about many things. (Heck, Barack Obama admitted that he and Joe Biden disagreed about a lot.) But we’re going to need to stand up for each other, because the tough work is about to start.

If you marched yesterday, then yes, rest today, and then plan. Whether you marched or not, what’s your pledge to support your vision for this country, moving forward?

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