I read that the Hollywood Freeway had to be shut down because of the 750,000 demonstrators who joined the March in L.A. More than double the number of expected demonstrators came to DC—an estimated 500,000—and women also came out on the tiny Isle of Eigg off Scotland (population 88), as well as in Antarctica, Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe . . It was simply the largest demonstration the world has ever seen.
The day before, as I watched an inaugural speech filled with 3rd grade campaign rhetoric (how will “patriotism” or the bombing of Middle Eastern countries help us all love each other more?) heard that climate change issues were deleted from the White House website, and listened to newscasters respectfully dissect our incoming President’s words, I felt incredibly guilty that I would miss the demonstration where so many of you, including my dear friend Virginia, one of the first abortionist in NYC, stood proudly in solidarity.
There is so much at stake. According to the Washington Post, almost 50% of Americans don’t have the money to pay a surprise bill of $400 – meaning that half our population is either poor or near poor. The Trump administration plans to shut down Planned Parenthood, which is the only source of healthcare for many women seeking treatment for vaginal cancers, STDs, and routine medical concerns. It seems to go largely unnoticed that men also receive healthcare through Planned Parenthood, and that no government funds are used to pay for abortions. It’s sounding like millions who rely on the Affordable Care Act may lose coverage overnight.
The rates of unemployment and underemployment are huge for blacks and Hispanics. Trump and his team of billionaires plan to make more money from privatizing prisons (which many of them have invested in). At this point, 1 in 3 black men are incarcerated and more incarceration is needed for private prisons to work.
Where the fck will it stop?
Although I felt badly about not attending the march, I was so strongly affected by what you all did, and I realized that this wasn’t a single day of protest – it was the first day in a long
line of days demanding huge change. And I plan to be an active part of it going forward with respect for you and my female ancestors who have been arrested, beaten and had their meetings fire-bombed since the eighteen hundreds.
Thank you so much for energizing me, and so many others. We at YogaCity NYC will continue the “Do This Now” column on Saturdays to provide ideas for things we can all do to keep this movement going. And I plan to wear my pink hat all winter long. I’ll knit a cotton one for spring.