Friday, January 20 was a sad day for millions of Americans as Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Millions of people around the world are scared of what will happen in a Trump Presidency. The things that people fear from a Trump Presidency range from increased taxes on the middle class to overt racism becoming the new norm to global thermonuclear war.
On the Saturday, January 21, 2017, the fight to make our voices heard and to take back our country began with The Women’s March on Washington. Millions of people gathered in cities around the world to participate. I was one of the 26,000+ people to participate in the Des Moines March. There were also 500,000+ in Washington D.C., 750,000+ in Los Angeles, California, 250,000+ in New York City, 100,000+ in Portland, Oregon, 40,000+ in Austin, Texas, 10,000+ in St. Louis, Missouri, 150,000 – 250,000 in Chicago, Illinois, 100,000 – 150,000 in Denver, Colorado, 7,000+ in Palm Beach, Florida, 130,000+ in Seattle, Washington, 135,000 – 150,000 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Globally, there were 100,000+ in London, England, 50,000 – 60,000 in Toronto, Canada, 10,000+ in Sydney, Australia and thousands more in Paris, France, Yangon, Myanmar, Prague, Tokyo, Japan, Vienna, Austria, and Capetown, Africa.
There has not been a movement like the Women’s March since the Vietnam Protests in the 60’s. I arrived at the capitol building almost 2 hours early so I could get some pictures of the capitol building and the city skyline in the fog that was hanging low that morning. As I took pictures, I talked with the event coordinators, the Iowa State Patrolmen that were there to keep the peace and people that were there to march that showed up early.
At 10 A.M., people started showing up in larger numbers. I positioned myself at the top of the first set of steps leading to the capitol building next to the sound booth. This put me directly in the thick of it all. I had a good view of the stage and was high enough that I could see the expanse of the crowd in front of me.
At 11 A.M., the event officially started with speakers coming up and rallying the crowd. After about an hour of speeches, we started the actual march around the capitol building. The crowd was so large now that by the time the head of the march reached the back, only about 20 percent of the crowd had started the march.
It took a little over an hour to march around the capitol building. As I marched, I felt proud of this non-partisan group of people that came together on a cold day to stand up to what many fear will be the worst President in American history. The protest signs showed the issues people are most concerned about. My favorite sign had nothing to do with a cleaver message or impressive artwork. My favorite sign was one that was simply black and white consisting of nine words, “Can’t believe we still have to protest this shit.” I believe this says it all. Almost all of the issues that concern people with Trump’s agenda have to do with issues we have already fought for.
As I wrote last week, “It Is Time For Civil Disobedience.” The Women’s March was just the first showing of civil disobedience of many to come. As long as President Trump puts our right in jeopardy, we will fight to keep them tooth and nail.
I will leave you with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen who barters with such a state shared in its corruption and lawlessness.”