Dear Mr. Trump,
The following details my experiences marching in protest of you and what your administration stands for. I write this in hopes of achieving a little bit more understanding between you and your citizens.
Somewhere up the road, a band played. Trumpets and the deep, steady notes of drums beat down the pavement to the tune of a chant: “My body my choice! Her body her choice!”
Protesting wasn't at all what I thought it would be like. The police didn't come at us with tear gas, no one ran around breaking things, and no one was consumed with anger. Even facing the personified nightmare all 63,000 people present felt, there was hope in every sign, in every cry, in every handshake with the respectful police officers, and in every face, man or woman, gay or straight, regardless of race or religion. United to march for an inclusive America, people were kind. They offered each other snacks and signs, stripped themselves of their coats and offered them to others who stood soaked in the unpredictable temperament of an Atlanta rainstorm.
My original plan was to march in DC, to be apart of the swarm that surrounded the Washington Monument, to stand outside the White House in a flood of vagina signs and pink tipped hats. But as I marched, packed into a stretch of Atlanta road just blocks away from Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, my feet slapping the same pavement that men and women died on for their rights, I knew there was no other place I could be. Atlanta was my home. District five, which you labeled “horrible” and “crime-infested” was united, beautiful, empowered by the echo of years of historical protests and progress, on its knees at the sight of John Lewis making his way through the crowd.
An estimated 63,000 walked together in my city. 500,000 united in DC, 250,000 in Obama’s Chicago, 100,000 in London, and countless more in 673 cities globally. The women’s march around the world goes down in history as the biggest protest the US has ever seen, an estimated 3.2-4.2 million concerned citizens joining together to protect all women's rights. Compared to your inauguration, which an estimated 250,000 people attended, that number is mind-blowing, perception-shattering. Now, Mr. Trump, I don't mean to point out this difference to offend you. Rather than making claims about what this data means, I will simply present you with the numbers and allow you to draw your own conclusions about what movement is really the backbone of the common man and woman.
Many have told me that the marches are silly, ineffectual, and disruptive. And perhaps the protests will not directly change policy, but they did have a purpose: they united every marginalized person and movement in this country, whether it was people of color, those who identify as LGBTQ, men or women, Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, or Standing Rock. Every person who felt threatened by the new US administration found a place together, was assured that others will fight for their rights, and found that there is incredible, undeniable strength in numbers. Together, we moved as one body, overcoming geographic divisions, representing the America we know, love, and will fight for.
And that, Mr. Trump, is why I marched.