We Marched, We Chanted, We Cheered. Now What? A Look at the Los Angeles Women’s March and what Needs to Happen Now.

If you watch Fox News, or believe the words that seem to fall out of the collective mouths of the Trump staff, I’d like to take a moment to inform you that 750,000 did in fact march through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. 500,000 did, in fact, march through the streets of Washington, DC. Over 4 MILLION people marched in the streets of the United States of America on Saturday, January 21st. It was not photo shopped, it was not manipulated in some way, it was not made up. This was real.

It was a march that started as a simple idea and quickly became a beacon of light and hope that will resonate through the country from people who walked next to us to people who couldn’t walk with us at all. You are not alone in this world or in this fight. You are not forgotten. You are loved, you are accepted, and there is a voice.

This was my first real political action, 36 years on this rock and outside from showing up to vote (something too many people fail to really appreciate) I’d never really done anything. After the fuckery of this election it quickly became apparent to me that I couldn’t stand on the sidelines anymore, it was time to come out and support in any way I could, which meant taking part in the Women’s March.

To put some perspective on the number of people, which is difficult to do, The football stadium that is home to the Alabama Crimson Tide holds just over 100,000 fans. Los Angeles’ crowd alone filled it over 7 times, peacefully and without major incident. There were strollers and children, teens and grandparents, wives and husbands. Each with someone they walked for and some who were lucky walked with. Deafening roars from the crowd built up and echoed through the maze of buildings, it was more than cheers and shouts, it was a warm and welcoming hug from hundreds of thousands of people saying to each other “WE are the people”. On a side note this is Southern California, and we still have a strong gathering of beloved hippies here who I has honored to march next to. There was a special twinkle in their eyes of remembering their first protests and rallies, and there was also a sadness to them that they were still having to do protests and rallies for this shit. This wasn’t like many of the protests you see on the news, full of anger and sometimes violence, this was different. All those people, all those marchers, no arrests. None.

I had hoped to write this blog post earlier, but life happens and I’m only just now getting around to putting words on the screen, but that has actually been more helpful than I’d anticipated. In the few days since so many people took to the streets, the “president” has not come out to support us, he has not come out and said he sees us… instead he’s given us more reasons to march, more reasons to yell and be heard, more reasons to rise up and not be silent, which is what we all have to do and we have to do it together. Now, more than ever, you need to find your voice because there is always some way you can be there, some way you can help. If you can’t march, pick up your phone and call. If your anxiety makes it so you can’t call, write a letter. Hell, right now you could pop onto twitter and share a fact about global warming to show support to the EPA, science, and facts.There are ways, both big and small, to be heard.

If you’re looking for places to donate money or time, try looking up local women’s health organizations, LGBT organizations, Planned Parenthood and HRC. Join local groups like those on your high school or college campus, or start one of your own. Read about and join one of the thousands of Indivisible groups that are forming across the nation. Volunteer to help with citizenship events, Muslim events, anything and everything! We can no longer sit in our living rooms and assume our neighbors will take care of the problem. We have to stand up, we have to stay loud, we have to keep going. Are you ready?

 

(Photos by AJ Bourque)

 

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