Last year, I recall taking the trolley to the nearby Target one Friday night and coming back to my dorm to make a poster for a revolutionary march the next day. I had never marched in a demonstration like this before, and following an election that left me heartbroken at the San Diego Clinton campaign headquarters and crying in the hallway of my dorm, I was ready to stand up for something again. And so I went, and in light rain and surrounded by the most incredible group of people, I marched in my new city and felt more empowered than ever.
The women's march felt like what our country needed. And as hard as it is for him to admit, I know it said something to the president. With crowds all across the nation and a crowd in Washington, D.C. that caused march planners to have to reorganize because they were so much bigger than even, say, the inauguration's turnout, this movement went far from unnoticed.
Being in the march was unreal. My poster's ink leaked from the rain and it was a cloudy day, but it was the brightest of activities to be involved with that weekend. Women were obviously out in their strongest force, but men, children, elderly people, local leaders, and whole families were marching. It was the most beautiful, incredible movement I have seen. And a year later, it still warms my heart and reminds me to be hopeful, always.
Life is a lot like the women's march right now. It's bleak in the political world and we're wondering how we ended up with this guy in power, but like the cloudy San Diego morning when I marched, dotted with pink hats and posters of real, incredible hope, there is brightness, resilience, and resistance that exists and is a fighting force in our political climate.
One year later, I can still feel the emotions that I felt last year in the march. And one year later, I know that this march had an impact. We've seen a lot in this first year of the Trump era, but more than anything, we have seen women rise up. Confronting their abusers, speaking out about sexual assault, standing up for their families more than ever, and speaking out. Women have always lead the charge for justice in every realm, but this year their voices are amplified with a rage that makes them like wildfire -- truly unstoppable.
A year later, as I prepare to hopefully march again this weekend, I'm reminded that the news we see on TV every day is still bleak -- we have a president that has now been found to have paid off a porn star for keeping the affair he had with her private. And we have no repercussions for his abuses and the accusations against him.
It leaves us with a great frustration that some might find leads to a lot of giving up. But with the women's march, it's truly become the fuel we don't want whatsoever but that we need to keep standing up -- as we will.
This year, the march focuses on voting rights and freedoms and also makes a point about the importance of the upcoming midterm elections. The march will be a repetition of last year's mass demonstrations with a new goal and intention to bring people out to the polls and continue to build upon the resistance movement.
But with this focus in mind, in our hearts will always be the single central theme -- women rising up, women taking care of each other, women uniting, and women taking a stand. There is nothing more empowering than taking to the streets with strangers knowing that you're safe and loved because each of them cares about our rights, our access, and our voices especially in the face of this administration's constant adversity.
Marching is surreal and empowering. I encourage you, if you have the time, to get out and march! It's easy, you don't even need a sign, and it's the best way to spend a Saturday morning. Be a voice, be a presence, and be involved in history. It's not only rewarding but crucial that you do.