A little over a week ago I joined millions of people around the world who came together in unity and solidarity at one of the many Women’s March sister marches on January 21st. I attended the New Hampshire Women’s Day of Action & Unity at the State House in Concord, NH which drew a crowd of over 5,000 people – one of the largest demonstrations there in the last decade. The event was attended by women and men, the young and the young at heart, and even a few very patient dogs. It was truly uplifting and empowering to see such a massive crowd of people coming together in my tiny local community.
My mother joined me at the march, and as soon as we arrived onto the State House plaza we were met with a vibrant, motivated, and inclusive energy (and the sound of Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl” coming through speakers on the State House steps). A man held a large sign that read “I love each and every one of you” and a woman approached us and shyly told us she wanted to share a poem, handing us both a copy printed on a little square of paper. We listened to fantastic speakers, including three of our members of Congress (New Hampshire is home to the nation’s first all-female congressional delegation), a best-selling author, and everyday women with very important stories to tell. They rallied the crowd around the themes of forward progress, human rights, and absolute resistance to any efforts to turn back the clock on the progress our country has already made. There was an almost palpable sense of hope at the march, a feeling that this was the beginning of something huge. Although the Women’s March was not formally about the new president, his name may have come up once or twice…
The march was a beautiful, peaceful display of democracy in action and people unifying behind the common goal of having their voices heard. Part of the Women’s March mission states that “we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.” It was indeed “too great to ignore.” We returned home to the news that not only around the country, but around the world, millions of people had participated in these marches. With an estimated 4 million people in the U.S. alone, it may have been the largest demonstration in our country’s history. People in the largest cities and the smallest rural towns participated, as did people from over 60 countries worldwide. It was clear that regardless of location or weather, this was too important to sit out. 30 people joined the march from a town in Idaho with a population of just 63, as well as a group of people in Antarctica! It was thrilling to be a part of this historic event, and I felt proud to be an American woman.
Another important theme of these marches was the idea of continued activism. We were implored to continue speaking up and fighting for what we believe in. Sometimes we can settle into complacency, especially in the afterglow of what we have accomplished after an event such as this. We did accomplish something great, but our work isn’t done. If you believe in reproductive rights, then you must continue to fight. If you believe in free speech and a free press, then you must continue to fight. If you believe in protecting and preserving the environment, then you must continue to fight. If you believe in justice and human rights for all, regardless of race, gender, faith, nationality or sexuality, then you must continue to fight. These things are too important to lose.
Since the Women’s March, many have shared useful tools to help people stay active and involved in our democracy. The website 5 Calls makes it easy for you to get in touch with your elected officials by giving you a list of five calls you can make each week, and they provide sample scripts on specific issues for those who hate talking on the phone. Another great resource is Countable, which allows users to see everything that’s being debated and voted on in Congress each day, gives information from both sides of the issues, and shows you how your elected officials voted on bills. It is imperative that you stay involved if you want to effect real change, and the Women’s March was proof that together we can create a voice too loud and too powerful to be ignored. You may feel like just one person, but your voice helps turn up the volume!
-Savannah, member of the Crystal Delights team