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Participating in a Women’s march

Participating in a Women’s march

Read the article by Georgie Hoffman who participated in a women’s march in January! 

On January 21st I stood at Woodlands T station in Newton Massachusetts. My cousin and I were wearing matching pussy hats, hand crocheted by my aunt who wore an official hat of the Boston Women’s March for America. The sheer number of people who showed up for the march meant that it took us about three hours to get to Boston common. Once we reached the common it was clear that the number of people who came far exceeded the expected 60 thousand. There was a sea of other pussy hats once we got to the common. What I loved about this march was the variety of people who came. It was called the women’s march for America but it was great to see the number of men, families with small children and even people with their dogs had come to show their support. We walked to the highest point of the common to get a good look at what turned out to be over 200 thousand marchers, reportedly the biggest crowd to ever gather there. As well as the pussy hats, nasty-women t-shirts, and gay pride flags, many people had brought signs. One girl held a sign that said “legalise weed, but not my mom?”. A man walked past me holding one that said “I’ve seen better cabinets at Ikea”. The most prominent topic for the sign holders seemed to be reproductive rights. I have never seen so many elaborate drawings of uteruses in one place.

Boston was definitely not prepared for such a huge turn-out. The MBTA kindly allowed free transport all day but there was a serious lack of trains. In addition to this, the location of the march was not built for this many people. CNN Reported that Boston would be unable to march successfully because by the time the people at the front reached the end of the route around the common, the last people would only just be leaving. But, we did it anyway. Sorry CNN.

Granted it was more of a shuffle than a march, but what matters is that people showed up and stood up, for over eight hours by my watch, for women’s rights, black rights and LGBT rights. During the march, lots of people started chants: “Show me what democracy looks like”, “this is what democracy looks like”, “When the go low, we go high” and my personal favourite, “Pussies grab back”.

There were speeches that, sadly, I had to watch on YouTube the next day because the crowds were too loud and the sound-system too quiet. Elizabeth Warren addressed the crowd as “women of Massachusetts and friends of women of Massachusetts” and encouraged all of us to fight “harder… tougher… and more passionately” than ever against those who would try to marginalize us or anyone. This march was about us, not the administration. It was not about Trump or what he might try to do. It was about us showing what we could do, need be.

This march was about us, not the administration. It was not about Trump or what he might try to do. It was about us showing what we could do, need be.

After desperately trying not to see anything to do with Trump the day before, trying not to feel sick, or cry, the march in Boston gave me what I felt was a dose of hope and positivity. It may only be the first step – the first of many marches – but it showed me, and many others, the masses of people that will stand “shoulder to shoulder” against Donald Trump.

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