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These Times: Marching in Chicago

 
Dr. Scott Marshall's picture

PART III of III

 

Pussyhat, pussyhat, what did you there?

I joined the resistance for truth and what’s fair! (with apologies to Mother Goose)

 

The Women’s March on Chicago, planned as an allied event to the Women’s March on Washington, turned out to be part of an historic world-wide event that involved nearly three million people on every continent.  This was the largest one-day protest event in recorded human history.  There were even 30 protesters in Antarctica!  Ant. … Arctica!!   Wow!! 

For a time, early on in the day, the Second City was second only to Washington D.C. in largest attendance.  Later numbers showed that Los Angeles and couple of other cities amassed more people, but it was never a contest for numbers.  That kind of contest is antithetical to the hat-mascot of the events.  The numbers showed that millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe are concerned about the ramifications of the recent peaceful transition between the Obama White House and the Trump White House.  There may not have been a violent revolution to bring about this change of government, but many Americans have seen an uptick in actual and potential harm to a variety of people during the campaign that parallel campaign statements, themes, and professed policies of the new administration: policies that withdraw support from life-giving financial and medical support, assaulting the poor and vulnerable.  It is becoming more normalized than in recent memory in this country to act out, violently, in racist, ableist, anti-Semtic, misogyistic, anti-immigrant, homophobic, unconstitutional, and other ways.  “Alternative facts” and the “alt-right” are Orwellian terms for what are simply lies and a racist/fascist “White Power” movement at the extreme right wing of the political spectrum.  People espousing the ideals of such a movement are now being integrated into the highest levels of the government of the United States of America.

Three million people took the day to say that these ideas and actions are not right, that they will not stand idly by while women’s rights are curtailed, while foreign governments meddle in American politics while lists are made and walls are built, while democratic process and the republic are trampled, and civil rights dismissed.  A message that there is more to come from millions of women and men who stand in solidarity against hate, discrimination, and manipulation of the political system to make the world a more dangerous place for its people.  Who stand for health care, respect, equality, love, human diversity, and the Bill of Rights.  Is this event, are these massive events—involving millions of people—the end of resistance?  If so, then we have failed, for there is surely more work to be done.  Every day of our millions of lives. 

So . . .  I just may be going to many more events like this in the coming years.  And many, many meetings.  Scientist and National Park rangers have already resisted communication blackouts of their agencies by the executive branch.  Some are planning marches; Greenpeace has bannered a construction crane near the White House.  Protest of government is a sacred duty and right of American citizens; more seems likely to come.  I will let you know what I have seen and heard when I get back from the streets.

P.S. By now, you have heard about the Travel Ban and the 9th Circuit, as well as cabinet appointments and pushing a pipeline.  Political participation is growing all over the place.  Maybe we needed this to finally wake up.  Whatever happens, it will be interesting.  Fear or fear not; participate anyway! 

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