Today I watched as millions of people across the globe rose up to protest the election and ideology of Trump and his GOP cohort. And it was a thing of beauty.
My mother and I attended a local march. We had toyed with the idea of going to DC but decided it was too complicated to pull off. The local march was plenty amazing, though. Thousands of people showed up. So many more, I think, than were expected. We wound up in the vanguard of the march—a one mile circuit that took the protest past City Hall. When we completed that circuit, there was still a massive crowd of people queuing to begin the route themselves. We walked down to a nearby farmer’s market and back to our car, crossing the march route as we went. An hour after we’d finished, and the march was still going strong. There were so many people.
And they ran the gamut. Every age, every race, every gender, every orientation, every body type. Abled and disabled alike. Everyone was out to protest against those who would seek to divide us with their hateful rhetoric and petty intolerance.
All of the signs were incredible, and there was a rewarding variety all over the place. Signs in support of black lives, Muslim Americans, immigrants, public education, public housing, the environment, reproductive rights, lgbtq rights, feminism, intersectionality, inclusivity. It was so beautiful, and to know that similar gatherings were happening all around the country, and all around the world, made it even more beautiful.
There were marches in every big city in the US (and in many of the small ones as well.) There were marches in more than sixty countries, on every continent in the world, and the turnout was huge—a political protest on a historical scale. My Facebook feed was aglow with pictures and videos from friends marching on the East Coast, on the West Coast, in the Heartland, in our nation’s capital. A million people went to the march in DC. A million. More people attended the Women’s March on Washington than attended the inauguration yesterday, and Trump is furious—and furiously denying the facts. And even though we are now in a very precarious position, I feel such tremendous hope that we will find a way to extricate ourselves. Because we—the real Americans, the Americans who want progress, the Americans who believe in justice and healthcare and education for everyone—we outnumber Trump and his deplorables. We outnumber them, and we’re going to win.
But we have to keep fighting.
There was a common refrain on several of the signs I saw at the march today: I can’t believe we still have to fight for this. Personally, I don’t have any difficulty believing that we still have to fight. What I can’t believe is that there are people who actually think that there will come a time when we won’t have to fight. We’re always going to have to fight. The flow of history, contrary to popular belief, is not a steady and irreversible march toward a better tomorrow. We advance, we regress, then we go back, Jack, and do it again. Every step we—the human race—have taken toward a better tomorrow has been hard fought, and every step we take will be hard fought.
So revel in today’s triumph, we’ve fucking earned it, but remember that we have to keep the momentum going tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.