What marching in the Women’s March taught me about society and my voice

From London to New York City, love and solidarity was in the air

On January 21st, 2017, over one million people all around the world marched for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, minority rights, and environmental reform.

On day one of his presidency, Donald Trump with greeted by millions of voices urging him to listen to what they want, rather than follow through on despicable promises to defund Planned Parenthood, denounce climate change, and create a Muslim registry.

From the march on Trump’s front steps in Washington D.C., to the march on Fifth Avenue in New York, to the march at the U.S. Embassy in London, men and women stood together all around the world to become one big voice, and to show Donald Trump that he better not mess with their rights.

When I first told my friends and family that I planned to attend the march in New York, many of their immediate reactions were ‘don’t get arrested’ or ‘really…why?’, and it kind of took me aback; why was this their first reaction to me fighting for what I believe in?

I soon realised that they assumed it was going to be one big protest against Donald Trump, presumably filled with hatred and negativity, but it turned out to be quite literally the opposite.

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The minute I stepped on the train headed to New York City, I knew what I was in for. It was ridiculously crowded with people young and old, and everyone was smiling.

I was immediately complimented by several women about my poster and the entire train car began engaging in a giant conversation about feminism. That was the moment I realised that this would be one of the most powerful days of my life.

Once I arrived at the march with my four friends, I was greeted by thousands and thousands of marchers with posters, chants, and, of course, tonnes of pink. We quickly jumped right into the crowd and began what would turn out to be a two-hour walk.

We proudly raised our sign and admired and laughed at the hundreds of others our fellow marchers held up. The chants had us losing our voices and we even found ourselves making up some of our own (most notably “Peace not Pence”).

There ended up being over 400,000 people at the New York march and even though I was only one of them, I felt like I was part of a voice thousands of decibels louder than my own.

According to the New York Police Department, zero protesters were arrested and the entire march went off without a hitch. Women and men of all races, religions, sexual orientations and ages came together and cheered about what we want to see in the future of our country and celebrated all of the progress we’ve already made. #IMarched for the protection of my rights and the progression of social equality in the United States of America.

Being at the women’s march showed me that I’m not alone.

There are thousands of people in just the New York area who understand and share my feelings and even more in the United States who want to alert President Donald Trump of what we really want. Not to mention, the thousands that marched in solidarity worldwide.

When hate momentarily prevails, love still wins, and even though I am just one teenage girl, I can use my voice to make a change (and lead a couple of chants along the way).

Even when I doubted it, society has my back. The greater majority believes in social, political, and economic equality for all and won’t let anyone (even the President) decide otherwise.

Oh, and, did I mention that the women’s march in D.C. received DOUBLE the amount of attendees that Trump‘s inauguration did the day before? Just saying. Share your thoughts about the worldwide women’s marches in the comments, and check out some photos from the London march down below.

London photos by Tom Leishman

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Written by Julia Contorno

Lover of cats, concerts, and coffee.

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