Women's March - Change, Inspiration, Travel, Love & Family
March 05, 2017
The Women's March changed our lives, likely all of our lives. I'm not a Democrat or Republican and have never been political. but see this more of a moral issue than a political one. We found it tremendously inspiring that over 5 million women, men and children would gather & unite in the biggest march in the history of this country in every state and on every continent. Wow! And it was so full of love, kindness, caring, joy and enthusiasm. This is what I call heart activism and it's about taking care of one another.
I was very proud to be marching with my sweet teen daughter Mozart and my husband of 26 years with 750,000 others in Los Angeles. No one expected so many people to participate. LA predicted 70, 000 and thought that would be a huge crowd and bigger than most protests. There were people of all types, both Republicans and Democrats, every race, many families and children, seniors, disabled, LGBT etc etc. The signs were almost all home made and beautiful with heart opening messages of hope and love.
It was a miracle that no one was arrested and there was so much kindness despite the many challenges. What are the chances that 5 million people could gather in huge crowds and no one is hurt or arrested and the atmosphere is one of joy? I know family and friends who marched in Washington and all over this country and world, ( some in snow or rain) and each one said how loving and uplifting it was.
Now, going to such a march can be a daunting, exhausting, intimidating experience, even when it is in your own city and I am sure much more so if one had to travel at a distance to get there by train, plane, bus or car. This is not the kind of thing someone does without very strong motivation and I am grateful for our 1st Amendment rights and that our country was founded by a protest against unfairness and has always stood for freedom.
We read that it would be best not to drive because of the crowds and parking, so like many here, we took mass transit. We'd never taken the expo line before, but this was no ordinary day and even parking near where we would take it was the first challenge. One felt a little shy and self conscious with a sign at first, but soon adjusted.
There was excitement in the air, we were feeling brave and it felt life affirming to see so many kindred spirits of every possible type. So this is what grass roots looks like...regular folks. Children and grannies, hipsters and seniors, handicapped and able, shabby and chic, men and women, white, black,brown, red and yellow skin tones, LGBT and straight, many faiths, many languages, all exactly what America looks like.
Four packed-to-the-gills full trains passed us by before we could barely squeeze into one next to an Asian women in a wheel chair, senior man, some kids, two gay men, an African American couple, etc. No room to spare, so totally unique for LA and more crowded than trains in Tokyo or Beijing, much to our surprise. It was so hot due to the crowded condition and painful standing so long ( for me) that one young girl near us suddenly fainted, but everyone helped, one giving water, another banana, and more in our inches of space. People helping people, the theme of the day. Grace and graciousness.
It took us three hours to get there and four hours to get home, ( normally 30 minutes away) and I was in pain, but it was so worth it and we met so many wonderful people. We all sang and chanted together, marched, danced, clapped and held arms with strangers. Mozart brought her sign from her song "Ignite" and I wanted to shout to everyone that they were indeed beautiful!
Hard to believe with such a gigantic crowd, but Mozart accidentally ran into some teens she knew, like the one above who is in her choir and was passing around a petition. Great to see young people "woke" as they call it and using their compassion in powerful ways. There were so many young girls there with their moms, families or friends. Something they will never forget.
The streets were wall to wall people as you may have seen from some of those spectacular Women's March LA videos from the air. Most had never before participated in a protest or march in their lives. Long ago, in 1982, I had marched in a huge anti-nuclear march in New York City which was massive like this ( and I am one who doesn't like crowds) and I actually protested in Santa Cruz with Mozart when she was a baby against going into the Iraq war ( another historic world wide march). So I know it takes something quite extraordinary to gain these kinds of crowds and passion.
Normally, marching is just too much trouble. But the passion continues in many ways like with the very successful boycotts like #DeleteUber, GrabYourWallet, Sleeping Giants and more, so there are many ways for people to put their bodies on the line for what they believe in like creating a more peaceful, loving, cooperating, win-win world.
On March 8th we will have the Women's Strike - an international day of action. There has been so much change in the last few months. Even though we are divided now as a country and our planet, I think it is a positive change happening and that love is always the answer. The Women's March took place in every state, in areas that were urban and rural, both red and blue. It set a tone of determined exuberance for many of the protests since that day with many led by women. It was humanitarian, inclusive, transformative and full of joyful empowerment.
"Lawyers volunteer to aid unjustly detained immigrants; clergy hold interfaith rallies when one religion is attacked; citizens look out for their neighbours and lobby officials on their behalf. .....Citizens will not blithely acquiesce to the loss of their health care, public schools and civil rights.if Americans have learned anything over the past month, it is that rights need to be fought for in order to be preserved. Accepting injustice as normal was part of how we got here. Refusing to accept even greater injustice as normal is the only way we will get out" - Sarah Kendzior
Amongst the many problems, travel is greatly affected, so that will affect all of us. The USA will lose well over $10 Billion per year in tourism revenues as most will go to more loving, open countries like Canada instead, ( even Canadians no longer feel safe traveling here and plan to boycott) and Europe has now voted for US Americans to lose our visa free status ( since we initiated a "visa war"). Sigh. I hope things get sorted out as we are planning travel to Europe this summer and love to travel.It is something we need more than ever.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
Even though it was a Woman's March, there were many, many men there and I'm proud that my husband was one of them. We didn't think to get a photo of all three of us at the time ( as we had no idea what an historic moment we were in), but I happened to catch this one of him near Mozart in the crowd. He and all the men were also touched and uplifted by the experience. Even cars that got stuck in the masses of people were happy and honking their horns in support and smiling and waving.
The light was so with us and I did not see the march as political but all about love and caring and support. Unlike the fake reports, I didn't meet or know a single person who was paid to go. We were there to support the best things in life and as patriotic support of our beloved country and what it stands for. My sister did it in Santa Cruz and had the same feeling. My 89 year old mother watched it all day on TV with friends and had the same feeling. We had all planned to go together, but we live far apart and circumstances made that impossible. Still we felt united by it.
To me the Women's March was one big prayer for hope and goodness and it was for everyone, not just one side. It was on the side of love.
God bless our government. God Bless our country. God bless our world. Let's all pray for a better world. I am really, really grateful that we had this experience and even seeing the photos rekindles the exuberance of that special day. Did you get a chance to be a part of it in some way?