Last Saturday morning, Washington D.C. was quiet. While walking from the bus that had driven my group for 18 hours, as if out of thin air, lines of people started walking with us. It still felt quiet, but something was growing. It wasn’t until arriving at the corner of Independence Avenue and 3rd St. when I looked behind me, not to see a line of people, but to see thousands of people. This was the first time in a long time I witnessed in person the presence of large-scale love in action within the country since this previous presidential campaign season started full force.
It wouldn’t be another three hours until the Women’s March in D.C. began. Those hours were full of claustrophobic shuffling, a recognition that I hadn’t eaten and probably would not eat that day, and a woman asking if she could sprinkle glitter on my face, which I happily obliged to. In the last minutes of waiting, I, along with my fellow marchers, had moved our way to Madison Dr. overlooking the Washington Monument. I heard a National Guardsman say that over one million people were in attendance of the March. Then over the horizon of the street, I saw those millions of people begin to move like an avalanche. I was standing next to an older man. He looked at me and said, “We’re gonna make it in now!” I grabbed his arm, my other fellow marchers holding on to me, and we burst through to become part of this march.
In the hours of marching, we passed those protesting against us. They were protected by police officers just like us; in those moments democracy was present. We stopped traffic; rows of cars rolling down their windows to put up their fingers in a sign of peace, honking their horns and joining our chants. It was impossible to feel alone.
I did not march in the Women’s March because I believed it would change the course of equality. I marched because for the last few months I have felt disconnected from my nation. The March changed that; I felt the beat of those marching, the melody of their chants, and I knew I was a part of it too. The song isn’t over because the test is now to support what we sang about with action and to keep showing up. To open our eyes, see what’s going on and to do something about it.