Yes, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of participants in the Women's March on Washington on Saturday, 21 January 2017. Rode all night sardined in a bus, marched all day (well, actually stood in a packed crowd for many hours and then marched in two marches until we found a metro station we could access), then repeated cramped bus ride to get back home again.
I feel honored to stand with millions of people all over the globe who feel the United States should move forward, not backwards, on women's rights; LGBTQ rights; racial justice; immigration reform; workers' rights; health care access; eradicating violence against women; embracing diversity and all abilities; addressing climate change; and restoring civility, compassion, and truth to policy-making. That was the best part of the event: being a part of such a huge PEACEFUL gathering on behalf of a common cause. I only took two photos the entire day. I felt so penned in for most of the day that it was too much work both to dig out my phone and to access the food I was carrying. Here was my view for part of the day:
I'm standing in the middle of 7th Street, halfway between Independence Avenue (ahead) and Jefferson (behind). This was a moment near the beginning of the speeches when the crowd around me had shouted out to "lower signs"--and the throngs complied--so we could see the proceedings on the jumbotron way up in front of us. We didn't hear more than a few words of any of the speeches; the stage was blocks up Independence (to the left). I have since watched all of the speeches online from the comfort of my own home. My favorite speech was Ashley Judd's performance of Nina Donovan's poem (and Nina does it even better--watch her spoken-word performance online!). I have also watched videos that pan the crowd from overhead. Wow! (Our spot is included in this incredible overhead view.) We saw three or four medical emergencies play out around us over the course of the day. I have no idea how the medics were able to learn of the problems and respond to the correct locations so quickly, but it was impressive. All of the police, metro workers, and organizers we encountered throughout the day were pleasant, helpful, and welcoming; couldn't ask for more. I have read that there were no arrests.
Second best part of the day: making connections with the people wedged up against me in the crowd. We couldn't hear the speeches, and we were stuck together for hours, so we chatted about our lives, our reasons for being there, etc. And, coincidentally, we bumped into some of them again later in the middle of a march!
Third best part of the day: the signs. I will recite some of my favorites below. Passion, creativity, and cleverness were on display big time! (I'm not repeating the solely anti-Trump ones here.; you can always find them by searching online, if you're interested.) Power to the people. Keep on rocking on with the important work!
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance
Listen to your Mother Earth
Hate does not make America great
Protect Our Future
We are the RESISTANCE
This is what PATRIOTISM looks like
Build BRIDGES Not Walls
Public cervix announcement: People of quality believe in equality.
Support your mom
A woman's place is in the revolution
I'm with her [with arrows pointing in all directions--and most often carried by a man]
Men of quality don't fear equality [carried by a man]
Revolutionary white folk don't mistake privilege for progress: Fight 'til we're all FREE!
Keep your laws (and your paws) off my body!
Hate has no home here.
Now you've pissed off Gammie!
In OUR AMERICA:
Black Lives Matter
Science is Real
Diversity is Celebrated
Water is Life
Kindness is Everything
Women are in charge of their own bodies
Love is LOVE!
Real men are allies [carried by a man]
Nasty women make HERstory
My uterus is private property
Make America THINK again
Make America KIND again
We are the great-granddaughters of the witches you could not burn.
HOPE over FEAR
EQUITY DIGNITY POWER
I will not go quietly back to the 1950s.
NOT up for grabs.
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
All that is required for injustice to thrive is that the good do nothing.
Our sisters are asking 4 respect & equity: Please LISTEN [carried by a man]
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage RAGE against the dying of our RIGHTS!
We will not move backwards.
We are moving FORWARD!
Well-behaved women don't defeat empires
Work for the change you want to see in the world.
Equality and justice for all.
Liberty and justice for all.
This nasty woman won't give up.
This nasty woman fights back.
Don't tread on me.
We are women!
Hear us ROAR!
This is what a feminist looks like.
Our children are watching
What do we want? Evidence-Based Science
When do we want it? After Peer Review
So bad, even introverts are here.
Tweet women with respect.
Boys will be
Women deserve ALL RIGHTS
Women's Rights are Human Rights
Human Rights are Women's Rights
Without Hermione, Harry would've died in Book 1.
Support investigative journalism
A woman's place is in the revolution!
A woman's place is in the resistance!
Grab America Back
Cliterally done with this. Facts matter.
Girls just wanna have FUN-damental HUMAN RIGHTS!
We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel