SELF-CARE ACT#35

march in washington dc

CATEGORY

Emotional / Psychological

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TIME

Half a day

BUDGET

Zero

Yesterday was a historic day. And I’ve had the privilege and joy to be part of it.

I attended the Women’s march in DC with 500 000 other people on Trump’s first day as president of the United States.

To all my friends all over the place who weren’t there, I have only one message:

There is hope! I saw it!
There is strength! I felt it!
There is solidarity! I witnessed it!

I don’t know about you but I was afraid when Trump got elected.

To the point that I didn’t want to watch the inauguration speech (see act of self-care #34 to know what I did instead).

But now that I’ve been to the march, I am ready for the next 4 years.

Here is what happened and why I feel much better.

I left home in Bethesda at 8:30 AM and went straight to the metro to meet with my friends in the city.

As I was walking alone in my suburbia streets, I started feeling that the day was going to be special. Whole families, from baby kids to Granpas were marching with a joyful determination, holding signs in their hands and pink “pussyhats” on their heads.

We were all walking in the same direction: the metro entrance.

You might think I’m a bit emotional but just the fact of being there, heading in one direction with these unknown people, to defend freedom and justice, brought tears to my eyes. I felt like my fear and I weren’t alone anymore. Other people were here. Ready to stand for one another.

When I arrived at the station, it was overcrowded. But it was nothing compared to what was to come.

Only two stops after we’d left, the metro wouldn’t stop anymore because there were so many people on the subway platforms. The car was actually so packed that I didn’t need to hold on to the bars: I was blocked by my neighbor’s bodies.

Some people seemed uncomfortable but the huge majority of us was just happy to be there: yelling randomly, talking to each other, asking how the flights from Michigan, Minnesota, New York were.

My stop arrived. But the metro kept going because the station was overcrowded. I ended up going to another station. And another again. I finally decided to get out and walk to our gathering point.

My friends were waiting for me (thank you so much, Lorea for your patience) and from there, we walked to the national mall.

The hours that followed are hard to describe. People of all ages, colors, genders, sizes were holding protests signs with messages as diverse as the crowd:

– Climate change is real
– I’m a guardian of our democracy
– Black lives matters
– We will break the glass ceiling
– Resist intolerance

Some were funny:
– This pussy scratches and bites
– Free Melania

And my favorite one was the following:
– Make America think again

From time to time, we would randomly chant and yell, driven by the mob.

I was awed because I had never seen such a crowd in my life. But the most impressive part is that it was genuine. This march was a gigantic gathering of lives fighting for diversity, equality and freedom.

To me, this is what defines America.

That’s why when, 8 years ago, President Obama got elected, I -as a citizen of the world- felt proud to see the world embrace progress, change and freedom.

And that’s why today, I am proud again. And full of hope. For America and for the rest of the world. People are here and ready to stand again for diversity, equality and freedom.

Trump, get ready!

Did you like this post? Please share it. It would mean a lot to me and help your friends take better care of themselves.

WHY IS IT SELF-CARE?  When Trump got elected, I felt insecure. About my future (I’m an immigrant), about the future of the US and that of the world. When you feel insecure, going to protest and feeling that you’re not alone (and in this case that there are at least 500K people with you) is very comforting and helps keep faith in the future.

MORE ABOUT THIS

I’m not a serial protester and even if the comparison might sound frivolous, protests are like concerts or festivals: you’re standing in a crowd for a long period of time, shouting out loud a lot.

I’m a festival-goer so I can tell you how to get ready for that:

– Super comfy shoes. Ideally, running shoes to be ready in case of an “emergency run”.

–  Comfy clothes you don’t care for. At some point, you will want to sit on the floor because you’re tired.

– Appropriate clothes for the weather: you don’t want to get too hot or too cold. Whether it’s cold or hot, a hat is a must.

– Water and snacks: You will get hungry and thirsty. And when there is that much people, lines for food are always super long and you might not find anything anyways.

– Transportation: either you drive or commute, expect the ride to be terrible, crowded. Which leads me to the last thing you need for a successful protest:

– Good mood, good spirit. You attend a protest because you want to stand for your values. But it doesn’t mean you need to be angry or aggressive. “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.” Mahatma Ganghi” 

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