WARNING: This article contains facts, opinions, and the point of view of a somewhat foul-mouthed snowflake…and Winter is here! Should this not sit well with you…good…think about it for a bit, and get back to me on that…this isn’t a disclaimer, this is me letting you know that I have a voice, and I am ready and willing to use it!
It was a glorious Saturday, as Mother Nature cleared our skies of the rain that had become typical and would return the following day; we prepared signs and spoke of our hopes for the day. It wouldn’t take long to realize that the feelings we shared were about to be shared with thousands of new compatriots. As we attempted the Metro station nearest my house, it was clear that the numbers would be strong, as the trains were already packed to capacity arriving here, just outside of downtown. We decided to walk a little over a mile to get to Pershing, and we were not the only ones; alerting fellow marchers on the street that a large number of us were going to try the bus, or just walk down. The masses gathered, the buses were not even stopping, they were so full. As we got closer to Pershing Square, we heard the thunder of voices and cheers. The love was flowing through the city, and would sustain each and every one of us as we marched in support of each other.
As we neared the crowds, we thought it might be a good strategy to pop up to the northern block of Pershing, so as to join the march to City Hall. This street was no less full than the last, so we found our spot in the masses. We spent twenty to thirty minutes, mostly only getting about a half of a block to the starting point; already finding new faces in the crowd to join with in solidarity and kind words as we wiggled forward in ever changing formations. Your new march mates may have only been five minute connections, but the theme of love and peace was in the air. Finally, a group diverted toward where we began, and a we found our way into the main crowd, and our steady pace for the trek to City Hall. I snapped pictures and videos to savor the moments and brilliant signs as much as I could, having a unique vantage point at 6’5″ with extending arms like a selfie stick of my very own. People of all ages, races, and creeds stood together and raised our voices, the numbers don’t lie…and this was peaceful demonstration at the finest to behold. The negotiation of the stage crowd would have easily turned out different at any other venue, but this crowd was full of understanding, and a sense of community.
My sense of astonishment at the sheer size of the crowd was beaming i my smile, and the knowledge that so many of us were able to stand together, and that so many others were supporting this in their own ways if their days were taken by other responsibilities. I remain hopeful for a continuation of this energy…each day, as I find out what is going on in D.C., I know that this group of people has each other’s backs. I know that we will stand together to oppose the degradation of the country we love. We will welcome and accept those who were misguided, as we work diligently to educate people across the board. I know that in the face of “Alt Facts” or a “Post Fact World” that we will work to restore the basic concepts of right and wrong, and that we will not back down when it is time to strengthen this building block to the point of holding up that which is so right with this country.
I have to admit, I did get our group lost toward the end of our journey, but I couldn’t help but think of charity and goodwill, and what that means going forward as we accidentally detoured through Skid Row. If anywhere exemplifies the things that need to change in this country, it is the place were our homeless population is left to fend for themselves. This has always been a huge issue with capitalism that I’ve had. How can a country be considered successful if it allows so many to fall destitute…why is there not a better way to give lives purpose and security? Our institution, once strong, is failing; our job from here on is to closely guard the rights we deserve as citizens, and commit ourselves to monitoring issues at a local, state, national, and global level; finding ways to improve the future of the world. We cannot allow silence to advance a broken agenda, and we are strong enough to stand up against those who would see a dumpster fire burn brightest before and destroy a block in their interests. We must ensure that our courageous spirit remains as the attacks come in. Let anger, hate, and division be their weapon as our numbers grow stronger. We will walk every mile with love, strength, peace, and acceptance, and we will not give in to tactics.
Which brings me to the less peaceful protesters from Friday: this is an example of exactly the sort of things that happen when numbers form. Militant factions are a natural off-spin in a violent world. This is the sort of thing most of us are seeking to put an end to. Channeling rage into productive action is not the easiest for some, and, as we’ve clearly seen, it is not that difficult to form a group around an idea. Pushing those ideals on a group that rallied without arrest incidents is a bit of a far cry, and frankly, it is the same kind of lumping behavior that we’ve seen burn so intensely in the xenophobic hate spewing. Looking at a fraction of people who do not act responsibly against a larger group of law-abiding, respectful citizens is no way to advance the conversation.
The problem we face now is that the minority IS in control…and some of the people that helped get them there heavy heavy regrets to deal with, as they’ve already been proven wrong, in that their candidate is keeping promises they really hoped were campaign advancement fodder. This is why, when I said goodbye to a few friends, I pointed out that they cannot selectively vote for a presidential candidate…they must accept all of that person as a leader. This is exactly why I cannot understand the rational thinking they claim to have done before casting their votes. This is why I cast my ballot for progress, and I am still betting high on that ticket…I just know that the work that must be done is great, and the adverse push strong. I will never back down, and I intend to use this energy to move forward through any attempts at taking away civil rights, liberties, and freedoms for one and all! Let’s keep doing this right, and show the world the strength of our truth!
This thought in mind, I continue the tale of our day with the unfortunate thorn in my side who tried very hard, but could not ruin the day. It was the end of a long journey to Union Station, particularly since we’d started walking from MacArthur Park about five or so hours prior. Well, as luck would have it, the lines for CJ and myself to take the Red line back looked manageable. So, we left Janet in her Metrolink line for her return to OC, and down to the tunnels we merged. Right off the stairs, we saw that the platform was crowded, so we found a wall spot and relaxed a bit while waiting. Commenting on how nice the day had been, and even finding a new friend who was in her sixties, and mentioned her disgust at still having to march for this, but that she, too, felt the love in the day. We were all energized with positive thoughts and a remaining sense of community. The next trains came for each side, and the platform practically emptied, leaving a handful of people in groups at the doors. Ours was about six or seven people, and we all agreed that we’d have no trouble getting the next train, given our position and what we’d just seen…mind you, the train that had just departed had still not fully emptied out, and we were still less than twenty total who hadn’t made it on the entire train. This was an end of the line station, there was little to worry about, other than the 23-27 minute holding time posted for the next trains. Everybody got comfortable in our spots as we were joined by waves of people. One of the first waves down, just in time to see the train pulling away held THAT WOMAN. Yes, the one woman in the crowd who came out of the day feeling entitled and self-absorbed. The woman we had befriended wound up in conversation with her, and I immediately knew she was being badgered and was left with little patience for this woman, as she turned her back on her the first chance she got! I’d made eye contact with our lady the second THAT WOMAN asserted herself into our group. The next thing I knew, CJ was telling me how this woman kept bumping into her, to which I noted that from my angle, it looked like an effort to scale to my poor sister’s summit. I was having NONE of her expedition, and promptly sent in my own royal mounted ways observation. She was having none of my explanations that we were all going to the same place, and after ten minutes, there was no need for her to position herself anywhere else in the crowd, as the platform was now full, and she had the best spot being next to the people who did not make it onto the last train. She then informed me that she was part of that group, to which all six or seven of our original group shifted gaze directly to her, ready to add their support. I got a smile and nod of approval from the woman in her sixties as I cold blasted this woman for acting so foolish as to climb up the backside of another human being as we all left a beautiful demonstration of respect, love, and a quest for human rights. I asked if she found herself so special in this group that she need position herself better than anybody else who had been waiting on the same platform with her this whole time, and who actually handled the whole thing with the same timber we had found all day long?! I will now mention that I apologized…to my original group…because I had to flip a bitch-switch for such a rude display. I was mildly disappointed in myself for letting her stoke my anger, but next time, I will plan my snacks better so that it is just pure mellow sass,, rather than hangry soapbox defenses of my sister’s personal space. Honestly, I’ve just been into Disney’s Haunted Mansion too many times to know what it is like to be in a crowded space, and how to respect space in that zone. Even fidgety me made it through the day without being respectful about it…and I’m a rocker and a mover when I’m packed into a space with lots of people…I cannot stand still in an empty stadium, how would I possibly start there. Effort has been a huge theme in my life, and without derailing entirely, I just saw no effort on this woman’s part…and neither did the group. As we rode our few stops, I returned right back to my cheerful self, and made myself useful to a few groups nearby, helping them navigate the best exit for their journey, and shuffling ourselves to be better situated to access those stops. I mean, honestly…that was what I was defending…the knowledge that the typical carelessness of the metro was replaced by the spirit of the day. I hope to carry that with me as I move forward…and I hope we all keep a piece of that spirit that we all shared that day. I did not see mob mentality, I saw free thinking, well spoken, equality seeking, lovers of freedom and unity…I saw the potential of the people…I saw the better future I had hoped for still burning brightly in the fire of our shared energy. I saw America that day…I saw Liberty…I saw us, together.