New Orleans Organizers of the sister march in New Orleans said that 10,000 people were in attendance. The crowd was large enough that people were still leaving Washington Square on Elysian Fields Avenue at the same time they were arriving in Duncan Plaza, a distance of almost two miles.
Of course New Orleans was small potatoes next to the Women’s March on Washington where more than 500,000 gathered, infuriating President Trump since the number of celebrants for his inauguration was less than many other presidents as well as being fewer than those protesting. Other cities also reported huge crowds not only in New York, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, but also Austin, Atlanta, and points near and far joined by other marches around the world. We’re talking millions now.
I’ve been on hundreds of marches. This one was different. This march was not simply a protest of Trump. It was an affirmation of women. It was women finding and raising their voices. The zany, pointed power of the individual posters created by women were almost as inspiring as the raw numbers themselves. From the “nasty women” t-shirts to the cat’s ears on the top of bright pink knit caps to the occasional sashes that harkened back to the days of the suffragettes, this was a march like none other.
President Trump reacted on Twitter of course, but his response continued to indicate that he was still looking backward, rather than forward. Essentially, he tweeted a question about where all of these women were during the election, saying, “Why didn’t these people vote?” He seems not to fully comprehend that the election is over and that he’s president, but that in America, people don’t only have a right to speak, act, and protest during an election. As the marchers demonstrated, these are rights we have every day. He also misses the fact that will be recognized by most professional politicians that these marchers were committing to continue to vote as well for their beliefs and against those who stand against them.
My favorite quote was from one of the primary organizers of the women’s march when she stated that she came from a family of “steadfast marchers.” Steadfast is such an archaic word that you really don’t hear it that much, though I read it more than once in connection with the march. Steadfast is a word with power, indicating for hundreds of years that we will “stand fast.”
Steadfast marchers were a message to President Trump that we will stand fast in the future for our rights, our beliefs, and our dreams for America. We will be steadfast in opposing his actions as president which threaten our commitments to an America for all. We will vote with our feet, and if this march were any indication, we will put our bodies on the line with our beliefs whenever they are challenged.