January 20, 2017 will be a day that lives in infamy as Donald Trump is to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America.
This means a blatantly racist, misogynistic, homo/trans/xenophobic, ableist will be running our country.
In response to this unfortunate and daunting reality, many protests have been gaining ground and organizing across the country.
One of the most important, is a massive march has been organized the past few months; the Women’s March on Washington. This is taking place all over the country on January 21.
But the Women’s March on Washington isn’t simply an anti-Trump protest. It’s much more than that. The overarching mission of the march is spelled out in a cohesive, direct manner on the official website:
“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us – immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault – and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
HEAR OUR VOICE.”
The Women’s March on Washington is open for any supportive person, regardless of their gender identity. It has been organized so that anyone who believes women’s rights are human rights can come show support and march together in arms.
There are many things everyone can do to contribute to and take part in the march. And there are sister-marches happening in every major city in the US, so you don’t have to live in Washington D.C. to take part.
Make Space for Their Voices to Be Heard
Although the original idea for the Women’s March was credited to Teresa Shook, a retired attorney and grandmother living in Hawaii, the concept has evolved into something much more.
The initial drive and focus of the march was not widespread enough, focusing too heavily on white women, and not making enough space for women of color and other minority groups and gender identities.
If you are attending, make space for women of color. Listen to them and allow their voices to be heard. Don’t step on their feet, and don’t hold them back. Fully pay attention to them.
To reiterate, as stated in the mission of the march, no one will be more affected by the new Administration than “immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault.”
Keep this in mind at all times, especially if you are attending the march as someone who does not fit into any of these marginalized groups. You should certainly show support and participate in the march, but remember your place and above all else: ACTUALLY OPEN YOUR EARS AND LISTEN.
Learn How Social Media Ignites Protests and Utilize This
Protests and marches commonly have a similar goal of changing relationships between the public and political leadership. And social media is one of the best tools in understanding and participating in these types of events.
As pointed out by an insightful resource titled Social Media and World Revolutions:
“Social media gives participants a voice. Posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites allow protesters to form a cohesive voice and enjoy a feeling of unity, even before they take to the streets together.”
This is absolutely relevant to the Women’s Marches happening across the country on January 21.
Furthermore, educate yourself now by using social media to your advantage. Follow the Women’s March’s Twitter, the main Facebook page, as well the sister social pages for your city if you live outside of Washington D.C. Also check out the official Instagram profile and give it a follow.
Other great starting points for the self-educating include reading the FAQ page for the march. On the homepage, there’s a link to download the app, register. There’s also a link for those who want to volunteer on the FAQ page.
Additionally, post resources, articles, and other information about the Women’s March on your personal social profiles. And invite your friends to like/follow these corollary pages.
Social media ignites protests in all the ways mentioned above, so utilize this today to prepare for Saturday!
How To Support the March Right Now
There are also many other ways you can help back the Women’s Marches:
● If you drive, help give rides to people you know that want to attend and don’t have access to transportation
● Sponsor the march through this NARAL Pro-Choice webpage
● Buy some merchandise to help out financially
● Or simply donate to the event itself
● Invest in women-owned businesses,especially small businesses
● Purchase activist artwork
● Volunteer as a peacekeeper for a march you plan to attend (do so through the specific march’s Facebook page)