Were you there? Were you there in Washington, or Portland, or Chicago, or Pocatello? Were you there in your heart or your imagination? I was there in Portland and I felt you all—all across the country and, indeed, around the world. And that was the great thing—just being there. More than four million people worldwide, 100,000 in Portland, showed up to support women's rights, specifically these, and to denounce the threats the Trump presidency has expressed against these rights.
Ray, daughter Emily, granddaughter Sofia, friends Jeri and Ron, and I boarded a train, already filled with Marchers, into Portland in high spirits!
Three generations of marching women!
We had our signs and Emily and Jeri had knitted their pink hats (not a hat wearer, I colored my hair pink for the occasion).
We blended into the massive crowd near the Portland waterfront. The sky was dark and rainy, but no one seemed to notice and the mood was upbeat and celebratory. News helicopters flew overhead as the crowd cheered and waved.
Soon we were marching, filling the street from edge to edge, chants or singing would arise from the crowd and we would join in. At intersections we could look to our left and our right and see the mass of people, ahead and behind us in the great procession we were in, winding through our city. It looked endless in all directions.
I have read angry messages online, by those who opposed the March, characterizing the participants as "angry feminists", "vulgar", "topless", "profane", "smelly", "tattooed and pierced"... What I saw were passionate young people, families, children, black, brown and white people, grandmothers and grandfathers, tattoos and piercings, disabled people, babies sleeping in strollers, smiles, excitement, humor and fervor. People were exceedingly courteous, looking out for each other, and especially the children, greeting the police with smiles and friendly waves (which, by the way, were returned by the police.) Despite rain and cold feet and crowds, there was a warmth of companionship and the recognition of kindred spirit.
Near the end of our route we passed three little girls, standing together on a curb, gleefully calling out, "Show us what democracy looks like!" And the passing crowd would roar back, "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!"
I will remember this forever and I hope my granddaughter will too. This video captures some of the spirit of Saturday. It was powerful. This is what democracy looks like. Onward!
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