“I marched for the people who have marched for the same things before, so that they would not have marched in vain. I marched for the people who live in countries where it is too dangerous for them to march. I marched for future generations, in hopes these problems would be resolved in their lifetimes. I marched for me, and most importantly, I marched for you.”
21 January 2017 was the first time I personally attended any sort of march or rally. It was an overall great experience. It was very inspiring for me to see so many people marching in the name of equality for all. There was people of all ages, all genders, all races, and more. A very diverse mixture of people with the same values is so refreshing to see. And that wasn’t the scene just in Los Angeles. It was in major cities across the country and even the world. I know many people were confused about this march as a whole, so I’ll address a few of the things I have heard personally:
- “I don’t get what the march is even for? Why are you marching?” Women’s rights. Immigrant’s rights. LGBTQ+ rights. Rights for everyone really. Equality. That’s why. As far as specific issues within those categories I listed:
- women’s rights- access to birth control, access to Planned Parenthood, access to safe abortions, awareness for victims of domestic violence and sex crimes, and basic equality in the treatment of men and women.
- immigrant rights- refugees who are desperately trying to escape their war torn homeland should not be turned away from a country who has historically accepted all sorts of immigrants. a whole category of people should not be ignorantly labeled and banned because of where they come from or what god they worship.
- LGBTQ+ rights- after a long fight for the right to marry who the LGBTQ+ community wishes, this right should not be revoked because of prejudice and/or religious beliefs.
- “Your march didn’t do anything. The government didn’t change their minds” The government rarely changes their mind at the drop of a hat. Change takes a long time. Getting rid of prejudices in a society takes an even longer time. One thing a government will most likely always respond to is an overwhelming pressure from its people to change something. And this pressure has to build up from somewhere.
- “What’s the point of marching? It never accomplishes anything” This one disheartens me the most. What sort of society have we become to think that our own voice will not do anything? Revolutions don’t start at the top, they start at the bottom. Sometimes I think people don’t know or remember enough about history. I want to shake people who say this and say, “Don’t you know what the Civil Rights movement was?” A collection of marches, rallies, protests, sit ins, walk outs, and people’s lives were lost in the process. But in the end, black citizens gained the right to go to the same schools as white citizens along with many other segregation laws. There is still way too much prejudice against the black community, but what the Civil Rights movement accomplished in the 1960s was a huge leap forward. And it all started, arguably, with a woman named Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. I’m sure people then thought this act was pointless, but looked what it turned out to be.
I do not regret attending this march, and I will go to a thousand more if that’s what it takes.