Marching to Action: Where We Go After the Women’s March
If, on my first day at the office as an accountant, 3.2 million people hit the streets to tell me that I suck at math, I might think about an alternative career path. That level of massive protest is exactly what happened to our newly inaugurated President on Saturday, and unfortunately, Donald Trump is about as self-reflective as a grizzly bear in a salmon pool.
But make no mistake about it, the Women’s March on Saturday was a resounding, impactful success, that sent an unmistakably clear message to the Trump/Pence administration: the resistance is real, organized, mostly pink, good at making signs, probably a little hungry from standing but will not be going away anytime soon. Crowd science is a bit of an ambiguous science, but according to 538.com, 3.2 million people marched in more than 300 cities in the U.S. on Saturday. (There were also a number of sister marches in cities around the world, including Paris, London and Sydney.)
I was fortunate enough to get to march in New York City, where, like so many of the hotbed protest sites, thousands more showed up than expected. It was an overwhelming positive, peaceful and really fun experience with some of my favorite signs being a young kid holding a poster that said, “My Momma Don’t like Trump and She Likes Everyone,” “Goodnight Obama, Goodnight Facts, Goodnight Science,” and “I’m Not Much of a Sign Guy but Jesus!” Here are some of the crowd estimates from 538.com and I included a range if there was a big disparity in estimates.
Washington D.C.: 485,000-500,000
Los Angeles: 450,000-750,000
New York: 400,000
St. Paul: 95,000-100,00
San Francisco: 80,000
So yes, the rally accomplished so much, including and probably most importantly, introducing a positive perception of a serious resistance against the Trump administration and proof that not all left-leaning protests take place inside a hacky sack.
But the next and most significant step in any formidable change movement is the work. So here are some action steps everyone can take to continue the forward momentum.
Get Counted: Now that the march is over, make sure you get counted and remain in the loop for all future events by texting “COUNT ME” to 89800.
Call Congress: Believe it or not, calling Congress is even more important than yelling on Facebook. Washington insiders have consistently said that reaching out to your representative’s office is the quickest and most effective way to impact change. Here’s the number to the D.C. Congressional switchboard, 202-224-3121. They will direct you from there and you can voice your opinion on things like Trump’s shady appointments, “alternative facts,” and the ridiculous concept of him as president in general.
SwingLeft.org: I’m super excited about this one and it shows how technology can be harnessed for invaluable good and not just bathroom selfies. Swingleft.org shows all the vulnerable House races we can work to tip in 2018. All you have to do is input your zip code and it will show you the nearest district you can help out with.
Join Up: These organizations are going to need our support now more than ever: ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Conservation Fund. Join, donate, sign up, and get a neck tattoo, whatever it takes.
This seems like a lot of work, but it’s not. All we have to do is go on Facebook a little less, brunch only on Saturdays, read only two pages of US Weekly, limit our podcast intake to just two that take place in a garage, and drink six instead of seven days a week. As the great Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone once said, “The future is for the passionate.” LET’S DO IT!