My activism turned political in 2003 and has never looked back. I have written letters and held signs. I have signed things and begged for signatures. I have worked phone banks and phoned representatives until their admins knew me by voice. I have donated time, money, energy… And I have marched. In rallies, in peaceful gatherings, in nearly silent moments filled with flickering candle light… and in angry loud protests where the thud of our feet on the pavement felt like it would split the earth.
In the last few weeks I have been privileged to march in Fresno multiple times; at the Women’s March the day after DJT ascended to the presidency, at the coordinated events protesting the Muslin Ban, and at the Support Planned Parenthood march last week. In all cases I had people ask me what I felt the point was, why I was bothering.
I march because I want to use all my tools to fight injustice and I have a loud voice and healthy feet.
I march because my job is not reliant on a boss’s political whims and I will not lose my job or my home due to my gender, my orientation, or my politics.
I march because I can and many cannot.
I march because my privilege demands to be used for good and not just to make my own life easier.
I march because gathering in groups of like-minded people is cathartic and inspiring.
I march because it motivates me and it motivates others.
I march because sometimes sheer volume makes a huge difference.
I march so that I can point to my blisters and sore throat and photos of funny or thought provoking signs and say “look, I was there, I was a part of that”.
I march because our current President is temper tantrum throwing toddler who can’t watch SNL without losing his mind and I know our marches are having an effect on him.
I march because I want my daughter to understand that changing the world is possible but to make it happen we have to show up.
And I saw new people, hesitant people. People who held no sign but held space with their very bodies; people who chanted softly and avoided eye contact but smiled to themselves as they headed toward their cars afterwards.
I saw children and people stooped with age. I saw healthy people and those too sick to stand or walk or breathe without assistance. I saw families and people walking alone, flitting from one clump to another. I saw all the colors of the racial rainbow and all the letters under the rainbow flag. I heard multiple languages. I saw community leaders and held hands with strangers.
That is why I march. Because no matter all the stuff we don’t agree on or have in common… when we march we have decided to be in one place with one message and with one voice we chant into the sky. The sounds we make, the vibrations of our feet, and the siren song of the megaphones fill the air and echo in our hearts long after we have gone home. We are connected and we are community if only for a moment. We can make change for we are mighty and we cannot be ignored.
I march because it matters
And I will not stop.