Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March on Lansing 2017

On this surprisingly warm day in January, my mom, my sister, and I joined the millions of women and men around the world in protest of this new administration and it's promises of "greatness".  After a stop at Arby's, we headed over to the Capitol.

We were surprised and delighted by the turnout, and the signs were plentiful as well.

Many were clever.

Some were blunt.

And many, many were hopeful.

Fear was there as it often is when change is upon us, but with so many voices behind this movement I am hopeful that we will only move forward in our quest for equality, healthcare, environmental protection, and kindness.

There were so many people there that some decided to get a better vantage point from a nearby parking garage.

The speakers, as it was more of a rally than a march, spoke of unity, of mobilization, of participation.  We got to hear from gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer, who was well-spoken and passionate about making Michigan a safe, healthy, wonderful place to live.

A women's choir performed songs of hope and unity.

We heard Lavonia Perryman, Dr. Farha Abbasi, Barb Byrum, and Jessica Lumbreras speak, all strong women ready to lend their voices and experiences to the movement.

Chants of "Yes we can!" and "Yes we will!" rang out between speakers, invigorating the crowd.

It was so awesome to be there with my mom and sister!

One of my favorite signs was that made by a little girl.  It read, "We are all different" and it spoke to the diversity of the crowd.  The thing is, it didn't feel like we were all that different, it didn't feel like we were divided.  For the first time since the election, I could feel a sense of unity building.

People were kind and courteous, no harsh words spoken against any people in the crowd, no signs of hatred held high in the air.  (And I didn't see a single spelling or grammatical error on any of the posters or signs!  The nerd in me really loved that.)

At times, while looking around the audience and seeing new signs pop up every few minutes, reading over their messages of hope, urgency, and strength, I was overcome with pride and happiness to be part of something bigger than myself.  Something that could affect real change in our world.  Something that could have a significant impact on the lives of my children and children across our nation, in ways big and small.

It was a beautiful day for so many reasons, not the least of which were the messages of love and peace around us.

We left early - standing still for so long can really take a toll on your body - but we were glad we went.

As we departed the Capitol lawn, we saw this girl holding a sign that brought a bit of levity to the day, and she graciously let me photograph it.  Kate McKinnon and Hillary Clinton's smiling faces were just the right ending to a great experience.

The important part of all this, though, is that this is a beginning, not an end.  That this is a call to action, not a one-time shout to those in power.  I may not be suited for office, but I know I can help in other ways.  I know I can join the millions out there and work to have our voices heard.

Who's with me?

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