Women’s March Exceeds Expectations–Women Share What It All Means, Part 2

Women's March Exceeds Expectations

Variety

From coast to coast to coast, we’re sharing 5 more tales from women who joined the Women’s March across the country. Experience the powerful moments that inspired and influenced women in Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, where aloha can bring change.

Women's March Exceeds Expectations

Village Voice

Jessica Porter, Los Angeles

Of British descent with dual citizenship in Canada and the United States.

Experience:

Pink pussy hats, witty signs, and happy smiles everywhere. The vibe was expectant and excited, yet peaceful and considerate. By the time we hit the crowd, we were ready to step into the experience fully. We buzzed with chants and cheers and waved at the news drones above our heads. Being in the middle of the crowd gave us no real indication of the magnitude of the march; it took a couple of hours of wandering, chanting, reading signs and feeling the gentle crush of human bodies to really “get” how big this thing was.

I felt buoyed by the collective feeling of creative, righteous rebellion.

Never before in human history have so many people left their homes—around the world—to stand up for their rights. It may take months or even years to see the fruits of that, but we all know it happened; we all felt its power, and that’s not going anywhere.

Motivation:

I went to the Women’s March in Los Angeles because I couldn’t NOT go. The way the world is right now, I felt a distinct urge to participate in a physical, vocal and communal way. It was time to get outside of myself and feel the pulse of the people. I don’t know how this will all pan out.  But I do know that the world was mesmerized by what happened on January 21st.

 

Women's March Exceeds Expectations

Twitter @skaufman4050

 

Stephanie O’neill, Washington D.C.

I almost let my fear of large crowds stop me from going to the march. I had to mentally slap myself out of it and say, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ 

Experience:

From the moment I walked onto the Metro platform, I was hyped. The energy was electric. People were cheering when the train came and singing “Respect” and “Stand by Me” on the hour-long ride into D.C. Getting off of the Metro got me even more fired up! There were scores of people in every direction I turned. Lively music, impressive signs, and every shade of pink on the color wheel. It was so live, but the vibe on the streets was tranquil. People everywhere being so kind, despite the fact that we were all smooshed up against each other with nowhere to turn. I was on the street for seven hours and saw no shenanigans—not even toward two counter-protesters. When we heard the route was too full to march, we made an alternate route. We were all determined to get to the White House! And when the police horses blocked us from getting any closer, we all just stood together and shouted, peacefully. It was straight up heartwarming. The positivity and hope in the air kept me in tears all day.

Motivation:

I marched for my immigrant grandmothers, every woman I know, the future of my nieces and all children with big dreams. I marched for the environment and the animals, oceans and trees that can’t make their voices heard.

I marched for justice and equity for all. I am riding this wave of momentum and I hope it continues on! Now it’s time for the real action.

Future Actions:

I’m involved with organizations that are close to my heart—volunteering, donating, advocating, staying engaged. It is my hope to inspire others to get involved as well. When I see an 80-year-old woman shouting, “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit,” I know I can never choose silence!

 

Women's March Exceeds Expectations

Stylecaster

Princess Cortez, Island of Kauai

Queer Filipino on the aloha and mahalo spirit.

Experience:

Rain, sun, wind, and more rain cycled through the three-hour event. People driving were honking their horns, and the marchers were cheering in response. A male driving a government semi-truck laid down his horn and it sounded like a tugboat was coming down the street. My friend rolled her Block Rocker speaker down the intersection and blasted songs of love and unity. There was also a group of older women playing hand drums and singing. Music and dancing definitely set the vibe. A white male danced with me and his shirt said, “THE FUTURE IS FEMALE.” An older lady’s sign said, “I will not go quietly back to the 1950s.” A couple of teenage girls behind me held up a sign that said, “Make America Gay Again!” I overheard one of them say, “I think we found the gay group!” This hit me as one of the reasons we were marching: so that people can feel comfortable being who they are and not have to find their “group” in order to feel accepted in society.

I was only expecting about 250 people to show up since Kauai is a small island, but it was estimated about 1,000 people joined arms. I was surprised to see Hawaiian locals at the march since their views tend to be more conservative. Everyone stood and danced together without trash talking, aggressive attitudes, or violence.

I realized that we are the revolution and that aloha brings change.

What It Meant:

This march was a symbol of unity to squash inequality and injustice toward all humans. It was a symbol of love and change. It showed me that we need to stop tearing each other down and that we need to stand together to continue fighting for reproductive rights and women’s health, LGBTQIA rights and ending gender-based violence, worker’s rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, religious freedom and environmental justice. We are protesting without fear and hate. We are protesting with love.

Women's March Exceeds Expectations

Huffington Post

Cha Viloria, San Francisco

I was feeling—maybe still feeling—scared after the election.

Motivation:

I joined the March because I’m unhappy with the election results and it still makes me sick to think that we inaugurated Trump as our President.  I am most disgusted about things he’s said about women in particular. I do not approve of his cabinet picks. Many of the things I care about—public health, diversity, women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, the planet and our environment—are in danger under Trump’s presidency.

Experience:

It might have been because of the cloudy, rainy weather and the time of day—SF’s rally didn’t start until 3 p.m. and the march didn’t start until 5 p.m.—but it was pretty tame and not as energetic as I was hoping it to be. Regardless, I felt comforted to know that I was around like-minded people who oppose Trump and his malicious agenda. I had a moment while marching where I looked around and saw people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientation, ethnicities and religions cheering and chanting and not minding the pouring rain—it gave me hope that we can band together against unjust and divisive acts and policies put forth by the Trump administration.

I already knew from my Facebook feed that I have allies who share my sentiments, but seeing the march helped me realize my community extends beyond my circle of friends—it reaches worldwide, and we just have to organize ourselves to be the strong force to withstand the challenges that come our way.

Future Actions:

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do beyond the march (and donating to Planned Parenthood and joining the Sierra Club immediately after the election)—something tangible, some daily action to take, but I’m not quite sure what yet.

We’ve shared 9 stories from extraordinary women who are fired up! Tell us, are you fired up? If so, what’s next?

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