The Women's March- the balance of defiance and love to reclaim America

March-rebirth of women's movement

Next steps outlined here-

Photo Left— Congresswoman Chellie Pingree with her two daughters and friends at the March in D.C. Pingree also stood with Congressman Lewis and did not attend Trump’s Inaugural.

By Ramona du Houx

Peaceful marches were held worldwide on January 21, 2017 to affirm what Hillary R. Clinton said years ago, “human rights are women’s rights.”

The unity with so many like-minded people was overwhelming at times for protesters as tears of inclusion streamed down faces young and old. Every demographic was represented. Women with newborns, people with disabilities, veterans, and people of every ethnic background in the USA marched.

The love was palpable and so was defiance. Trump has said so many “nasty” derogatory things against Americans this day of action was the beginning of a movement that hopes to reclaim America. 

“This is what Democracy looks like,” said Donna Hilton of Equal Justice Partners. “Commit to take action every single day.”

The numbers were staggering with an estimated 3Million people, mostly women, taking part in over 650 locations — globally. At the Washington D.C., protest well over 500,000 marchers traveled from all over the country. Maine also broke records.

"On Saturday, I rallied with 10,000 people in Augusta, Maine, and nearly 3 million others across the globe. We rocked the world, and now it's time for action," said Natural Resources Council of Maine's Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann. 

Photo to the right in Augusta, Maine, where 10,000 people (in a state of 1,3M) protested. Photo by Judy Berk)

Many celebrities and elected officials took the podium before the march, which was rerouted to accommodate the surging numbers of activated women.
“We’ve got the power,” echoed down the Mall as many felt this was the rebirth of the woman’s movement.

“No one is powerless when we come together,” said Amanda Nguyen the courageous 24-year-old author of the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. ” Then she rallied the crowd chanting with them, “Our souls are on fire!”

Many speakers urged people to contact their elected officials in their states and in Congress to let them know what “we the people really value.”

Michael Moore also asked people to join groups from environmental ones to Planned Parenthood, and to run for office.

It was the largest Inaugural protest in U.S. history, as well as the largest protest in U.S. history.
Two of the previous Inaugural protests were focused on stopping the Vietnam War and were against President Richard Nixon. A year after the 1973 protest Nixon resigned. In 2000, people marched against the Supreme Court’s Decision that declared Bush the winner of the election. That had a record 20,000 people. Saturday’s march shattered that number, and the number of people who went to Trump’s Inaugural.
For months the Women's March organizers have been planning how to keep those newly activated citizens involved. The first step is the movement’s "10 Actions/100 Days" program, a plan to sustain the activism sparked by the marches.

For other women thinking of running for political office, the day after the march in D.C., about 500 women in the DC area attended the "Ready to Run," training. Organizers partnered with groups that reflected the inclusive ethos of the march: EMILY’s List, the Latino Victory Fund, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, The New American Leaders Project, Higher Heights for America, the Asian American Action Fund and Emerge America.

"What we hope happens is that people are so inspired and so moved that they go back to their local communities and find causes to be a part of. We have no choice. We can no longer be complacent in this country. We can't be apathetic. We cannot stay unengaged," said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Organization of New York, and co-chair of the Women's March on Washington.

Every 10 days, Women's March organizers will share an "action" for people to keep the global movement alive. It’s easy to sign up on their website.

The first action? “Write a postcard to your Senators about what matters most to you, and how you’re going to continue to fight for it in the days, weeks and months ahead. You can go it alone, or consider inviting some friends, neighbors and fellow marchers over for a drink or dinner sometime in the next ten days to talk about your experience and fill out your postcards.” 

Here are the addresses for Maine Senate office in D.C.:

  • SUSAN COLLINS - 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510  @SenatorCollins  202-224-2523
  • ANGUS KING - 133 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510   @SenAngusKing, 202-224-5344

The website provides printable postcards. The website will also calculate any other state's address of their senators.

Before the march Los Angeles-based singer known as MILCK contacted a small group of singers from across the country to coordinate a flash mob performance of her song "Quiet," for the Women's March on D.C. They performed cappella versions of "Quiet" several times during the march where they captured the day's movement of balance of defiance and love.

MILCK says she wrote the song as a way of exorcising her own history of physical and sexual abuse. "With this song, I feel like I'm finally allowing my truest inner self to be expressed," she said in a prepared statement announcing the song, which was officially released days before the weekend marches. "In this time of fear, propaganda and discrimination, it is critical for our individual and collective voices to be heard. With this song, I'm saying I am NOT the woman who is going to stay quiet where there are figures who promote oppression. I want to encourage others to give a voice to whatever they may have silenced, political or personal."