Reflection on the Women’s March of January 21st, 2017 by Jessica Almos

On Saturday, January 21st 2017, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, people from all over the world came together to participate in the Women’s March on Washington D.C.

On Saturday, January 21st 2017, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump, people from all over the world came together to participate in the Women’s March on Washington D.C. Although Washington D.C. was the main event, there were marches in almost every city in the United States along with many marches across the globe. Rain or shine, people were marching. In South Lake Tahoe, which is my hometown, people were marching in snow that was up to their waists.

Everyone at these marches wanted to take action to make their voices heard. Not only were people marching for women, but also the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBT+ community, pro-choice, climate change issues, and so many more. The vulnerability of everyone openly fighting for what they believe in created a united community all across the world. The Women’s March organization set forth the guidelines that there would be no hatred or violence, because the march’s purpose is to speak loud enough that the oppressors are forced to listen.

“Justice for LGBTQP+,” “Women for Revolution,” “No silence no violence,” and “MY body MY choice.”

One of the towns that participated was Monterey, on the CSUMB campus. When my friends and I saw that there was a Women’s March so close to us we decided immediately that we wanted to participate in it, even though it was forecasted to rain all day. On that Saturday morning we went to the art room to make various signs to carry during the march. After looking a long time for inspiration on the internet, everyone had prioritized what they wanted on their signs, saying things like: “Justice for LGBTQP+,” “Women for Revolution,” “No silence no violence,” and “MY body MY choice.” I was unable to figure out what was most important to me, so mine said “I am VERY upset”–with the “VERY” written in red.

Arriving was an experience that I will never forget. The event planners were expecting a turn-out of 80 people to come, but by the time the event had started there were thousands of people on campus ready to march. Though it was such a large group of unfamiliar people, I felt comfortable because I knew we all had a common cause–standing up for ourselves and for others who were unable to do so. I even met a woman who had a similar sign to mine that read “There are too many issues to put on one sign”.

Once the march actually started, everyone moved as one unit to start marching towards the gym where the speakers would soon be speaking about various topics. I knew there were a lot of people behind and in front of me, but it wasn’t until we started going up a hill, and I could look down to all of the people walking behind me, that I realized that there were actually thousands of people marching against hate in Monterey. There were thousands of signs and t-shirts displaying what people cared the most about, all within the theme of basic human rights.

Once we got to the end of the march, we were invited to sit closer to the front to be near the speakers. Looking around at the gym, it was hard to believe we could fit all participants in the march but everyone squeezed on the floor and bleachers so everyone could be present. The speakers had so many valuable things to bring to the table about human rights and how we can come together as a community and not back down to those who think they have power over us.

The community that has arisen since the events that have caused such fear throughout the nation has given me a sense of security, and seeing this community in action helped me realize that the world has been through many rough times, but that there will always be hope as long as people come together to make their voices heard.

The speakers that  I saw made a huge impact on me. They were able to speak about what they cared about so clearly, and inspired me to work on how I present my beliefs to the world.
The community that has arisen since the events that have caused such fear throughout the nation has given me a sense of security, and seeing this community in action helped me realize that the world has been through many rough times, but that there will always be hope as long as people come together to make their voices heard. The Women’s March of 2017 helped me feel like I was a part of a movement that will influence the world, and I will continue to fight for our needs as long as it is needed. The Women’s March stood as a sign to the world that we will not give up our fight against oppression.

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