Now that the march is over, what are your plans to follow up with real political action?
If Saturday’s women’s march is already a distant memory, you may have missed the point.
I know you’re tired after that exhausting and cathartic experience, but you couldn’t possibly be as tired as Laura Baston, who walked the 3.6-mile Seattle march with a 33-pound toddler in a backpack.
Baston marched for her 3-year-old daughter, Ada, because she’s scared what the future will hold for her. “I fear she’ll have less rights if we don’t do this,” the 32-year-old told me.
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About 175 organizations participated in the Seattle Womxn’s March. They are listed on this website: https://womxnsmarchseattle.wordpress.com/
Although she doesn’t have much experience with political action, Baston vowed the march wouldn’t be a one-day thing for her or her daughter. At Saturday’s event, she committed to getting involved with the Washington Community Action Network, which advocates for immigration, health care, and economic and racial justice.
Baston was just one of the people I talked to on Saturday who plan to do more than post their march photos on Facebook and follow up with complaints every time the new president does something they don’t like.
A lesson for my fellow liberals from a high school student at the march: Just because you don’t agree about everything and may have voted for different people doesn’t mean you can’t work together to promote the values you share.
Tierra Wilson, 17, a senior at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, has started an activist club at school. They’re talking about gender roles, feminism, African-American rights and about the election in an informative, not political, way. Wilson and her friends have made a commitment to be open minded and respectful.
I know a lot of people think the marches in Seattle and around the world will have no long-term impact. But I am more optimistic that this election has re-energized Americans to work for change and to hold onto the progress President Obama made on health-care reform and human rights. Please don’t prove me wrong.
Here’s one way to hold onto your commitment to take action and to keep yourself accountable. Take inspiration from your friends who engage in public dieting. Instead of posting when you lose a pound, post an update on Facebook or a photo on Instagram every time you volunteer or call your member of Congress or go down to Olympia to testify about a bill.
Here’s some more inspiration from Saturday:
Longtime activist Janette Force of Port Townsend came to Seattle to remind a new generation of women that the advocacy she and her friends did 50 years ago didn’t complete the work toward equal rights for women.
Force, 65, who says she helped friends arrange illegal abortions in the time before Roe v. Wade, encourages her generation to share their stories with their children and grandchildren. She’s also signed up for wall-of-us.orgfor a daily suggestion of activism.
Natalie Ferrales-Trius, 42, of West Seattle, said Saturday’s walk was the first time she had ever done anything like it. She liked the way the march wasn’t just about women’s rights or against Trump, but about a lot of things. She said she was inspired to do more to support Muslim immigrants.
Julie Drake, 53, who just moved to Anacortes from Alaska, caught my attention with the sign she was carrying, which said (here’s the cleaned-up version), “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this (stuff).” She carried the same sign a few years ago at another march, but said she wasn’t feeling cynical yet. Staying involved keeps her optimistic.
About 175 organizations participated in the Seattle march and all are listed on the Womxn’s March Seattle website. Most all of them would love to have more volunteers and more money with which to do their advocacy work.
One more idea from my daughter, for the people who spent the past few weeks knitting up a storm of pink caps. Turn your knitting needles toward new projects that help people, such as knitting hats and scarves for the homeless or teaching kids how to knit.