We’re Still Here: Women’s March 2018.

Last year I headed to Washington, DC with a small group of ladies, not quite sure what to expect, but positive we wanted to be there to make our voices heard. What we experienced was history in the making. Millions of people taking to the streets across the world to protest the new American president, and the danger he posed to all of us. We knew we were ready to fight, but I don’t think anyone had a clue what this year had in store for us all.

I’ve been to other protests throughout 2017, for the Muslim Ban, Charlottesville, DACA–none of them as big, but all of them as impassioned. As I’m sure many of you have, I spent the year sending letters, emails, and making phone calls to Congress. The New York Times might not be handing their opinion pages over to The Resistance, but it is a thriving and mighty force in America right now. There has been a definite shift from the naive country we were on November 8, 2016, and the determined movement emerging today.

The feel was different at the Women’s March this year. Less trepidation, more determination. Fewer people were taking to the streets just because they felt like they had to, and more people were talking about their duty to be there. There was the sense last year that many people at the Women’s March had never been to a protest before. That it was their first time making a protest sign, learning the chants, figuring out how the crowd moved. That was not the case this year. One year into the Trump presidency, and we’re all seasoned activists now. This is no longer our first rodeo.

 


 

As you may recall, I went to last year’s protest intending on covering it as a journalist. As I became overwhelmed by the enormity of the event, I decided to simply pass around a notebook, asking others to write why they were marching. While it was an unplanned collection of stories last year, I decided it would be very interesting to repeat this year in New York. Below are a few of my favorite messages from the day:

 

I march because equality is for everyone and democracy is not a freebie. Our voices and actions matter.

 

 

I am outraged and disgusted by what is happening in our country. Most of the time I feel powerless. I embrace the opportunity to peacefully and actively express my discontent. And be surrounded by others who feel the same and also want better for all of us. – Melissa.

 

 

I march for all the young women strong enough to speak up against their abusers, including Kyle Stephens. And I march in hopes to change the institutions in place that allow the silencing of women to continue. – Kelsey

 

 

I march for the children of this country, future and present. May my daughters never have to say “me too.”

 

 

I march to teach my daughter what liberation looks like. No limits!

 

 


Enjoy a little Fogo Azul as you read the rest of the messages from the women (and men) of this year’s march.

 

I march because I have a voice, and I march for those who don’t. I march because dissent is patriotic and because women will not be silenced.

 

I march for freedom, equality, respect – for all of us! Time’s up!!

 

I march to walk the walk! For love of life.

 

For justice, freedom, and respect for all beings. We can do better than this.

 

 

 

To stand with others in resistance…against what separates and divides…To be with others for love, justice and equality. The values that never die.

 

Women will birth our future! So behave!

 

I march to save our environment, stand up for DACA, and against bigotry and to IMPEACH TRUMP.

 

I march because everyone deserves to be heard and treated with respect. We have a chance to make it better and if we don’t speak up we’ll be even more fucked.

 

 

 

I march to make my voice heard…and because it’s 2018 and this shit shouldn’t be happening anymore!

 

To set an example for my son, a strong feminist mother 🙂

 

After seeing pictures from the march last year and surviving one year of this damn presidency, I thought it was important to do this on behalf of my peers, my family, and the world. – Debi

 

I march here today because I believe in equality for all regardless of their gender, race, or beliefs. In addition, I believe that every woman should have the right to dress the way they want, the right to do what they want to do without their being judged. Let’s end rape culture!! – Pema (15)

 

 

I march to make sure that there are masses, and so that the masses make the 6 o’clock news, and the cable news because that’s the only language this (not my) president speaks. – Kate

 

I march for everyone who does not have a voice (or feels they do not have a voice). For my daughter. For all women. For immigrants. For the earth. For LGBTQ folks. To show this administration that we do not approve. To RESIST.

 

We march because…
we can
silence is compliance
our students and kids deserve better.

 

We march for:
Black Lives Matter
Women’s Rights
Encouraging All to Vote
Getting Trump and the corruption out of the White House

 

 

 

For the restoration of our democracy, increasingly becoming authoritarianism.

 

I march because there is too much at stake not to.

 

I’m marching for human rights, DACA, women, equal pay, BLM. – Dionne

 

I march in resistance against all linked oppression of marginalized groups.

 

 

 

I march to recognize people’s power to change through voice and vote.

 

Because I am sick of being marginalized and discriminated against. #BLM

 

Because females are the future, and girls just want to have fun-damental human rights. Is that so hard?!?!

 

Because it feels beautiful and right…and completely necessary.

 

 

 

Surrounded by like-minded people, seeing all the things people stand for, hearing the conversations about progress and change is the most inspiring! It motivates me to make some real change!

 

More women please. – Carmen

 

To show resistance in the face of evil!

 

So that we remind each other that there are like-minded folks who are angry and mobilizing.

 

To support my friends and family.

 

So love will triumph over insecurity.

 

For a healthier human race.

 

To play a (however small) role in ridding us of the worst president evah!

 

 

 

Because I’m outraged. I refuse to accept Trump as normal.

 

I march for future generations and my ancestors. – Emma

 

For those who can’t and never could. – Jessie G

 

I march so I can say I helped women earn their rights. Part of the solution, not the problem. – Hannah

 

 

 

I march to support women’s rights!

 

I am marching for my mother, my daughter, and all women I love!

 

I march for our daughters, for humanity, for our country. – Nancy

 

I march because we all matter.

 

I march for the future. – Michele

 

For humanity!

 

To speak truth to power. – Kenny

 

I march to honor the women who marched before me and so that those that come after me don’t have to. I march precisely BECAUSE I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!

 

I march for all human beings to live free of corruption and exploitation. – Matt

 

The Women I Marched With…

 

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I went to Washington D.C. with a group of ladies. Some I’ve known, some I met for the first time on November 12, 2016, as we took to the streets of New York to protest the election of Donald Trump. Marching that weekend didn’t feel so much like a decision as a necessity. It was the first moment of catharsis I’d had since that fateful Tuesday.

Marching on Washington this weekend felt very much the same way. I’m not sure I ever really made the decision whether or not to go. I simply asked, “who is going with me?” As luck would have it, seems we were all headed to D.C.

Since November, I’ve been asked often why I’m marching. I find the question difficult to answer – not because I can’t think of a reason, but because I simply have so many I’m not sure where to start. This inability to put into words something that weighs on me so heavily, sparked a desire to discover why exactly everyone else was marching.

So, I thought I would go to D.C. not simply as a citizen, but as a journalist. I fully intended to cover the march, take pictures, interview folks, and do a full write up. As we arrived though, it became clear this thing was bigger than we’d ever imagined. The introvert in me was overwhelmed, so I took out a notebook, wrote “Why I March” on the front, and began to pass it around to those standing near me in the crowd.

Truth be told, after about 11am, even that became too much and I decided to set down all thoughts of being a journalist, and just became a full participant, taking in the whole, overwhelming experience.

What I’ve included below is a collection of the responses written in the notebook (most unsigned by their authors), and what I managed to (poorly) capture in photo. I hope it gives at least a slight glimpse into what this weekend meant for us all.

 

Why I March…

“I march for all women…even those who don’t yet realize they need to.” – Janis

“For the sane hearts that need support in times of bigotry, racism, misogyny and apathy.”

“I march to put those in power on notice – we will RESIST!”

 

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“I march to DEFEAT TYRANNY!”

“For equality for all.”

 

“I march to defeat Donald Trump and raise consciousness of equality.”

 

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“I march to preserve everything I’ve worked a lifetime for.” – Marie

“Because we reached a crossroads – some push us back to the past, but we must go forward! Free.” – MA

“I march for EQUAL rights…for us to continue moving forward not back to the ‘old’ white man’s ways. This is my country – I will not go quietly into the hate. Love is the answer.”

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“I march to show my 3 sons it’s time to make a difference and promote love and equality for all.”

“I march for LOVE!”

” I march for my daughters, so they will know the power of their voice.”

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“I march for a better future for my son.”

” MY BODY = MY CHOICE”

“For civil rights.”

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“I march because peaceful and thoughtful resistance and love are a woman’s work. It’s a woman’s duty.”

“To celebrate human rights and make a better world (nation USA) for our children.”

“For the dignity of ALL people, human rights, BLM, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, etc.”

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“For every child because whether they have cancer, looking for a better life, or need to love each other, my son will be taught to be accepting of everyone.”

“I march for my niece, for my friends’ daughters. So disappointed that this man is now President. I could not just sit back. RESIST!”

“I march for human rights, for Mother Earth, for my daughter and my grandkids.”

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“I am a snowflake, but WE are an avalanche.” – Bill, Kate & Sidney

” I march for what is right – for the voices that need to be heard – for my nieces, so that they know they are loved, supported and strong. I march for LOVE!!”

“I march today in support of: Women’s Rights, Reproductive Rights, Immigrant Rights, and…AN END TO TYRANNICAL RULE!” – Joy

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“I march to stand up for all…to be counted.” – Ron

“I march for my Muslim family – my interracial, interfaith, bicultural daughters with differing abilities but the same forceful potential to achieve their dreams.”

“I march to stand with the other loving, open, smart Americans, who are the majority! And to demonstrate the strength of women! We are stronger than Trump!”