This is What Democracy Looks like
It is Sunday, January 22, 2017, the day after the Women’s March on Washington (WMW). It is a letter to a buddy.
My dearest R.I really like you, a lot. I am having postpartum protest blues, in the present day, after such a giant excessive, and also really feel motivated and strong, blissful and proud.
I wish I had asked M. from the Related Press for his e mail handle. That man is a mensch.
There have been about a million folks in DC, and, all around the country and internationally, we all know there have been thousands and tens of millions extra, however, in so many ways, I felt and really feel like the expertise of the WMW was and is about our friendship, as a lot as it was and is, intensely, about solidarity and combating the great combat, peacefully; shifting forward from right here, holding the momentum; “it’s a marathon, not a dash”; all that good and exhausting, true, true stuff.
This edited, public letter is a labor-of-love about you and your unrelenting energy, your generosity and kindness; it is intended to comment straight on how the ways you reside and love deserve all kinds of applause, hand waving, typed and signed and vocalized praise. It’s also obviously a message to readers.
I’ll spend the rest of my life remembering seeing that little girl on the lamppost smiling broadly, holding up the vertical sign with the letters L I B E R T Y, as we turned the corner toward the White House within the muddy, muggy streets, as women many years older than she chanted into the megaphone. Their longstanding expertise encouraged her pleasure and fed her empowerment. There have been a whole lot of intergenerational moments like that, every unique and personal, whereas macro-scale effecting.
Yes, that is what Democracy looks like.
Like many others, I’ll continue to recollect, too, and mirror upon, in the present day and into the longer term, what it seems like and means to be and to have been with people whom I know personally, respect, and love in the sea of deep spirals of power that manifest during a protest. I am pondering, too, of course, of the entire people on whose behalf we marched, as they wanted and requested. And, I’m pondering about the folks filled with us on the metro and, later, within the streets, once we waited to march ahead, with no cell phone service and no entry to the sidewalks or curb cuts, and no approach (as you stated) of organizing easily — if in any respect — past the folks immediately in proximity to us, because it was so crowded.
The numerous spontaneous, lovely interactions, and the in-the-second stories that turn out to be paradoxically indelible whereas likewise being transfiguring palimpsests are on my thoughts and thumping through me.
We could not hear what the speakers were saying. We didn’t know, for example, that Angela Davis was on the mic — until my lover instructed us, through the 5 minutes we had phone reception, and that i managed to reach her (lots of of miles away), as we turned towards the White House. We couldn’t see any of the displays. At various moments, we did not know which course issues could be heading. What a metaphor.
Singing “If I Solely Had a Brain” (from The Wizard of Oz, in honor of mind surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson), close to HUD workplaces, a song I do not discover ableist — although its title, taken out of context, certain may very well be — then eating almost-pizza and sitting down for the primary time in hours, close to the metro station. Laughing and having some water. Priceless.
The late 70s/eighty-ish-12 months-previous teachers who had been associates for almost 50 years, trapped in the crowd on Independence, yearning for the Port-a-Potty, are here in my residence, energetically. The more talkative of the duo telling us she questioned why she showed up, and perhaps she was too old to be doing this, she questioned aloud.
I remember her heat eyes meet mine when she said that folks had tried to destroy all the things that she and a whole era had labored for by electing this new President. That the young individuals did not know what had occurred up to now. Then we discussed how that was exactly why it was so very important that she confirmed up (since she could…there would have been no judgment, clearly, if that had not been doable, for whatever causes).
I might feel that she knew I meant it once i said that listening to her was simply as essential if no more so to me than whatever was being shared by the folks speaking from the podium, whom none of us may hear, see, or access in any other case.
The two 35-ish women sandwiched in entrance of us, one from Atlanta and her good friend a neighborhood, with whom we talked in regards to the Syracuse Cultural Staff pins two of us in our emergent quartet were sporting. Later, the woman from Atlanta ran by means of the densely parted crowd, to help in a medical emergency.
That child, laughing in his mom’s arms, throwing himself back, repeatedly, wanting up at the sky, his mother and father smiling generously as the group inside the crowd cheered in celebration of his pleasure. His face framed later by the crook of your arm a few foot away, holding means captain america t shirt shopclues queen up towards the identical sky the sign that you simply made against corporatization.
You, another mom of feminist sons.
Picture: The writer, captain america t shirt shopclues queen on the Girls’s March on Washington (1/21/17), waving a peace sign in entrance of the Washington Monument, carrying a purple Girls’s Rights Nationwide Historic Park (Seneca Falls, NY) baseball cap adorned with Syracuse Cultural Workers button reflecting the intersections between and across civil rights struggles. Photograph courtesy of Rebecca Ribeiro.