January 21, 2017, the day after Inauguration Day, we marched. Women in Washington DC, women in Portland, women in cities all around the nation, the world. And men too. Men who stand in solidarity and support equal rights for all. We came together in the rain, in the cold. We came together in the sun and the heat. We came with our signs and our pussyhats, our fists raised and our voices uplifted. We came with our rage, our nasty, our love, our hope. We came to march. We came to unify. We came to be heard.
Crowd estimates for the Portland march alone range from 70,000-100,000. I was one of those thousands. My husband marched beside me. A handful of dear friends, too. And others, faces I didn’t know, but recognized as sisters and brothers who want to move forward, not back, sisters and brothers wanting a kinder and more just America, a future different than what our new President is offering.
But Saturday was only the start. Day one. And the road will most certainly be long and windy and most likely uphill. So it is not enough to simply march. We will need to do more. But what? I have five suggestions for you.
The people who organized the Women’s March on Washington are continuing the work! Every 10 days they will be taking action on important issues. Find out how you can take action with them by signing up for their newsletter.
Started shortly after the election, this group wants more people to be actively involved in rebuilding our democracy and to that end, delivers four concrete acts of resistance to your inbox each week.
Our senators and representatives are elected. They work for us. So call or write, make your voice heard. Tell them what issues you’re concerned about, what you want changed, and what you want protected.
If you’re reading this there’s a good chance you have concerns about climate change and an interest in climate justice. One immediate action you can take for the environment is to submit a public comment saying no to new fossil fuel infrastructure in Oregon. Comments are due by February 3, 2017.
Pick an issue of importance to you, find a group that’s working on that issue, and get involved. 350PDX might be a good place to start. But there are other groups, other good causes.So long as you find something that moves you, something with which you can connect and build community.
Saturday we marched united. Let’s keep that momentum going. Tomorrow and every day after: show up, stand up, speak up.
Written by Valerie Geary