Documenting the Women's March on Washington
With over 1 million individuals turning out to march on Washington, DC and over 5 million showing their support at sister marches around the world, the Women's March on Washington stands as a powerful signifier of how far our country has yet to travel in the struggle for equality–and how many individuals around the world will be fighting beside us along the way.
I had the privilege of attending the March on Washington myself, and remain in awe of the determination, creativity, fury, frustration and sense of unity that surrounded me last Saturday. The turnout in DC was overwhelming–seas of protestors were visible from every direction, occupying the entirety of the National Mall’s nearly two mile span. Later on when the march officially began, the crowds left downtown DC at a standstill.
As a first time voter, November left me astounded and aghast at the state of American politics and my own place in its grand schema–and I'm sure many of you share this sentiment. The results were disheartening, to say the least, especially for those who feel Trump’s persona and policies promote a culture of intolerance and fear unfit for a democracy founded on our principles of equality.
The March was a beautiful, much needed reminder of the importance of solidarity and activism under times of political and social uncertainty. Whether marchers were advocating for women’s and reproductive rights, the LGBT+ community, minority representation, immigration reform, climate policy, religious pluralism, or something else entirely, every individual stood for equality, acceptance and love. The sense of community and support was unspoken and firmly established the moment you stepped foot into a crowd or met eyes with someone marching beside you.
While Trump’s policies, appearance and actions were the undisputed target of a majority of the chants, conversations, signs and speeches I witnessed, the overarching dialogue was one of hope. Throughout the day, people were praying together, confiding in one another and forming connections that transcended gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or ability. A collective identity emerged amongst strangers, bearing the message: I see you, I hear you and I am with you. I can only hope that this collective consciousness will remain intact in the years and months to come.
Funny signs and slogans aside, here are some ways you can stay active and keep the opposition alive:
1. Complete the Women's March 10 Actions for the first 100 days to do list and sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on their various initiatives.
2. Call your local representatives, express your concerns and propose solutions.
4. Download the fact checking Google Chrome/Firefox extension for Trump tweets.
5. Set a reminder to vote for your Congressmen in November 2018.
6. Volunteer for a local organization you care about or plan an event in your community–grassroots movements can lead to concrete policy changes.
7. Download the FREE app Countable onto your phone. It provides the contact information for your local representatives and senators. You also can select what topics you are most concerned about and the app will give you notifications when a vote on a bill is coming up that you might be worried about.
8. Download the Indivisible Guide to learn more about local groups and the most effective ways you can reach Congress.
9. Help register voters for upcoming elections.
10. Stay nasty!
All images courtesy of Olivia Jia