What do the 2.5 million people who showed up at the Women’s March on Washington and other cities across the globe have in common? Not much at all – just an opposition to Donald Trump.
They are not all women, nor do they all have the same understanding of feminism. Some are life long activists, some had never been to a protest. They do not all have an advanced understanding of intersectionality or politics.
Some marched exclusively for one issue, like reproductive rights, while others, like me, marched in the name of many causes; racial justice, immigration reform, reproductive rights, environmental concerns and more.
The crowd was as disparate as it was massive, and the March on Washington itself, while historic and symbolic, was also imperfect. There were people who didn’t have their voices amplified who should have and people whose voices were too loud.
I played a role in that, as did every white cisgender person who marched. I wore a pink pussy hat in direct response to Trump’s words. Although I had no intention to exclude trans women, to some people the hats felt like another instance of feminism keeping out trans people, and for my role in that I feel responsible.
The last few days have been about digesting and dissecting the march’s many facets, owning up to its issues and celebrating what was incredible about it; the solidarity, the symbolism, and the power. What happens now? We work.
In the last several days, Trump has already begun his campaigns against the earth, reproductive rights, and Native rights.
• He re-instituted the global abortion gag rule, which removes access to vital healthcare services for millions of women all over the globe.
• He ordered a media blackout at the EPA.
• He approved the DAPL and Keystone Xl pipelines.
• He removed all references to LGBT issues from the White House website.
• He removed the Spanish version of the White House Website.
• He threatened the President of Mexico with a 20% tariff unless his country pays for the wall
On and on it goes. Trump is a fascist, an illegitimate president, and an evil, dangerous man. He also now has the power to turn back progress we have worked decades to secure.
So, the Women’s March on Washington organizers need to remind the 2.5 million that they need to keep showing up, and emailing their legislators, and donating to the ACLU and PP. They need to resist every day of the next four years.
They need to stand with Standing Rock, support BLM, and fight against Trump’s immigration plans because no human being is illegal. They need to do so even if Trump is impeached. He will be sooner or later, but Mike Pence is no less determined to destroy civil rights and the planet.
Resistance can be done in big ways and small ways. Getting in touch with your representatives on committees that matter to you is a good start. Email the Government Office of Accountability and tell them you support an audit of Trump’s financial concerns. The three emails to contact are email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.
If we can get everyone who marched educated enough to act, we can prevent atrocities. But some of that will lie with the leadership of the March, who will need to utilize their massive presence on social media to organize marchers.
A protest is an event, but a movement is a daily struggle. It will be interesting to see if the March on Washington can transition from one to the other. It is my sincerest hope that it can, and I call on everyone who marched to keep acting, keep resisting, and keep standing with those who are marginalized.