Seeing the millions of people marching yesterday was inspirational, and the perfect counterbalance to the events of the previous day.
But when I woke up this morning, my brain couldn’t help but wonder, what’s next?
It is the day after the march. Although millions marched, they weren’t even mentioned on Fox News today (how odd!). And Trump will surely be as delusional and in denial about them as he was about the “millions” who attended his inauguration.
But the marches were not just “preaching to the choir.” Those in power surely took notice. Millions of people of all genders, ages, colors, ability and orientation have become actively engaged, and that is no small thing, and not easily ignored — if it continues. If it leads to something.
If I have any concern at this point, it is that this surge of activism will go the way of Occupy Wall Street.
When that movement began, I was hopeful that it would rise up to be the Progressive counter to the Tea Party. But while the Tea Party was generally united toward specific goals, organized, well-funded, and effectively took over the government from the bottom up, Occupy Wall Street never overcame its beginnings as a sit-in with split focus, unclear demands, little leverage and no real plan to actually effect change.
When I heard one reporter saying how the marchers had struggled with messaging in some cases because, of course, different marchers had different motives and goals and priorities, I felt a brief cloud pass over the bright sun that was the march.
And it seems like other attempts to forge a “Left” movement with equal influence (but more reason and reality-based policy) than the Tea Party also fell away with little effect due (based on my admittedly limited and non-expert understanding) to a lack of cohesion, a lack of strategy and organization, or fell victim to the distractions of infighting and self-policing.
So my personal hope today is that the spirit of activism and participation that swept the country, and the world, yesterday will resolve itself into sustained and effective action.
Here are just a couple of resources that may be helpful with that:
Indivisible Guide is “A practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda where former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.” It outlines how you can invest your time to best effect, what doesn’t actually work; and, importantly, there is a lookup for finding a local group of fellow Indivisible participants to join: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/
Jezebel’s list of pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-earth and anti-bigotry organizations we can donate money and time to: http://jezebel.com/a-list-of-pro-women-pro-immigrant-pro-earth-anti-big-1788752078
VolunteerMatch is a website where you can search for local, and virtual, volunteer opportunities. I am very happy with my current volunteer positions I found through this site: http://www.volunteermatch.org/
And of course, we must act locally so that we have the strength to prevent voter disenfranchisement and to push back at Federal power when it is abused.
I am cautiously hopeful for the future. Not because I hope that Trump and the GOP will suddenly do anything different than the self-serving and destructive actions they’ve promised to do, but because you all have given me hope, you who marched and shouted and stood up to be heard, that together we will push back and prevent, or undo, their damage with time, with hard work, with love for one another.
And now, I’m going to continue looking at all those amazing photos of marches around the world and grinning ear to ear.
Good luck! And may the Force be with you.