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The Women’s March on Washington by Cara Ober

Photos by Cara Ober and Catrell Thomas

I was proud to participate in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017. For me, it was an opportunity to voice a number of my many criticisms of our new president and to come together with hundreds of thousands of other people who feel the same. Even though we were packed in like sardines for much of the day, the sense of solidarity, generosity, and diversity, as well as the hilarious creativity in so many protest signs gave me a sense of hope for the future.

I came by school bus from Baltimore’s Penn Station, where crowds in pink knitted hats wrapped tenfold around the block at 7 am. I came to DC with fellow artists, mothers, thinkers, and activists. I came with friends I’ve known since the first grade and with friends I met for the first time that day. I brought my grievances towards our new administration and came away from this day feeling more power, more determination, and more positivity than I have since this orange ding-dong was elected.

As he has pointed out himself, our new president is “Un-Presidented.” He is dangerous. He is vindictive and petty. He divides and baits us against each other. He lies to our faces on a daily basis and then attempts to smear the media as the liars. Based on his own words and deeds, I do not see myself “getting over this,” ever. Based on what I have seen, heard, and read, his opportunity for respect from me has long been lost. I do not think our president is a good role model for any American. I think he is a mean-spirited, dishonest person. I do not think he is a legitimately elected president. As an American, it is my right to say so and your right to disagree with me.

In the outrage and anger he continues to incite, our new president has inspired a new resistance movement, a new unity against a common foe. I do not know what to expect or what exact step should come next. Only that we must fight back, and utilize all the resources available to us (especially our elected officials who work for us). Moving forward, we need to be willing to put in the time, effort, money, and energy necessary to move this country back in a positive, equitable direction. We need to be willing to make ourselves uncomfortable, to be unafraid to speak our truth, but to do so with respect and empathy if we wish to be heard.

For any artists questioning the purpose of their practice, the plethora and variety, the beauty and creativity, and skill and sophistication in communication presented here at this march is proof that what we do matters. Whether you’re a writer, a designer, a performer, a musician, we are all COMMUNICATORS. We make communication beautiful – and this skill, the ability to reach hearts and minds, is essential in winning this fight.

It’s tempting to consider the Washington Women’s March, and those which occurred all over the world and included over 2 million human beings, a victory or a milestone, but that is dangerous. We cannot afford to feel complacent or satisfied because we are under attack. Despite the pride that came from coming together and exercising our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech and Peaceful Assembly, we need to focus on continuing this battle. Strength comes from unity. Our fight has only just begun.

These were just a few of my favorite speakers during the protest – a variety of activists, politicians, and artists. They were inspiring and I was in tears as often as not. Despite standing hours like sardines, everyone around us was kind and people made room for others to pass.

Madonna at the Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017 from Bmoreart on Vimeo.




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