Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Resistance . . .

Friday was a difficult day for me.  For months I'd been hoping that somehow Trump would not actually become the 45th President of these United States.

 . . .

I didn't watch any of the inaugural activities - I heard bits and pieces later in the day, and I saw the photos clearly showing that the crowd was NOT the largest ever.  The fact that the new Whitehouse press secretary held a press conference to insist that - all photographic evidence to the contrary - of course it was, is beyond comprehension.

JesusMaryandJoseph, the inmates are most certainly running the asylum.  I mean, I know I shouldn't keep trying to make sense out of the constant stream of lies and Twitter tantrums that sound like a toddler or a five-year-old rather than the leader of the free world.  There is no sense to be made.  I remain convinced that something is wrong with the man, and as I have watched the last months unfold, I continue to stand by my assessment of the then-President Elect: ". . . unqualified, misogynist, racist, hate-spewing schoolyard bully . . ."

Friday night, after work, there was a protest that was to start at Trump Tower.  Of course the police wouldn't allow us to get near the building, but the protest was peaceful, and the police were great.  I joined and began walking.  It was an amazing and uplifting experience.  I live-blogged it on Facebook, and even did some live video there.  I'm not able to share the video here, but here are a few photos.  I'm going to suggest you biggify them to see them well.

And then, yesterday, Saturday, January 21, 2017, I marched in Chicago's sister march to the Women's March on Washington.  I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life.

First of all - it was 55 degrees, and it was the first sunny day in Chicago in months.  In the middle of January.  Here I am with the three friends I marched with.  That's my friend KniftyRed holding my protest sign.   We took the 8:30 train into the city and were there by about 9:30.

To give you an idea of what a truly magnificent day it was - and how beautiful this city I call mine is - this was taken from the bridge over the trains on Van Buren Street.  The bridge you're looking at is the one on Jackson Street.  The building in center with the antenna on it (behind the diamond-shaped building) is Trump Tower.

Instead of the 75,000 people they were expecting, there were 250,000.  To give you some perspective on that number, Soldier Field - where the Bears play - holds 61,500 people.  This was a quarter of a million people.  It was unreal.  And completely peaceful.  And affirming.  And exhilarating.  And exhausting.  And so very amazing.

I asked this woman the significance of her bouquet.  She told me it was for hope and for life and love, and that she didn't have the words and so she brought flowers.  I hugged her.

There were so many people that the march itself was cancelled - except that we did march anyway, and many more streets ended up being blocked off just to be able to move people out of the park.  Again, done in a peaceful and loving manner.  The Chicago PD - so very awesome in how they shepherded and guided and worked the crowd.  

This is on our way out of the park on Van Buren, heading toward Michigan Avenue.  I had no phone reception and no Facebook for quite some time during the rally.  There were just too many people for the networks to keep up.  Since we hadn't been able to learn anything about the actual size of the group or see any photos, I was stunned as we got to this point to see that Michigan Avenue was completely full of people.  In both directions. 

Again, to put the enormity of the scale of this rally/march in perspective, I snagged the following aerial photo of Grant Park from CBS News.  The red markings are mine. Start at the dots on the left side.  That's where we came up from the train.  If you follow the dots along Congress parkway and on to Columbus Drive, you'll see where we eventually ended up.  The arrow on the far right side is pointing toward the stage, which was at Jackson and Columbus.  We never really heard much, and although the jumbotron was across from where we ended up (where the dots end) we couldn't see it well. It wasn't very jumbo, I'm afraid, and needed to have been a little higher up.  But we could see it a little, and we could hear a little better than when we were still on Congress Parkway.

When we learned that we wouldn't be marching the prescribed route, we began to head out of the park back toward Michigan Avenue.  The red arrow in the middle shows our route back out of the park, and the solid red line shows where we cut across one part of the park - on the pavement - to get to Jackson Blvd., and then out on to Michigan Avenue, where we headed North back to our train station.

On the way to the train, I was able to capture this shot of The Bean.  Its real name is "Cloud Gate."  But everyone calls it The Bean - much to the artist's chagrin  ;-)  Plenty of protesters standing at the rail.

We made it back to the train station, had something to eat there, and caught the 1:30 train home.

I think my favorite chant from both marches was a call and response.

Call:  Tell me what democracy looks like.
Response:  THIS is what democracy looks like.

I believe that we are in the midst of history in the making.  I'm so grateful to be a part of it. 


Michelle said...

Yesterday was the most positive thing that has happened nationwide in a long time – TOO long. I am thankful to live in Oregon and have representatives that have vocally stood up to the Trump agenda, and just sent them both emails telling them so – and to keep it up. As we all need to do. Have you see this?

Caro said...

Thank you for being there for all of us. Know that each person who marched, in any location, also represented the millions of us who were unable to be there.

Teresa Burdette said...

I have followed you since you began "All About African Violets" and continues enjoying your blog here but I choose to unfollow and learn from you know. I am a Trump believer. I wish you well Annie.

Knittinggarden said...

I'm so glad you got to march in Chicago. Four hats I made marched in Seattle, where there also was at least three times the expected turnout and the line of marchers stretched about four miles. I couldn't go myself due to my recent surgery but I was so proud to personally know women marching in at least seven cities, including London. We have to stand up for what is right and the beautiful, peaceful, pink marches yesterday were such an inspiration and a such a good start.

Kimberlee Rudman said...

Cheers to you and everyone who stepped out this weekend.

A :-) said...

Thanks you guys - it was amazing. Both were! :-)

And Teresa, you have every right to your political choice because this is America (at least for now . . . ). If I'm wrong about the current administration, I'll certainly be eating my hat (and will document it here). From where I stand at the moment, I don't see that happening - but you never know. In the meantime, I will not apologize for my passion for human rights. All human rights. I wish you all the best, too.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Corrected to what I MEANT to say:

That's one of the big differences I've seen in political parties. If Trump surprises us all and ends up being a president for all people, everyone I personally know who is worried, scared, angry, and/or opposed will wipe their brow with a sigh of relief and say they are glad they were wrong. But everyone I know who is a staunch Republican has blamed the previous Democratic president if their Republican choice DOESN'T do any good as POTUS. And when the Democratic POTUS has done a GOOD job, those same people tell me it was carry-over from the previous Republican POTUS. In other words, everything bad in the country, no matter who is in charge, is blamed on the Democrats, and everything good that happens, no matter who is in charge, is credited to the Republicans. It's so exasperating I could SCREAM!!!