With numbers still coming in on what is likely to be recorded as the largest protest in American History, there have so far been reports of 678 sister marches across the world and an estimated total of between 3,342,000-4,814,000 marchers worldwide. While Splash, as a rule, doesn’t include politics in our lifestyle magazine, so many of us, and so many people we know participated in this march, we wanted to share some stories of that really incredible day of solidarity.
Unlike the protests on the 20th, where a few anarchists broke windows and burned cars and trash cans in a few square blocks of Washington D.C. the marches on the 21st were peaceful protests with no reported disturbances or arrests. It was a day full of humanity, concern and making voices heard on issues that so many care about. And so many people attended it’s going to take more than one story to cover it all.
Part 1 – The East
Lori Sutherland and the P***y Bus girls -New York to Washington D. C.
A Portrait of our P***y Bus at the Capitol. One small cosmic community filled with leaders from all over the world. Yoginis, filmmakers, artists, photographers, performers, global mediators, clowns, musicians, singers, students, pleasure and peace visionaries. All collected by one activated artist-activist friend, who collected us together and chartered a bus from NYC to DC. This artist passionately and tirelessly put this wild crew together. Who gave out hand painted pussy grab bags filled with water, snack bars and metro cards. Handled the thousand details like a badass den mother. Hand warmers were passed around. Food was shared. enamel pins that said “Kind” on them were passed out. As well as P***y decorated cookies. A documentary filmmaker of protests, called the “Scream Machine”, gave us fight back bags. This is how we arrived. We left receiving so much more. Hearts filled with hope, love, light, peace and the shared experience of 1million plus in solidarity for equality. Forever marching we go to protect our bodies and divine rights.
Raissa Bailey – Washington D.C.
I traveled via bus from Chicago with my Book Club who knew someone who woke up the day after the election and chartered the bus and figured people would come. 80 women on the bus plus a handful of men. Teachers, lawyers, nurses and every profession. All age ranges 8 – 80.
The best part for me was a lot of the conversation was: what do we do next? Where do we go from here? Numbers mattered and showing up. We brainstormed how to stay active. That was reinforced through the entire trip.
It was warm and inviting and there was camaraderie. We figured there’d be riots or counter protesters and it couldn’t have been further from scary, violent or confrontational. It was just warm and wonderful.
A couple highlights were when we were walking in there was a tank and a guy in camo and we went up and thanked him for his service and for being there for us and he said, “today and every day.” Neighbors on the way to the march had music playing, like “Fight Song” by Kelly Clarkson and they were just blasting it and motivating people. People kept coming out to thank us and people were handing out water and granola to the marchers.
Once we got there, it was packed. Everywhere you went was a crowd. I never got to see the stage. I struggled to hear the speakers. Michael Moore gave us a great action plan. Everyone signed up for doing something. We started a Facebook group and are making daily calls to senators to oppose appointments. We all have to get active.
I felt like I marched for my mom who couldn’t make it (she had a stroke a few years ago) but it was like she was there. She was very much there for me.
I just loved the creative signs from all these women just amazing, and getting text and Facebook updates and seeing the posts of everyone from around the world. Knowing we were part of something so huge, but all around the work.
I don’t know that it was really a protest, it was more standing up for, not against. It was just empowering. Everyone was encouraging, kind. These women were just amazing.
I didn’t see as many women of color as I would have liked out in D.C. There were people from all over the country. It was predominantly white. Something I would have liked, personally to see more women of color. We were there, not saying we weren’t, just proportionately.
For someone who has been really all into the news and politics. I buried my head in the sand on Nov. 8th, but this made me come back. I’m glad to be engaged now.
Donna Schillaci – Washington D.C.
The march was truly a great experience. I came away feeling inspired and comforted and not alone. But when I saw some of the coverage of it afterward, I was pretty surprised. I guess it was triggered by the speakers, but the only thing the media seemed to talk about was “nasty women” and “women fighting against Trump,” etc. It was that, but it was SO MUCH MORE.
I was so inspired by the men who wore pink pussy hats, parents who brought their kids, older couples who held hands as they marched, and seniors using walkers and wheelchairs. That show of support and basic human decency is what made the march such a positive experience for me. Nothing to do with “nasty women.”
New York – Genia Blaser
The march was so crowded that we weren’t able to even march down 2nd Avenue for the first hour we were there, that we finally cut across to 5th Avenue to join those who were able to march. The energy everywhere was palpable – the march was full of young and old, people of all genders, races, ethnicities. It was moving to see family marching together and young children holding signs. At a certain point along the way, church bells starting ringing the tune to “We Shall Overcome” and the crowd went wild.
Helene Sorcic – Miami, Florida
Helene’s march was so memorable, she wrote an entire article on it. Read it HERE.
Photos: Raissa Bailey, Genia Blaser, Donna Schillaci, Jack Schillaci, Lori Sutherland