As soon as it became clear that Donald Trump was to be the next president of the United States, countless people began flooding American streets in protest. People took to the streets in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Reading and many more cities across the nation. Whether you watched these protestors on TV, read about them in your favorite news source, saw it on your friend’s Snapchat or Facebook, or you were protesting yourself, these responses demonstrated to the world that just because Trump won the election does not mean that he will be recognized as our collective President. The #notmypresident movement began and has since gained momentum to prepare for his dreaded inauguration day. And with each disastrous cabinet pick, we are only reaffirmed in our fears about what the next four years may entail.
I admired these Trump protest marchers. While I was still in my bed crying, trying to understand the election results—I can’t remember how many videos clips I had to watch and articles I had to read to fully understand the Electoral College—many people were already out in the streets taking action. They had signs. They had voices. They had chants. They had solidarity. These were the people who helped those in my condition get out of bed and start planning. These marches confirmed that many of us are not willing to accept a Trump presidency quietly. There are many of us who do not and will not condone Trump’s behavior. We are not alone. That is important to understand. We cannot give up. We must prepare.
Throughout history, political movements have taught us that protesting is an important right and it is especially important to exercise this right in times when our basic human rights have been, continue to be, and will be threatened. With the impending Trump regime quickly approaching, we cannot forget about our civil rights. The act of protesting is a powerful medium for the people to directly communicate and confront the government, corporations, and the power elite. Recently, we have seen several amazing demonstrations from the election protests as to the extraordinary #noDAPL pipeline protest, which revealed how powerful and successful indigenous efforts were in protecting their water sources and sacred lands. Many different tribes united to protect their lands and their rights and together demonstrated a unity that will be important for all of us to at least attempt to emulate during Trump’s Presidency.
So what can we do? I’m sure you’ve been reading countless articles about how to cope with the election results, but what actions can we take as individuals who have to work, raise children, go to school, etc.? If you’re looking for something to do on a brisk January Saturday morning, why not march and confront Trump at the White House on the first day of his presidency, together with millions of others!
The idea for another “Million Women March” came to life within the first 24 hours of the election results through a Facebook event. There was initially some controversy, in that the creators of this event did not acknowledge that an event of this magnitude had already taken place, organized by a woman named Phile Chionesu. That march was for African-American women’s equality. This first “Million Woman March” took place in Philadelphia on October 5, 1997 and was both an admirable and successful movement. It appears that many sites are now calling the March on to Washington D.C. this January 21, 2016 as the “Women’s March on Washington” to show respect for Chionesu’s “Million Woman March” which stood for something very specific.
Despite being referred to as the “Women’s March,” this event invites and welcomes all persons, all marginalized groups, to march in protest against everything Trump built his campaign on including his racist, sexist, homophobic platform. For information about how to travel to the march in D.C. from Kutztown and the Berks county area, check out the Kutztown Area Democratic Club’s (KADC) Facebook page. They are currently getting together a few buses that will depart from the local Bieber Bus station in Kutztown early the morning of Saturday January 21st. You can also find out about other buses leaving from around the county right here: Rally Bus. There are also carpools being arranged, so if you are interested in attending the march all you need to do is simply reach out, or better yet, create and rally together a group of your own!
Similar to recent articles on Raging Chicken, KADC is currently offering great tips for preparation for the upcoming march. On their page, many people are contributing tips about how to safely protest. There are many useful suggestions that will help keep you comfortable, safe, and happy. On this page you can find an updated metro map of D.C. to help you better navigate the city efficiently and safely. It’s important to be with a group if you can, stay hydrated (Camelbacks are great!), stay warm, and wear comfortable and supportive footwear. If you have ever been to a music festival before, preparations for a long march are very similar, friends! Many different organized groups will attend the Women’s March on Washington and, because of this, I’m sure the march will go on from the morning until late. Be prepared and only do what you feel comfortable doing.
Wherever you are located there may be a Facebook group with more information about travel plans and car pools. Put in your request off notice from work now! And for those who work 9-5 Monday-Friday, this protest conveniently takes place on a Saturday! If you cannot make it to Washington D.C., there are other marches being organized in major cities including Philadelphia.
The “Women’s March on Washington” is an opportunity for us to stand together and protest Trump’s first day in office—to directly show him that we will never tolerate his bigotry, hate, and anger. If you have any questions about how to participate or donate to the march, feel free to comment below, and I will be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability or direct you to someone who can give you more information. Let’s confront the man who claims to want to make “America great again” by showing him how great we are when we stand together.