Following the harrowing seven hour drive from New York to Washington D.C., I was awarded with one of the most exhilarating and empowering experiences of my life.
(Perhaps this is only because I’m a protest newbie, but nevertheless it was quite exciting!) When the Million Women March went down in history following the hours after its commencement, I was proud of my tiring legs and endless yawns for lasting the demanding day of girl power and impossible bathroom trips.
Don’t Tread On Me: One of many signs today that were eye-catching yet relevant. Though in modern times it has become more of a conservative icon for the Tea Party movement, this woman had transformed it into a symbol constant throughout the march.
Following the hour-long subway ride into the heart of D.C., protesters were seen flooding the halls of the underground. Many held up their posters as we trekked the frozen escalators, while others donned “pussy hats” as acts of solidarity.
My family and I eventually became situated on 12th and Independence, nine blocks away from the actual speeches. We were lucky enough to be close to a screen and microphones which projected the empowering words of activists such as Scarlett Johansson (pictured above), Janelle Monáe (actress and musician, who also performed with the families of the men and women who have been killed by police unjustly over the past few years), Gloria Steinem (long-time activist and journalist, whom we were unlucky enough to miss because of the trains), and the co-chairwomen of the march itself—Carmen Perez, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour.
After an hour-delayed rally—to some annoyance by others in the crowd, who started to chant “march” during speeches, but not necessarily to me—we began our journey to the White House. Since we were situated so far from the rally, we actually were close to the middle of the crowd. Behind and in front of me was a mass of people that, soon after this picture was taken, I was told totaled to about half a million women!
Amid a sea of pink “pussy hats” and “nasty women” stood the Washington Monument. It almost took secondary value in the face of the vast crowd in front of me and the values that we stood for.
“We the people…”: As we turned on to Constitution Ave., protesters were confronted with a real Constitution. The crowd surrounding was too large for me to wiggle in and sign my name, but those closest were trying their very hardest to put to quite literally put their names down in history.
The following section is a gallery of my favorite signs. My sign, though not pictured, said “Women for Peace” and “Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Rights”
Peaking over Memorial Bridge, my sister and I saw a lonely protester waving a rainbow flag. She faced away from the bridge and into a gray sky that promised rain. She wore nothing to shield herself from the prospective storm except, perhaps, the flag.