Thursday, January 26, 2017
A Tale of Two Marches, Part Two
Last Saturday afternoon we took a Van Ness bus towards the Civic Center but traffic wasn't moving, so we jumped off and walked. On the sidewalk, there were thousands of people on their way to the Women's March, scheduled to make its way down Market Street at 5PM.
Like the marches that sprouted in seemingly every city and town in the United States and throughout the world, the turnout was astonishing.
The density of the crowd induced claustrophobia, so I escaped to the fifth floor of the Main Library and took a few photos.
My mother took her children to early Vietnam War protest marches in the 1960s and it feels as if I have been attending variations on them intermittently ever since.
I am not sure how effective they are as agents of change, but after the election of the increasingly bizarre Donald Trump as president of the United States, it was heartening to see so many people out in the streets.
The major accomplishment of most of these marches is in creating a monumental, theatrical, communal mental health intervention for the participants. "I'm not alone in thinking this state of affairs is evil and crazy" is always an empowering truth to experience with others.
The fact that the marches were led by women trying to make the world somewhat better for their children, in opposition to fascist old fossils, only added to their power.