“We wanted to be amongst our community”: Women march in solidarity and in peace

(Anna Beanick with her grandson Joaquin Arias)

I am a 24 year old, college educated white woman. I was blessed by being raised by two loving parents, divorced but not divided on raising me to be strong, independent, and the smartest person in the room. I’ve been called a “loud mouth,” a “bitch,” but I call myself a Feminist.

We know that white women are given the honor of being our “foremothers” of the Feminist movement as well as many other social calls to action and change – what you learn with a little research is that it was black women, latinx woman, trans women and working-class women across the multi-colored globe that really changed the world.

With this in mind, I listened closely to all the buzz about the Women’s March on Washington. Then I heard about a sister march in NYC. Then in Boston. In London. Ohio. Arizona. Puerto Rico. Guam. Belarus. Antarctic Peninsula. Botswana. Ghana. Germany. Then, in Hartford, Connecticut – just 45 minutes away from me!

I knew I had to go, but I didn’t know what to expect.

Finding the Hartford Women’s March facebook page, planning carpool, posters, researching speakers, planning parking and work schedules for the weeks leading up to the march was thrilling. But I still didn’t know what to expect.

Then, the day finally happened – Donald Trump took the oath of office for the President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017. Then, on January 21, 2017 the women of the world stood up with one voice and said NO!

You will not take our health care. NO. You will not allow the rape, pillage and murder of our black, brown and tan sisters and children. NO. You will not begin a nuclear war. NO. You will not risk the world’s environment for your own selfish, deep, pockets. The message was simple: we are united, against hate, bigotry and Donald Trump. An estimated 500,000 people were in Washington, DC, 400,000 people in New York, New York, and 10,000 in Hartford, Connecticut.

Walking through a crowd of that size can be intimidating, annoying even, especially at an event like a political rally where tensions and tempers can run high.

Wow, was I wrong.

Every single person I asked to let me walk through was so courteous, welcoming and always smiling. Everyone I asked to photograph was gracious and proud. Everyone I asked to interview was excited, informed and friendly. To say the least – it was inspiring.

(Olly and Karen Priester)

I met the Priester sisters, Olly and Karen, who came out to “stand in solidarity with [their] sisters” and who were “worried about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

I met Allison Decker, with her young daughter Nora, who wanted to show her daughter “that she’s important, that she matters…that it’s not always easy being a woman” but being a strong woman is important.

(Lorna Furquharson with her two daughters Gabrielle and Julianna Farquharson)

I met Jasmin Dumos, who was “surprised, for one, that we elected an absolute crazy person” and wanted to show the world that it is “really important that we come together and stand together.”

I met Ben Martin and his two young nephews, who went to Hartford to stand against Trump and his self interest – “He’s [Trump] setting a terrible example. He became president based on anger and fear and lies” he wanted all the kids at the rally to know that “you can make a difference, that you can be active, and that there are more people than you that are concerned. Nobody is alone in this fight, that we’re all fighting together.”

 

I met and spoke to countless men, women and children who were all inspiring in their own ways. But one message was clear: We are united, empowered, an informed and passionate majority that the world must see, listen to, and respect.

But let me be clear: We’re not done. Check out the Women’s March facebook page and follow their 10 Actions in 100 Days campaign: make it clear to Trump and his supporters that though she may be little, she is fierce!

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