Don’t Tread on Me

January 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

The Women’s March was one of the most incredible, inspiring and awesome things I’ve ever been a part of. Period.

There were hundreds of women and men waiting outside Union Station for buses when I arrived and they had been boarding and departing all day. I met up with a friend of mine and dozens of others, most of whom came prepared for the ride with cookies, candy, snacks and of course wine. The mood was hopeful even though we all wished it wasn’t necessary for us to be there to begin with. And as we got closer to D.C. (all twelve hours’ worth of a ride each way) it became apparent we weren’t the only ones who felt that way.

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My sign is on Buzzfeed! The red one under the pink shoe!

I’ve literally never seen anything like what I did last weekend. We stopped at a gas station in PA around 4:30 Saturday morning and the entire parking lot was full of charter buses heading to the March. The gas station was FULL of women (lined up out the door) using every bathroom they had available and purchasing snacks and drinks from frazzled workers. As we got closer and closer, it became apparent it was just about ONLY buses on the highway and we were all headed to the same place. We parked around 8am and my girlfriend and I found a place to grab a breakfast sandwich before heading to the National Mall. Even the cafe we went to had a line to the back of the store – every place was absolutely packed, which told us right then that the March was going to be bigger than anyone had anticipated. And was it ever! I met groups that had three generations with them – women and men who had marched in the 60’s along with their sons, daughters and grandchildren. The unity and cohesiveness that I witnessed is something that I’ll never forget.

After our walking breakfast, we used the deluxe bathrooms (aka porta-potties) before finding a space in the Rally, which was smart because we were immediately surrounded by thousands of people of every color, age, sexual orientation, gender and walk of life. There were so many people that you couldn’t really get out even if you wanted to, which was evidenced by the girl who popped a squat and peed on the ground right next to me. She lucked out because I came equipped with toilet paper and hand sanitizer in my handy, awesome little fanny pack. We all stood around chanting and singing for the entirety of the Rally, which ended up being four hours instead of three. That would have been fine and good but we couldn’t hear a thing that the speakers and performers were saying and could barely see them on the Jumbo-Tron, so we were beyond ready to walk around by the time we started to move. There was a brief rumor that the actual March would be cancelled because there were so many people that the route was entirely clogged but we all had to go somewhere, so March we did. We actually ended up taking to all of the surrounding streets from the Mall and wound our way through the city, ending everything near the White House gates. All in all, we walked for about three hours and my friend and I were among those who left our signs outside the White House. And there were thousands of others who did the exact same thing!

As I said, I’ve never experienced anything like that. I’ve also never seen that many people in one place – one National Guardsman told us that they were told there were 900,000 people there (three times what was there for the inauguration!) but even if it was the 500,000 that the media portrayed, I can attest that it was a whole lot of people. To have everyone there feeling the same things and hoping for the same changes was truly inspiring and did my heart and soul an immense amount of good. Everyone was courteous, peaceful and as optimistic as we could be, given the circumstances. It was an extremely positive and very energizing experience and we all plan to carry that momentum forward for the next four years!

Some people didn’t understand the March or the mission behind it and I can see how the message was a little confusing. This wasn’t an Anti-Trump March, first and foremost. I accept the fact that he is my president, even if I don’t like it. That said, the last thing I want is for him to mess up or fail because that’s like saying I want my pilot to crash our plane. I would love if he really did uphold equal values for everyone and moved this country in a positive direction, I just don’t think it will really happen. So for me personally, I was there to show our new president that we matter just as much as the people who voted him into office and that we’re all going to be watching to ensure he doesn’t do more harm than good – and we’ll be holding him accountable. The fact that hundreds of other countries (and every single continent!) also had people rallying for the same thing just goes to show how strongly we all feel about this. Chicago had 250,000 people in the streets (my feminist husband included) and it was amazing to see how many people came together all around the world. If nothing else, knowing all of those men, women and children feel the way I do will give me the strength to get through whatever the next few years might throw at me. As one of my favorite chants said, “This is a movement, not a moment!”

We’re stronger together and we’re not going anywhere.

 

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Independence Day!

July 5, 2013 at 11:52 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Yesterday was one of the best Independence Day’s I’ve had in while.  Scott and I woke up early to make our way down to Daley Plaza,

Fight for our rights!

Fight for our rights!

where a group of civil minded people met for a rally against NSA.  If you haven’t heard of what’s been going on with NSA security and a guy named Edward Snowden, I suggest you Google both him and the Fourth Amendment.  That Amendment, which states that “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”, is basically what we are trying to protect.  We met up at noon and spent some time listening to speeches before marching to Millennium Park.  Along the way, we passed out flyers and information to anyone who seemed interested and we received quite a bit of attention from people walking the streets.  When we got to the park we dispersed for a bit and then met back up to walk to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain.  There were perhaps 200 of us in all and if nothing else, we spread the word to people who may not have known what was going on.  We got both positive and negative feedback, which wasn’t surprising.  It felt really good to get out and rally for our rights and it was exciting to see so many people so passionate about the same issues.  The fight for privacy is far from over but it was a good start and a really good way to begin my 4th of July.

I like how it looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie.  Unfortunately, the guy with the wand didn't create that specific firework.

I like how it looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie. Unfortunately, the guy with the wand didn’t create that specific firework.

After the march, we came back home to eat some lunch and watch Independence Day, which is pretty much a tradition with me.  I do love me some Jeff Goldblum, what can I say?  After relaxing for a bit we packed up a basket full of sandwiches and snacks then walked down the street to the local park, where all our neighbors get together in a huge fireworks display that seems to be kind of an annual thing.  I’m not sure if different groups are just trying to out-do each other or what, but it was insane.  Fireworks were shot off from at least four areas over the course of at least three hours – talk about impressive.  And I’m not going to lie, it was also kind of dangerous.  Since it was a Bring-Your-Own-Fireworks event, there were lots of smaller groups shooting off bottle rockets, roman candles and the like.  One specific group had a bad habit of shooting things of waaaay too close to the crowds.   At one point, a roman candle fell to the ground and started shooting at people sitting on blankets – our group was just narrowly out of the line of fire.  Some guy who’s friends were actually hit (everyone was okay) tried to fight the guy who was shooting them off but luckily calmer heads prevailed and things didn’t get too crazy.  And those dangerous guys moved further away, which was good.  There were still lots of debris and sparks that fell around us though and as the night wore on and people continued to drink, we made the wise decision to go on home.  It was still a great show and I’m so glad it’s so close to home!

It was a truly great 4th of July and I’m glad I got to express my freedom in many different forms.  The whole day sort of felt like a Sunday too which is nice because it’s really just Friday now and that’s my favorite day of the week.  Weekend, here I come!

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