Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 was clear and super sunny. A perfect day for almost 700,000 women and men coming together in strength and unity. This after endless rain that had continued for days and days – rain which resumed again on Sunday immediately after the March.
The Women’s March in LA was an adventure for me. I’ll be honest. I am a child of the sixties and seventies yet, this was my first protest and active show of solidarity with other people who are concerned, shaken, appalled and angry about the presidential election. I took to the streets for the first time.
The Women's March served as a tangible way for me to react, to move forward and reassemble my fractured self – confused over the question,
Going into LA from Orange County is usually a big deal – the traffic, the parking, the whole effort to get there can be exhausting. The decision to go into downtown allowed me to stray a bit outside my comfort zone. I could have walked in Santa Ana - the county seat for Orange County. That certainly would have been more convenient – closer to home. But I really wanted to be a part of what I assumed would be a more impactful experience – a bigger part of history.
It proved to be a challenge but we really lucked out – from the time we found a parking space in a completely full commuter lot (a total miracle), to getting a ride downtown from a (male) friend who was not walking but dropped what he was doing and came over to get us after we realized we would never make it on to the train (another miracle). The lines were wrapped around the station and going nowhere fast. Thank you, Chris!
Once downtown, we easily slipped in with the walkers who were moving thru the streets of downtown, joined in on chants with crowd, and finally arrived at City Hall and listened to the speakers.
It was amazing to see the numbers of people of all ages out on the streets, everywhere you looked, heading toward the march – from the west side of LA to downtown. The energy was positive and buzzing with excitement.
Eventually we slowly snaked our way through the tight throngs – moved upstream and made our way back to the train.
Our final challenge was to navigate the confusing Metro signage and hop from one line (the wrong one as it turned out) to another and then to a third line (finally the right one). Chatter filled the train as strangers laughed and shared in camaraderie. Finally we arrived back to our starting point.
It feels corny to write this, but we (all of us) are at a new starting point. We are witnessing a paradigm shift in this country. The road will will be tough but, I'm gonna believe in the upside. Good changes are about to happen.
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