So I’m getting ready to travel down to Washington, DC for the Women’s March, and my mother is shaking her head. “Why are you going to all this trouble?” she inquired. “What good will it do? Trump’s not going to run in terror when he sees you girls coming, you know.” I rolled my eyes, but you know, she kind of had a point.
“Why am I doing this?” I asked myself frequently during the seven-hour drive on crowded highways. “What’s the point?” I sighed as I checked into the overpriced motel. “Is it worth it?” I asked as I jammed myself onto a subway car packed like a sardine tin, the doors closing a quarter inch from my nose.
I knew a lot of people were expected for the march, but the immense crowds were incredible. Tens of thousands of people jammed every street. During the rally, my friends and I were far from the stage—even the Jumbotron was a tiny speck in the distance. At one point, we were jammed into a solid, unmoving mass of humanity, wedged into the spaces between the museums that line the National Mall.
In front of one of the museums, a bunch of people had climbed into a tree to see what was going on. A staff person from the museum appeared and asked them very nicely to get out of the tree, as the branches were thin and beginning to break. They ignored her. She asked them again. Still they ignored her.
Then she turned to the crowd and said, “Friends, help me out here!” Soon five hundred people were chanting “Get out of the tree! Get out of the tree!” And those folks climbed down pretty quick.
Well, finally the crowd started to move and began to overflow onto the Mall. Thousands poured out, choking every side street and covering the great lawns between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Then hordes began surging in the direction of the White House. Soon a massive river of protest signs and pink hats was flowing along Pennsylvania Avenue. It was pretty exciting.
But later, when I finally got back home, the nagging question remained. “Trump’s still there, you know,” my mother pointed out. “So, really, what did it all prove?”
Well, let’s see. It was inspiring so see so many people come together peacefully for a common purpose. Five hundred thousand passionate protestors and not one arrest. (Kudos to the DC police who did a great job.)
And I have to say it was quite fun to march past the glittering Trump Hotel chanting “Show us your tax returns!” with ten thousand other voices.
But it was more than just fun. Now, in the days after the March, I keep remembering the voices all lifted up in unison, working together to save that lone tree. Singly, each of us is just one voice, ignored and powerless. Lift up those voices together, and we can change the world.