The Women’s March on Washington D.C started for me with a shaking alarm at 6:30 in the morning. As someone who is from the Maryland/D.C area, I knew events like these could be both big and crazy, and that I needed to get to the metro early in order to be in time, but I still felt a sense of non-urgency. I didn’t think being getting to the metro station at 8:30 instead of 8 was going to be a big deal, but in the end, I was very wrong.
I arrived at my local metro station (basically a train station, our form of public transit here in the Maryland/D.C area) to a huge (and I mean HUGE) crowd. Loads of people wearing pink cat hats, standing with homemade signs, and chanting was what welcomed me. There were so many people trying to shove into the trains and the platforms at one point that the guards had to shut the entrance down completely for a period of time. This was the first sign to me that this march was something special. I had never seen so many people all going to the same place in D.C, all showing up so early and prepared for an event. While there seemed to be hundreds of people, everybody seemed organized. Nobody was being rowdy, disrespectful, or rude. It was just pleasant conversations with one another while in line about why we were going to the march, and what we were looking forward to.
Arriving in D.C, my friends and I were greeted by the same thing as we were in the metro station, except this time, it was the entire capital of the USA. Every square inch of D.C, from the Capital Building to the White House, and to the Washington monument was packed full of people. At this point, people were mainly walking around, socializing, and trying to find spots to stand. Only so many people could go towards the stages to see the amazing speeches that were presented.
Eventually, 1:15 rolled around, and the actual march began. We all found ourselves being swept into walking miles through the entire capital of the USA; sometimes on the proper routes and streets as planned, other times in completely new areas, mixing in with the general public. Everybody in the march caught on very quickly. For me, this was my first time going to any protest. It was extremely intimidating seeing over 500 thousand people marching in front of me, to the side of me, and for miles behind me. However, I also caught on.
If even me, a 17 year old girl, can start a chant that goes through thousands of people, is recorded by news stations, and heard throughout all of D.C, how can anyone say that our voices do not matter?
Chants ranged from “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “Not my president!” to “Show me what democracy looks like!” responded with “This is what democracy looks like!” from others. Songs were sung through the crowds, people danced, and people made up their own chants that showed why they were marching. Personally, I felt a sense of unity through these chants. If even me, a 17-year-old girl, can start a chant that goes through thousands of people, is recorded by news stations, and heard throughout all of D.C, how can anyone say that our voices do not matter? We all marched for miles and hours together, waving flags and banners as we did so. In this time, I felt more empowered than I had the entire day. I felt like I was finally doing more than just talking; I was taking action, and making it known through protesting what I stood for. It was an extremely amazing feeling to be out in the streets with like-minded people making my voice heard, one that I had never felt.
The entirety of the march was full of inspiring people from all over the world. People traveled mind-blowing distances to come to this march, from all over the USA and other countries. A similar thing I heard throughout the march for multiple people was that this was going to go down in history. And while every single person there was marching for their own personal reasons, we all seemed to have one unified voice.The march did not go without
The march did not go without hindrance. Anti-LGBTQA+ rights protesters showed up, signs in hand, to yell their bigotry thoughts through bullhorns. What stood out to me most was not this, but the fact that everybody was generally positive towards these people. Those who disagreed played songs over their messages of hate, danced around them, tried to give them hugs, or started positive chants. Even those who reacted negatively towards these people were reacting positivity towards those who were trying to help get rid of them.
Overall, I think that the march was an amazing moment of solidarity for so many minorities, women, and people who do not support Trump/Pence or their policies. We were all coming together despite race, gender, sexuality, economic status, backgrounds, and age. After a campaign of politics that was so negative and hateful towards so many, this day was a time where we all came together to make it known that we will never stop fighting for the protection of immigrants, people of color, LGBTQA+ people, women’s reproductive rights and other minorities who so often get looked over or treated badly. Throughout the world, people came together to make this point known, loud and clear.
The most important thing of this day is that we were heard. Our messages and thoughts from around the world were seen, heard and given attention by thousands upon thousands of people, and will not be ignored any longer. As so many people said to me that day, this day will go down in history, and I for one, am extremely proud to have even been a small part of it.