Mefites organizing for the Women's March January 17, 2017 8:21 AM   Subscribe

For Mefites planning to march in this Saturday's big march for women's rights, there are IRL meetup threads for several cities: the main march in Washington DC and sister marches in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia - or other cities.

Just posting this to give a heads-up to people still settling their plans for this weekend. Also to collect all these IRL meetup posts in one place in case that makes coordinating easier, or to share notes/ideas across marches. I know in the DC thread people are talking about using Firechat (explanation of Firechat) as a way to communicate on the day-of, in case cell service is unavailable.

If there end up being Mefi meetups at marches in other cities, link 'em in here and I can edit the post to add them.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 8:21 AM (183 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Protip to people in crowds: turn off your cellular data.

I don't know the exact mechanics or the technical words, but all those people sucking at the same internet makes your phone go bit haywire and it will drain your battery CRAZY FAST. Make plans in advance with your friends, turn your data off, save your instagrams for latergrams, and you'll still have a working phone in an emergency. (Use that firechat thing--don't even TRY with the cell tower data.)
posted by phunniemee at 8:41 AM on January 17, 2017 [18 favorites]

There is one in Philly that we will be attending - I encourage other Philly mefites to do the same.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:19 AM on January 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

Seconding the Philly march.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:59 AM on January 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this, thank you specifically to workerant for memailing me because I'm not sure why it went over my head, but I never though to look at IRL and I'll be there Saturday!
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:06 AM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm just starting to get organized now, so I'm still sifting through various threads, but do we have anything for the New York City march?
posted by MsVader at 10:09 AM on January 17, 2017

I'll be out in Philly; see you there lazaruslong! (And you as well grumpybear?)
posted by ActionPopulated at 10:37 AM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is there a meeting spot for Philly Mefites for the Philly march?
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 11:37 AM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm in Omaha, and therefore unlikely to discover a previously unknown community of mefites in the area, but just in case I'm wrong...there's a rally and supporting march going on here, and my wife and I will be attending. Message if you'd like to meet up.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:42 PM on January 17, 2017

NYC Mefites are welcome to join the Lady Parts Justice League contingent, which has a 2pm march slot. Details here. The Hungry March Band is joining us.
posted by kimdog at 1:54 PM on January 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

Do you guys think it's important to show up at these in general? I'm considering going just for the historical aspect but all I can really contribute is a deep desire to sit down and get warm every 5 minutes.
posted by bleep at 4:08 PM on January 17, 2017

Well, I think that those of us who have signed up to go--and are making plans to meet each other there--have demonstrated our belief that showing up is important. But it's a belief I question sometimes.

I showed up at a disorganized, not planned FuckTrump rally on November 9. And it felt important for all those people to have a place to rage among a likeminded crowd. I showed up at a low attendance, competing agenda UnWelcome Pence to Chicago rally and the news coverage seemed to think it was a meaningful display of how unpopular the man is.

In the past, I've gone to Roe marches, counter to pro life marches, night without lights die-ins, world AIDS day marches, the annual immigrants' rights march in Chicago. I've never seen any of them actually cited for a change in policy or as an impetus for any institution to do the right thing. So, I wonder how important it is, in the sense of motivating legislators.

But I know how important it is in the sense of feeling seen. And I know how often verifiable displays of public support for a position are cited in lobbying. It also feels important as a means of encouraging other people to show up and participate in democracy. It feels important to remind people who stayed home or did not know it was happening that democracy is people shouting in the streets, on some level.

So I don't think it's wrong to come for part of the march, if you can't make it for all of the march. I don't think it's contrary to come for the rally but not march. I also don't think it's hypocritical/wrong/foolish/meaningless to come as a witness, provided you're respectful.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:38 PM on January 17, 2017 [16 favorites]

i think the tricky thing about marches is that their policy effects aren't immediate, and rarely can you draw a straight line from a march or protest to an event. But it seems like the occupy protests influenced Bernie Sanders presidential campaign success, and immigration marches influenced DACA. I can't say that it was the marches themselves, or that someone standing around all day in a protest didn't decide the following day to call their legislator, or go to a community meeting with their local organizers, or what.

But it feels to me like using your right to peaceably assemble can have as much affect on national policy as your right to vote.
posted by garlic at 7:08 PM on January 17, 2017 [9 favorites]

Great idea, Lobster Mitten - thanks.

San Francisco, represent!
posted by Quietgal at 8:01 PM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am going to the one in Indianapolis (anyone else?).

As far as purpose, I'm going partly because I might be moving to Indiana. And I'm hoping the march will be a place to meet like-minded people for purposes of future action, organization, local politics (which matters, especially now!) and, maybe as needed, some commiseration. In addition to any direct effects.

So yes, bleep, I think you should go - it's not just about what the march does immediately, as what it can allow to happen in the future.
posted by nat at 8:10 PM on January 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

At the March in Seattle there will be time before the rally and march to meet organizations to connect with and hopefully do ongoing work with in the future. You can also march with them if you're marching. You might see if your local march has something similar.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:25 PM on January 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

Going in L.A. with my boyfriend, but as-yet-unattached to any given group. It's going to be impossible to find anyone anyway, I expect!
posted by mykescipark at 10:07 PM on January 17, 2017

I'll be there in Melbourne, Australia - anyone else?
posted by une_heure_pleine at 3:05 AM on January 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Anyone headed to Boston?
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:23 AM on January 18, 2017

I'll be at the Austin march with my daughter and some librarian peeps. Possibly packing some Girl Scout cookies.
posted by pantarei70 at 6:25 AM on January 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

There's not an official meetup spot for Philly MeFites - that said, I'm up for setting it up. I'll pop over to IRL.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:33 AM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

My husband, son, and I are hoping to attend the Philly march!
posted by Aquifer at 7:25 AM on January 18, 2017

Marches and other protests are good for awareness. There are lots of people sitting at home who aren't really aware of issues until they're covered by the news media. The media loves covering marches and protests. I wouldn't have known much about DAPL but for the protests. No one on my social media feeds was really talking about it before then. The protests made it clear to me that this was a serious issue that many people care about.

I marched with ACT UP back in the day and engaged in some civil disobedience. You have to get in people's faces sometimes (literally or metaphorically) and make them see that these issues aren't abstract policy written in legalese. We are real people, really affected by the issues.

The Tea Party (who I obviously don't agree with) were initially successful specifically because of marches and protests. (Yes, I watched Frontline last night.) It's not for me to say whether an individual should go or stay home. I've been told to stay home this weekend by my doctor because I'm having surgery next week. But after recovering you can best believe I will be back out there.
posted by AFABulous at 7:35 AM on January 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I've been organizing a rally in Savannah, I thought maybe 50-75 people would come, but already have several hundred on the Facebook page I set up. In the last few days several women we do not know have been haranguing us, telling us our event is "amateurish", that we are "disorganized", and asking why we didn't invite the mayor, among other idiotic comments. It's gotten really ugly to the point where they're saying that I'm a ripoff artist of some kind (don't know what kind since I have not asked anyone for a cent) and a liar. So they've organized their own rally at the same time two blocks away. I will be so glad when Saturday is over. Yesterday somebody stole the cushions off of my porch furniture- no big loss, they were pretty gross- and I'm wondering if it's one of those bitches.

Anyway, it looks like it might pour here on Saturday.
posted by mareli at 8:21 AM on January 18, 2017 [9 favorites]

This will be the first march / protest I've attended since the 2003 SF protests against the war in Iraq. Their sheer ineffectiveness at having any impact on the war disillusioned me pretty hard re: protesting. This, though - this feels so critical, to make an effort, to be a part of the greater voice saying no to what is undoubtedly the most awful thing to happen to America in a very long time. Protests so far seem to have had an impact - here's hoping Saturday has an impact as well.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

I will be marching in Houston with some librarian peeps. Houston folks, would love to MeMail and see if we can meet up.
posted by librarylis at 8:57 AM on January 18, 2017

Added the Philadelphia IRL to this post.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:07 AM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mentioned it on the post on the Blue, but dropping in here too to say I'll be at the LA march. Any Mefites are welcome to hit me up via Memail if they want to meet up, with the caveat that it might be tough to find anyone if you're not traveling to the march with them.
posted by yasaman at 10:33 AM on January 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

I will also be at the LA march, but am traveling with a small group from the Valley and am not expecting to try to actually meet up with anyone there.

I have considered setting up an IRL for just in case things get bad or weird or someone has a problem and has internet access to reach out, though I know that's not exactly the proper use of IRL.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:45 AM on January 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

yes I said yes I will Yes: Boston IRL meetup.
posted by maryr at 1:59 PM on January 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

Depending on the status of this goddamn head cold, I'll either be in DC or at home in Cleveland.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 2:33 PM on January 18, 2017

mareli: Are you the Wright Square group?
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:35 PM on January 18, 2017

Gonna be in Austin, it's going to be partly cloudy with a high of 75. Good marching weather. I have a car-full of UU ladies to ferry from Fort Worth and back but I could possibly persuade them to go get drinks after if anyone's interested.
posted by emjaybee at 2:37 PM on January 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'll be in Raleigh!
posted by leesh at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2017

My mom and I will be marching in spirit and sending many prayers/good thoughts for success and safety for each of you.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:55 PM on January 18, 2017

My spirit will be in Raleigh and D.C.; there is a smaller march here in ILM, but I can't attend anything because I'm in the middle of a tour on Saturday.

That being said, is there a good place (other than social media because I don't have a presence) where I can follow everyone? Not necessarily physically, but receive updates or information about what's going on? I'll have access to the internet and cable tv, but I'd like to follow an outlet that's progressive-leaning.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:26 PM on January 18, 2017

I'll be at the LA march too. I love the idea of meeting other Mefites there, but agree with yasaman that it might be hard to find anyone given the predictions about turnout.
posted by chicainthecity at 9:15 PM on January 18, 2017 [4 favorites]

Go go go! Woohoo!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:35 PM on January 18, 2017

I'll be at the march in Syracuse NY. If anyone else is going, sent me a message.
posted by maurice at 3:40 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was *this* close to buying a ticket on one of the busses to D.C. from here in Durham, but I hesitated too long and missed my chance. I regret it (damn the dissertation-completion guilt that chains me to my desk!!), but I'll be going with friends and the spouse to the March in Raleigh, and I feel pretty confident that NC will be coming out in force. Picked up a pink pussyhat from a neighbour just last night, so now I just need to think of some good sign slogans....
posted by Dorinda at 6:01 AM on January 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Another Angeleno checking in. I was resigned to not going because of a hip problem but I don't think I can stay away. I'd love to try to meet, although I may bail early. My plan is to come in on the red line (via the expo line) right into Pershing Square although if it's a madhouse I may just get out at the 7th St. Center and walk over.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:53 AM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

For anyone interested, B'nai Jeshurun in New York is having a special shabbat service (Reform) Saturday morning followed by a rally for all UWS congregations, then marching to join the main march. The route will go outside of the eruv for a few blocks.
posted by Mchelly at 7:12 AM on January 19, 2017

I'll be marching in St. Pete, FL!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:24 AM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just registered, finally, in New York City. (I will spend the morning wrestling my social anxiety into submission.)
posted by zorseshoes at 9:43 AM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'll be hanging out with the grandtwins because nothing, and I mean, NOTHING is more important in my life right now than Nana time. But my thoughts will be marching with you all.
posted by Lynsey at 10:18 AM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yet another Angeleno who will be going to Pershing Square with spouse and kid.
posted by mogget at 11:34 AM on January 19, 2017

That being said, is there a good place (other than social media because I don't have a presence) where I can follow everyone?

It won't be following mefites, but democracy now is livestreaming the whole thing.
posted by chapps at 11:39 AM on January 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'll be in the Seattle one!
posted by spinifex23 at 11:48 AM on January 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Good luck everyMeFite, I wish you all strong strides and happy walks; and may your marches march the world to a better destination.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:04 PM on January 19, 2017 [10 favorites]

My wife and I are in Portland, OR this week for the final leg of our 2017 West Coast Post-Election Self-Care and Evens Replenishment tour. When we checked into the hotel last night, the front desk manager mentioned that there were anti-Trump protests scheduled here on Friday, and that we should keep our eyes open for the kind of mischief that happened after the election here. We were planning on going to the march on Saturday, but I really hope that this other thing doesn't muddle the peaceful protest message or give a black eye to the resistance effort like it did the last time.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:06 PM on January 19, 2017

I'll be marching in Auckland.
posted by Paragon at 12:18 PM on January 19, 2017

I saw people are writing names on signs for people who can't come so they can protest symbolically; if someone who is marching in DC would be willing to put my daughter's name on their sign I would be very grateful.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:33 PM on January 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm gonna try and go to the one in Düsseldorf- anybody else?
posted by Bibliogeek at 1:14 PM on January 19, 2017

Marching in Seattle. Should be interesting. Last I heard, they're predicting around 50,000, and even relatively low-key assemblies tend to get tetchy around here.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:24 PM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

So: I am paralyzed with decision fatigue, and I need to get my sign done. I know what is going on the back, but I haven't decided for the front yet. My partner, who thought of "FUCK NASTY; I'M REVOLTING" shortly after starting their own sign, would really like me to use that, but I'm not sure; I want to focus this week on themes of diversity for all women and on my current gut emotion, which is protecting us all from the coming dark by shouting and banding together. I keep thinking of variants on "Women, we are stronger together; HOLD THE LINE" but haven't settled yet. I'm also rather delighted by the "They tried to bury us; they didn't realize we were SEEDS" quote that has become the unofficial slogan in Austin (more context from FirstMateKate here) but I'm compelled to illustrate that one and not sure I could do it justice. So as I waffle...

What's the best sign you've seen, fellow MeFites?
posted by sciatrix at 1:30 PM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm very tempted to say "Not my evil overlord," but I'm afraid that's a bit frivolous. I'm also trying to decide what to say.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on January 19, 2017

tonycpsu - I know that SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice) here in PDX is organizing a group for the Friday protests and they seem pretty peaceful, but I can't speak for other groups that may be attending. I might try to catch the Women's March on Saturday, but I'll be running late.
posted by sibilatorix at 2:28 PM on January 19, 2017

What a sight it would be to have thousands upon thousands of women all with the same sign: "Screw us and we multiply." I've never yet seen one better.
posted by HotToddy at 2:41 PM on January 19, 2017 [7 favorites]

I really hope that this other thing doesn't muddle the peaceful protest message or give a black eye to the resistance effort like it did the last time.

As an Oaklander, my perspective is that it's almost guaranteed that some people will show up with the intent of getting smashy. They may be legit protesters who don't believe that property damage is or should be considered equivalent to violence against persons and who are willing to engage in it, they may be undercover police plants trying to instigate things they can bust protesters for, but there will be people committing property damage.

If you let that be what determines whether a protest is legitimate or worth attending, you're ceding the entire tactic of protesting.
posted by Lexica at 2:44 PM on January 19, 2017 [7 favorites]

sciatrix I'm loving "Stronger Together - Hold the Line" or some variation on that. I've also seen "You can try to divide, we will rise and UNIFY."

If you're going for comedy with an edge though, another favorite is "YOU CAN'T COMB OVER SEXISM"
posted by blue suede stockings at 3:09 PM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Never forget.
posted by amtho at 4:35 PM on January 19, 2017

Kid Ruki has this sign and they're actively looking for transpeople's names to add to it. If you're trans or queer and would like to symbolically join us, please MeMail me.
posted by Ruki at 4:49 PM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Considering PRO-CHOICE *IS* PRO-LIFE but could use arguments for/against.
posted by maryr at 5:15 PM on January 19, 2017

Oakland, with my girls and my husband. Stay safe, everyone!
posted by The Toad at 7:30 PM on January 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

I am going with

posted by Room 641-A at 8:38 PM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm going to the sister march here in El Paso. Hit me up on MeMail, Chuco MeFites, so we can meet up and maybe do margaritas at my house after.
posted by blessedlyndie at 8:58 PM on January 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'll be marching with my spouse (Sauce Trough) and my book group in Seattle!
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:54 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'll be marching in Montpelier. The number of marchers may not be far off from the number of residents.
posted by Tsuga at 4:32 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Another great sign idea just spotted: "This is not a moment, it's the movement".
posted by blue suede stockings at 5:58 AM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

We're marching in DC. My brother-in-law lives on the West Coast, and at some point called my wife and said, "have you heard about this Women's March thing? If you go, I'll go." So we're going, and our kid-to-be is going, and here's to awesome brothers-in-law.

This is my first time for this sort of thing. I asked a friend for tips and thought some were worth passing on:

- Nth-ing that cell phones run out fast when they're constantly searching for an open cell tower. Via Wirecutter, I picked up a $25 pocket-sized charger with built-in cords for iPhone and Android.

- Starbucks is the international safehouse network. Bathrooms, power, wifi, warmth, easy to find and communicate where you are. My friend always has his group mark Starbucks locations on their printed maps.

- Big, low-stakes events like this are practice. E.g. my friend is using this as a fun excuse to get his church activist group communicating via Signal. It doesn't have to be a big deal, just "oh yeah, that app our tech guy gave us to chat while we're at protests." Later if they have to do something really serious like communicate about sheltering political targets, the pieces are already in place. (For this reason my friend is less enthused about Firechat, which sorta works for big open protests but isn't crypto focused and doesn't help practice for serious stuff.)

So I'm looking at this as, how can me and my family and friends practice showing up and getting things done? Which for now is just practicing showing up, but you have to start somewhere.
posted by john hadron collider at 6:11 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I just signed up to go to the D.C. March. I didn't think I would go (school, other obligations, a 90% healed sprained elbow...) but the idea kept tugging at me, and I had the opportunity to get a free seat, and several of my best friends are going. I'm reading up on your tips for staying safe and comfortable at the March. Many thanks to those who committed earlier and have been more involved throughout.
posted by Leslie Knope at 6:28 AM on January 20, 2017 [7 favorites]

I'll be with a gaggle of grad students at the Seattle march.
posted by quaking fajita at 8:01 AM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

i will be participating in the demonstrations, which are truly rehearsals for revolution and rehearsals of revolutionary awareness, Friday and Saturday and probably many more times in the months to come.

dear friends, if you plan to get involved in any... "action," - or there is a chance people with you will get involved - please don't wear contact lenses. tear gas and contact lenses can have lasting bad effects on your eyeballs.
posted by subbes at 8:30 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

john hadron collider spake:
how can me and my family and friends practice showing up and getting things done? Which for now is just practicing showing up, but you have to start somewhere

Find a group that shares your goals and takes action on them, and start showing up to meetings.

For example, my two hobby-horses are ending the destructive force of capitalism and enacting single-payer healthcare, so my groups are the Democratic Socialists of America and the Campaign for a Healthy California. Add in SURJ because racial justice is important, and I've got three groups that keep me appraised of events and actions. Sometimes I lead campaigns in these groups (e.g. my local DSA chapter's work on single-payer with CHC is extremely my shit), but more often i'm supporting others who are leading.

what issue moves you most? who else cares about that issue? who else is actively doing something about that issue? those are your people.
posted by subbes at 8:44 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'll be going to the march in Trenton, NJ. I was originally considering going to DC, but I feel good supporting from my home state.

I have my sign planned out and am going to pick up supplies after work.

Solidarity to all fellow marchers tomorrow.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:09 AM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'll be marching in Seattle with my daughter and her Girl Scout troop. My sign says "Schools not jails" on one side and "Bring back busing" on the other. I considered a handmade hat (and even sewed a quick prototype which is too small) but think I'm going to wear my daughter's bright pink rainhat with some duct tape ears attached. I also helped my daughter make her hat; she may add a tail today.
posted by Margalo Epps at 1:25 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have to work tomorrow, but if anyone's marching in Wilmington NC and needs someone who can potentially provide bail, pm me and I'll give you my phone number so you can write it on your arm.
posted by mightshould at 2:03 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I will be in Olympia with my local DSA chapter (hi subbes!). Also attending will be my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and a number of friends. Looking forward to networking and being seen/heard.
posted by trunk muffins at 2:40 PM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'll be at the Houston march tomorrow - would love to see any other MeFites there! Feel free to mail me.

I am going with


I think I'm going to copy that, Room 641-A. Thank you!
posted by Salieri at 3:46 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Kermode and Mayo have beens saying "Tinkety Tonk old Fruit and Down with the Nazis" which is apparently how the queen mother signed a couple of letters. I think that will be my sign at the LA march.
posted by Uncle at 4:57 PM on January 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

Part of a four-bus contingent from NJ to Washington tomorrow! I am casting off the last of six pink hats right now. Have been putting off the sign -- I really, really like HOLD THE LINE and may borrow that, sciatrix.
posted by apparently at 6:10 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'll be at the DC March. Taking a bus from New Providence, NJ at 5 am. I'll be the clergy guy in the collar possibly with the sign: "Holy Men love Nasty Women."
posted by Stynxno at 6:12 PM on January 20, 2017 [10 favorites]

Update: grumpybearbride and I will instead be catching a ride to DC tomorrow early in the AM.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:16 PM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

LA in the house! Let's do this.
posted by soakimbo at 9:18 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Literally my entire family (and a truly unexpected chunk of aunts/uncles/cousins/etc.) apparently decided - without particularly discussing or planning it - to march in at least four of our respective cities, with some heading into DC from out of town. I'm too antisocial and grad school-busy to do protests, and my family members are broadly nowhere near being major activists, which indicates both how scary the current situation is, and how much of the populace may be mobilized or mobilizable. I'm simultaneously terrified and heartened, which is a really weird feeling.
posted by ubersturm at 10:41 PM on January 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Apparently we'll be under the Episcopal flag in LA. Going to sleep now so I can do this tomorrow. Courage!
posted by professor plum with a rope at 10:59 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm going in Seattle.

posted by palegirl at 11:12 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'll be at the one in Rome, at the Pantheon. (There's a live webcam here.); drop me a line, anyone else.

Oh, and: I'm working on a THIS IS NOT NORMAL sign to bring. Any suggestions for the perfect companion phrase, to go on the back of that?
posted by progosk at 11:31 PM on January 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

Looks like my local march will be called off due to a blizzard, but I'll be supporting you all from my kitchen
posted by peppermind at 12:10 AM on January 21, 2017

About ready to leave for DC. LOTS of people leaving from SW Virginia!!
posted by sumdim at 12:11 AM on January 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Stay safe tomorrow. If you expect to be anywhere arrests might occur, make sure you have the phone number of someone that will be available memorized or written on you with sharpie. Depending on where you are, they might need be to be able to accept collect calls.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best.
posted by Candleman at 12:19 AM on January 21, 2017

I'm smoking outside my hotel (with a slipper stuck in the door because the keycard re-entry is busted) and I'm so full of nervous happy energy. 95 was jam packed, to the point where it added an extra four hours to my ride down. It was overwhelming going into rest stops along the way, just all these people heading to D.C. and feeling the solidarity. KidRuki and I listened to music and sang and laughed and blissfully ignored the Inauguration. We hugged a stranger at a gas station. It's more than I can even comprehend right now, and I am so so glad to be part of this with all you. My heart is just bursting with pride and love to see so many people stand up against this dumpster fire. I was interviewed by a local newspaper and I'm thrilled that they posted my quote about showing that this president does not have a mandate. We are watching and we are fighting back. Today, I got a taste of how powerful we are, united, together, in strength.
posted by Ruki at 12:34 AM on January 21, 2017 [10 favorites]

Another for LA. Feel free to say hi if you see my sign: DON'T TREAD ON ME / SILENCE = DEATH, SPEAK UP NOW on yellow poster board.
posted by ApathyGirl at 4:20 AM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm up and running, and wearing a rainbow flag secured with a WHAT YOU DO MATTERS pin from the Holocaust Museum. Driving down to the metro now. Sign is made, and I'll photograph it front and back from the Metro, whereupon I will begin furiously knitting because I am behind schedule on the damn hat.

I have already had four women leaving themselves smile and cheer us on, and I only stepped out my friend's front door ten minutes ago.

Let's do this.
posted by sciatrix at 4:31 AM on January 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

Strength to everyone marching today.
posted by brujita at 4:37 AM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

We have our signs up and running, and I did my best to get everyone's names on it. If I missed you, it's me, not you; I've been a touch scattered this week. I love you all!

The crowds are alive with laughing women in our train, and we're at the very tip of the Red Line.
posted by sciatrix at 4:47 AM on January 21, 2017 [10 favorites]

It's a beautiful day in London UK and the crowd here is joyful. Love to fellow mefites on the march.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:36 AM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

sciatrix: Thank you for the inclusion on your sign!
posted by ezust at 5:40 AM on January 21, 2017

More than 16,000 people turned out across Australia (10,000 in Sydney, 6,000 in Melbourne, and also in several other cities). I didn't expect it to be nearly this big here. Sending hope and strength to those of you on the front lines. And if you're still looking for sign inspiration, take a look at #womensmarchmelbourne on Twitter, some fabulous ones there.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 5:40 AM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

The crowds are alive with laughing women in our train, and we're at the very tip of the Red Line.

YAY! I'll be taking the train (light rail) all the way from one end of the line in Santa Monica all the way to the other end in downtown L.A. and I can't wait for the cars to fill up with everyone going to the March.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:38 AM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Thank you all for updates from the marches; this has been so good to follow along with.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:26 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

100,000 in London - we shut the city down!
posted by freya_lamb at 7:47 AM on January 21, 2017 [11 favorites]

I'm at the start of the line in Santa Monica and train's filling up fast! Also rides are free today? I guess? Turn stile was open and didn't have to use my tap card.
posted by yasaman at 7:48 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Rome "march" practically filled piazza della Rotonda (roughly a thousand-strong merry, motley bunch) and was prominently featured in RaiNews24's coverage of the international event.
(One odd note, for a MeFite, was to hear chants of "All Lives Matter" led by ex-pat POC and definitely well-meant...)
In the end I backed my somewhat funereal THIS IS NOT NORMAL with a list of my favourite topical/relevant women writers for our times, all of whom I've discovered on the blue: Masha Gessen, Lauren Duca, Alexandra Petri and danah boyd.
posted by progosk at 7:51 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

yasaman I think we're on the same train. We're packed in like sardines!
posted by Room 641-A at 8:02 AM on January 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've got a kind of happy jealousy going on with the east coast being three hours ahead; shit's getting tremendous there and I'm still in my bathrobe. But wife and I are heading downtown before noon to meet up with some friends and then assemble at the waterfront for Portland's march.

I glanced at IRL this morning and I am proud of y'all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on January 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

Maybe I'll see you out there, cortex. I'll be the beardy white guy with glasses, so I should be pretty easy to pick out in a crowd of Portlanders.
posted by dersins at 9:01 AM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Heading out now for Olympia's march, which isn't likely to be YUGE (because the town isn't) but should be energetic and impassioned. Being my anxious self, I am stressing a bit about stuff like parking and bathrooms and rain and being in crowds, but am determined not to get so daunted I flake out, and am buoyed by the thought of all of you heading out, shoulder to virtual shoulder with me.
posted by Kat Allison at 9:01 AM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Just back home after the Liverpool rally. The crowd was much bigger than I had anticipated, particularly given how cold it is!
posted by skybluepink at 9:10 AM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Just back from the march in Portland, Maine. I've never seen so many people in the city... We had to stop marching several times for kid breaks and the line of people just kept on going!

Hope everyone stays safe. Today feels special to me.
posted by selfnoise at 9:53 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Really sad to be home today. Flat on my back after a fun little medical procedure yesterday, but I'm streaming DC and our local march, and we've got Midtown on Periscope. Hugs and thanks to you all!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 10:12 AM on January 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

it's amazeballls here in DTLA. First time I've had a data signal in over two hours. have walked maybe two blocks. so many people, so much chanting.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:17 AM on January 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

Lansing was good. Li'l Protestor handled the crowds better than previous efforts, but we still left a tadbit early.

Highlight: An evangelist was shouting about Jesus before the main program started, and I convinced him to just talk to people instead of making this Women's March into a dude talking about another dude.
posted by Etrigan at 11:20 AM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

My update on the Denver march.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:22 AM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

(Oh, and: the back also said "Hi!" to y'all.)
posted by progosk at 11:23 AM on January 21, 2017

Mrs. Gamera and I just got back from the Idaho Falls march. The organizers were expecting about 100-200 people but about 500 people showed up to penguin-march along the icy sidewalks. We didn't see any counter-demonstraters and we got quite a few supportive honks and thumbs up from passing drivers, so YAY!
posted by gamera at 12:22 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

Checking in from Houston! We had about 22,000 show up, which was apparently more than twice the maximum that the police were expecting. We ended up taking a different route than planned for the march itself - possibly due to flooding in the park or the greater than expected number of people, or maybe a combination of the two - and ended up at City Hall. I could barely hear the speakers from where I was, but there was a fantastic energy in the crowd and I'm so glad I went.
posted by Salieri at 12:39 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

We ended up going to the DC march after all (just got home) and I'm SO glad we did. Our precious kraken made a lot of friends (she is a very social baby, I have no idea where she gets it) and started what is hopefully a long career of activism!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:39 PM on January 21, 2017 [12 favorites]

I've been to other protests in Augusta, Maine, but this time, there was a (very polite) traffic jam just getting off the highway, and large crowds walking to the site for a big crowded rally. There was another one in Portland. Best I've felt since Bleak Tuesday.
posted by theora55 at 12:54 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Headed back from DC now. So! Many! People! It was breathtaking.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:22 PM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Sitting in a coffee shop here in Indy a few hours post march. Organizers expected 7500 but there were more (don't know how many). Barista said ten minutes ago that the post-march rush was just dying down- three hours after the event ended.
posted by nat at 1:32 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

We have been milling through the streets of DC singing. So far, easily the most popular song was Lean on Me, although we had a lot of delighted musical nerds happily following us and singing Seasons of Love, Do You Hear The People Sing, and others.

My absolute favorite DC moment, however, was glancing up at the big screen and freezing in place in shock to see my friend Raquel Willis from college shining brightly. She is as ever eloquent and wise, and I've been watching her activism career take off with delight and enthusiasm, but I hadn't realized that she was going to be speaking. I love her.
posted by sciatrix at 1:33 PM on January 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

So glad I went to the Boston march and proud that it smashed all expected attendance numbers - 125000! It felt great to be part of something big.
posted by peacheater at 1:34 PM on January 21, 2017 [11 favorites]

DC was reported to us at 500,000 incidentally.
posted by sciatrix at 1:36 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

They're saying anywhere from 100k to 200k for the Denver march. I can believe 100k and 200k does seem possible (although some news orgs keep minimizing it with "tens of thousands" which irritates me). It took us over an hour to even start marching despite being there an hour early and even 2 hours later the route was still full from end to beginning.

My sign had the paraphrased quote "Our most powerful weapon is our refusal" on the front and "Thank you for standing up" on the back. My favorite chant I heard was "tiny hands, tiny feet, all he does is tweet tweet tweet," which 3 little girls behind me kept going back to; it made me laugh and laugh. I admit every time someone shouted, "What does democracy look like?" and everyone shouted back "This is what democracy looks like!" it brought tears to my eyes. I had a hard time not crying even just walking to the rally site due the sheer numbers of people streaming in.

Just as an end note: A falcon kept flying over the crowd at the Civic Park at the beginning of the march, just soaring over us all in big circles and occasionally calling for about 45 minutes. It got to the point as we waited that the crowd would start cheering every time it came over us. And while overall the symbolism of the dove/peace is preferable and all, today of all days I liked the idea of a raptor flying over us - particularly since with most raptors the males are smaller than the females - and the symbolism of sharing that space with and being as vocal as a bird of prey with fucking talons.
posted by barchan at 2:20 PM on January 21, 2017 [18 favorites]

Just got home from Portland (OR) march. Bailed a little early because things were getting a bit claustrophobic, but despite the pouring rain it was by a substantial margin the largest crowd I have ever seen in Portland.
posted by dersins at 2:34 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I should note that 500,000 number was reported to us at 10am. Latest numbers from the march appear to be closer to 1.3 million. We actually had trouble marching because we filled our whole route with people.
posted by sciatrix at 3:07 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've been super checked out from all this (news, politics, life) recently bc it felt just too bleak on top of some PPD I've been struggling with. Last night I made the last minute decision to leave my 2.5 month old at home with her dad and head to the NYC march alone and I'm glad I did.

I was by myself, but my sign said WE ARE THE MAJORITY (cribbed from someone on MeFi) and it felt like it was true. Whoever was manning the belltower at the St Thomas episcopal church on 5th ave was on point: as I passed, the cathedral pealed out the Star-Spangled Banner and then, ringingly, We Shall Overcome. Some in the crowd tipped back their heads and sang along and I did too. I was by myself but I wasn't. It was lovely. Thanks for this thread and the encouragement to actually go.

posted by alleycat01 at 3:12 PM on January 21, 2017 [18 favorites]

Went to the Nashville march with my wife and many friends. Estimates are 15-20k. I could believe more but have no idea how to estimate crowd sizes. Lots of great signs and positivity. Lots of kids. Got yelled at from cars twice by Trump supporters as we were leaving, I responded with "have a nice day" and a smile.
posted by ghharr at 3:18 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

> Bailed a little early because things were getting a bit claustrophobic

This was our story as well. We were close enough for most of the pre-march rally to hear the speakers, and I think they made a big mistake not trying to speed the rally along a bit so folks could get to walking. Everyone around us was chanting "march!" and there was a sense of being penned in and wanting to get moving, if only to warm up a bit from sitting in a cold downpour for over an hour. We did eventually get out toward the route and walked part of the route, which had already filled up with people who couldn't / wouldn't wait for the organizers to officially kick things off.

It was still a great, heartwarming day. We've always loved visiting this city, and its people really brought it today despite the adverse conditions. It was hard to get pictures that capture the scale of the event, but here a few we took of what was going on right around us.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:23 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

The city cut the Chicago road closures and authorized route drastically, so drastically that the Chicago Tribune referred to the march as "cancelled". But the 250,000+ thousands of people there had no trouble moving, shutting down streets and chanting.

Of course, no restaurant south of the river had enough staff on hand to actually serve food to anyone, but that's a minor detail!

I'm so glad everyone was there and I hope to see you at events in the future!
posted by crush-onastick at 3:27 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

The Boston march-- well, due to an early appointment, I wound up getting there about 2 pm, which was according to the schedule about when the closing speeches should start. Instead, they got three times the expected turnout, and were starting people down the route in shifts. There were still people waiting to start when I got to the end (circular route). Estimates I heard were about 500K.

The energy in the crowd was amazing! The buses various groups had come in on were used to form one side of the march route, which was a great idea, because that meant people could leave stuff in buses, get in and out of their home bases, and hang signs and start chants out the windows. But the public could still watch from the other side of the route. I applaud whoever came up with that. The other side was only marked at corners, which had the far sides marked off by City of Boston recycling trucks, which was also a great idea, because I can't imagine a City of Boston vehicle more obviously in sympathy with the marchers.

I was the only person I saw wearing a baby, but people were pretty good about not crushing us. Baby's First Protest went pretty well-- as long as they had a bottle in their mouth, they were cool. So we got to do the entire route.

Generally a diverse turnout, too. I saw signs for every issue I wanted represented, including poverty issues, disability activism, signs in at least five different languages including Arabic, LGBTQ+ everything, and an AFL-CIO For Standing Rock representative.

It was so good. It was SO. GOOD. If even half of this energy is channeled into political action over the coming years, there is a hellofa lot of solidarity out there, and it was so good to see it all in one place and know these people are on the side of humanity.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 3:27 PM on January 21, 2017 [10 favorites]

Phoenix represents with 20K! Great march and always surprised to see so many fellow travelers in this red state. Just wish they would come out of their hidey-holes more often. One of my favorite signs was "Canadian Immigration Counseling" held by a delightful young man 😊 I am staying here for the work that needs to be done!
posted by ZenMajek at 3:34 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

And I see upthread that Boston was actually 125K. Heh. These things do tend to get overestimated in the crowd. But 125K ain't small.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 3:39 PM on January 21, 2017

St Pete, FL estimates 20k people. Previous largest demonstration was only 1500. It was a great day!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:41 PM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

I've heard an estimate of 130,000 for Seattle. It took over two hours for marchers to empty the park and the entire route of 3 1/2 miles was jam-packed with people.

We left early when we got tired out but the buses home were as packed with protesters (who also left early) as on the way there. It's going to be even more bonkers when it's actually done and more people are leaving.
posted by Margalo Epps at 3:50 PM on January 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

We were told in Raleigh that the turnout was 17,000 here, which is WELL above expectations.

Thanks for all the reports from your cities! It sounds like it was wonderfully positive, inspiring, and powerful everywhere!
posted by Dorinda at 3:59 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

They're saying between 14,000 and 18,000 here at the March in Tallahassee. I didn't go because crowds and I just can't deal, but I did donate to Planned Parenthood in honor of the marchers. Keep fighting the good fight, all of you, however and wherever you can.
posted by PearlRose at 4:17 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

60k here in Toronto - I couldn't have imagined that. I wasn't going to go (wasn't feeling great), but couldn't not at the last minute, so went on my own. But not at all on my own - ran to the Dollarama to get stuff for signs. Two lovely young women in the stationery aisle saw me poking around pink stuff and passed me a Sharpie. On the way to the march - smiles and nods and "hey girl!" from pink-hatted friends, and other unhatted friends who just, we all just knew who was headed for the march, it was evident in people's postures and purpose and way of looking at and for each other. No signal for texts to people I knew who were there, but walked with everyone there, with all 2.5 million of us, on seven continents - so wonderful to have been there with all of you. xoxoxo
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:35 PM on January 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

I was also at the Boston march with fellow Mefites MetroidBaby and maryr. We heard 150k as the estimate, but whatever, there were A LOT of people. We spent 3 hours working our way through the Common, and then an hour actually marching, but we got through the route! And even though we thought we were towards the back, there were still plenty of people marching behind us.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 4:45 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

We spent 3 hours working our way through the Common, and then an hour actually marching, but we got through the route!
That was my experience too. I got way more familiar with a row of Porta Potties than I ever want to again, but once we got out of the Common we found we still had the energy to march! So many great signs and great characters. I also loved that everyone lined up their signs at the end in the Common.
posted by peacheater at 4:48 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I attended the March in Macau which was small (no permit) but heartfelt. I don't generally attend marches, but I'm really glad I did.
posted by frumiousb at 4:50 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

The police department here in Reno estimated 10,000 which I think was way more than expected. A military jet flew over just as we were starting which the crowd seemed to think was an endorsement but I'm not really sure about that. The weather was definitely on our side though!
posted by carolr at 4:54 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I went to the NYC march and was there for almost four hours without finishing the route. It was a huge and very friendly crowd and I was proud to be there.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:47 PM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Here in Portland, Maine we had over 10,000 which is certainly the largest protest by far that I've ever seen. At one point apparently people were beginning the march on Munjoy Hill while the leading edge was passing the library halfway across the peninsula. Crazy!

There were another 10,000 up in Augusta (our state capitol) as well.
posted by selfnoise at 5:47 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

My sister in law helped organize a 20 person march in Burns, Oregon ( near the Malheur wildlife refuge).
posted by gamera at 5:55 PM on January 21, 2017 [23 favorites]

The official estimate from the CHP and OPD is that the Oakland march had 60,000 people. Unofficial estimates put it at closer to 100,000.
posted by Lexica at 6:01 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

Seattle crowd estimates that at least 120,000 people showed up to march.

There's also a call out for Seattleites to support businesses in the Little Saigon neighborhood; the march route cut right through the neighborhood, during one of the busiest shopping days for Tet - Vietnamese New Year's. The businesses are concerned that the march will be a major disruption during this busy time for them. (Thus, my pre-march breakfast today was vegan spring rolls from ChuMinh Tofu on 12th and Jackson!)
posted by spinifex23 at 7:04 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

Another LA march participant checking in! It was so amazing. For all that it was incredibly crowded, everyone was cheerful and polite, and I didn't feel unsafe for a second. A little claustrophobic sometimes, because holy shit, we were packed in so tight there wasn't much marching going on for a while there. But just such a good atmosphere.

Also, I barely spotted any police presence: a handful of uniformed cops directing traffic at street closures, but basically no one else. Were they all in plain clothes? Whatever was going on, I deeply appreciated it. Not having uniformed cops looming around made things feel so much less tense.
posted by yasaman at 7:19 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Portland march was great, if deeply appropriately rainy. I wore the spare hat my wife crocheted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:47 PM on January 21, 2017 [14 favorites]

Got back from the march in Oakland and the rally in San Francisco. SO awesome.
posted by gt2 at 7:53 PM on January 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

L.A. organizers are saying ~750K and LAPD is saying no streets. We basically couldn't march because there were so many people. People started going around the other way and then it was a flood of people walking towards city hall. It was so inspiring and exciting.

I noticed the same thing as yasaman about the cops. Even though the people overflowed the official parade route onto streets that were supposed to be open to traffic we were given the right of way. One car made it on to Grand somehow and was surrounded by people. He's probably still there.

A few photos on Instagram.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:04 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was unable to go to any marches today due to a back spasm, but the little town of Sonoma is reporting 3,000 people at the local rally. Our population is under 11,000, and we're close to San Francisco and Santa Rosa (the county seat) which both had larger marches, and it's been pouring today, so I'm really impressed that so many people turned out.
posted by lazuli at 8:29 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

congrats to any of you organizing or volunteering today. What an absolute triumph. An international triumph of solidarity.
posted by chapps at 9:01 PM on January 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

I had a wonderful time and am inspired by hearing stories of big cities and small towns around the world.

So.... now what?
posted by latkes at 9:09 PM on January 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Crowd Estimates Google Doc
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:10 PM on January 21, 2017 [6 favorites]

(and HUGE thanks to everyone out there! I'm absolutely awe-struck.)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:01 PM on January 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

So.... now what?

Now we make sure that what happened today was a supplement to--not a substitute for--sustained, meaningful action with specific, concrete outcomes.
posted by dersins at 10:16 PM on January 21, 2017 [10 favorites]

I had a wonderful time and am inspired by hearing stories of big cities and small towns around the world.

So.... now what?

Join as many local groups as you can find that are fighting back in an organized way.
posted by gt2 at 12:46 AM on January 22, 2017

I had to sign out of FireChat because it was draining my battery. We're in College Park, MD, but planned on driving to Greenbelt because it has a huge parking lot. It was full before we finished breakfast. Thankfully, our hotel had a shuttle, which usually goes to Greenbelt, but took us to the CP stop. The line was enormous. We were already behind schedule and the line was devastating. But, we bought our Metro cards in advance, so we got to bypass the line and hop on the next train. We hid in the post office at L'Enfant while my bff braved the Starbucks line for some much needed coffee. We missed a lot of the speakers, but we got in there for the Mothers of the Movement, Angela Davis, and Janelle Monae. We wept as we yelled say (their) name. I held KidRuki's hand tightly. We didn't march until around three (a friend of mine was already marching by then and took a much different route) and we made our own way. I don't think the roads we went down were meant to be closed. Towards the end, we came to an intersection with people coming in from three different directions. We started a new chant. "We won't go away. Welcome to your first day" became "Welcome to your EVERY day," thanks to my bestie in the Leia wig. She had a double sided sign that said "a woman's place is in the resistance" and "proud rebel scum." We got as close as we could to the White House and shouted loud. We took signs from the wall and brought them back with us. They were going to get thrown out in the end, but now they will live in our homes, to remind us to never become complacent. It was a gorgeous gesture, and we left our own signs there, but our theft will preserve those messages. The sign I took had a list of names on the back. Those people will have a place of honor in my home. We searched each trash can we passed, too. There were heaps of discarded signs and some of them got a new home. We stumbled upon a huge canvas by the Washington Monument and got to sign our names right before the artists packed it up. It's quarter past four in the morning and I need to drive back to RI in the morning, but I don't want to today to end. We have so much work to do, but right now I just want to bask in the afterglow.
posted by Ruki at 1:16 AM on January 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

So.... now what?

I came home, joined the Woman's Equality Party And signed up to volunteer. I stopped thinking about how f*cked we might be and got excited about how much we can do. What's next may be as simple as continuing to share smiles of solidarity with other women as we go about our various lives or it may lobbying to support a local cause, or it might go as far as becoming a public representative who can fight this bullsh*t more directly on behalf of those who aren't able to.

What's next is people truly understanding that words and actions matter. Follow your local march organiser's profile, call a friend who went (or wanted to but couldn't) - work out which of the issues raised you care about the most and find out how to support that further.

The march was a rallying cry to demonstrate that we will not simply accept the status quo. We now get to decide how we each answer the call, knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of others out there who support our desire to do so.
posted by freya_lamb at 1:54 AM on January 22, 2017 [11 favorites]

My membership packet from the League of Women Voters was waiting in my mailbox when I got home from the Denver march, so next for me is to try to plug into their efforts, because I think they're already doing very effective work advocating with legislators and registering and informing voters at a local all the way up to national level. I'm hoping to find more ways to contribute in an asynchronous, digital way,. Here at MeFi we really embraced the online calling tool from the Clinton campaign, but I'm looking for more ways to do effective bite-sized action for 15-20 minutes a day after dinner. Like issue research, or helping write and edit a local voting guide.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:20 AM on January 22, 2017 [5 favorites]

The weather was beautiful at the NYC march, and everybody was friendly and upbeat, including the cops. (OH in the subway, surrounded by other people toting signs: "I have never been so happy to be in a crowd of strangers!")

My own sign had a Karen Hallion design on one side, and "PROVE LOVE REAL" on the other.

I arrived too late to meet up with the group I'd planned to march with, but tagged along with a woman I met en route as we mutually tried to figure out which platform the appropriate train was running on. (This helped a lot with my social anxiety.) It was my first rally; she had decades of experience. We ended up joining the route about halfway through, and it took us three hours to get to the end. For a few minutes, we were walking behind a 97-year-old woman in a wheelchair. We also saw any number of young, enthusiastic children. It was very inspiring, though a double-sided "SAME FIGHT, DIFFERENT CENTURY" / "I'M TIRED OF MAKING THESE SIGNS" sign summed up the frustrating flip side.

In followup news, the main Women's March site has kicked off a "10 Actions / 100 Days" campaign.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:02 AM on January 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

"Now what" will be different for everyone and depends on a lot of things (your financial capacity; your time capacity; your emotional capacity; your safety and your support network) but as its core "Now what" is "keep working". Find some way you can make your opposition now on a regular basis and find some way to support the established, organized reputable organizations doing reform work and make time in your life to do that regularly. Be kind to yourself when you are too tired to keep working but make sure you keep working.

This is what I do: I write checks (my relevant monthly or annual auto-gives are Medical Students for Choice, Planned Parenthood Political Action Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center and now It Starts Today); I help with a Mefi-based political action support group (we meet monthly to discuss available action items, coordinate actions, give each other literal and figurative cookies, and keep the momentum going); I keep my up with several weekly action item email lists (Women's March, Weekly Action Checklist, We're His Problem Now) and try to make at least 3 phone calls or letters to my elected representatives each week (I had a spreadsheet to monitor my activities, just so I can keep myself honest)--that takes less than half an hour a week.

I also try to stay engaged in my community, both through irregular explicitly not-political volunteering, but also going to meetings of a variety of types (you k now, police town halls, city planning meetings, local politician open houses, community center open houses, talks at the library or a book store). There is always some institution (a college, a church, a community center, a humanities NPO, a book shop) that is holding some sort of talk or meeting about the things that concern society and our communities. Just engaging your brain in the topics helps focus your action.

There are lots of people who do more. Not gonna lie, I envy them! But this works for me.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:06 AM on January 22, 2017 [13 favorites]

Here in Montana, we doubled the estimates and clocked in at 10,000+ marchers. If we formed a city, we'd be the 8th biggest in the state. Pretty good for a red state.
posted by ikahime at 8:28 AM on January 22, 2017 [8 favorites]

"Now what" for me is making sure I engage with in-person groups. I'm joining the local Democratic party (and attending their monthly meetings!) because I believe it's important to be part of the existing political structure -- that's where the money, attention, and structure is -- both in order to tap into that structure and to work to push it leftward. I'm joining the local Showing Up for Racial Justice group because I believe the racist backlash against Obama was a major factor in getting us where we are now, and I want to change that. There's another local resistance group that seems more... resistance-y, so I'm checking them out, too.

Basically, I'm working on grassroots change with both new and existing organizations, and trying to keep it intersectional. I think my work will be more valuable if I work to expand and amplify existing groups, rather than re-inventing the wheel and diluting efforts.
posted by lazuli at 10:15 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I skipped out of a conference for a bit to march as far as I could in Atlanta. It was a good time, and I called my mom about it last night. She said "was the march angry?" I said "a little, yes, but more determined."
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:31 AM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was at the March in DC yesterday.

It was incredible. As a lifelong DC area resident, I witnessed incredibly powerful moments and words that warmed my heart, among them:

- When getting off at the Franconia metro station, at the end of the day (it's the last stop on the blue line), our Metro driver said over the loudspeaker, "And I just wanted to thank all of you for coming to DC and protesting today. You really are strong women!"

- Just how happy some of the Metro employees looked despite the mammoth strain to the Metro transit system. Normally, Metro/WMATA employees have good reason to look pretty "over it"(Metro's various safety issues and malfunctions, folks not following established rules about no eating/drinking, folks blocking the metro doors when they're closing), but they were greeting people with smiles and joyful laughter.

- How it really just felt like the marchers had taken over the city. (I saw one youngish couple, with a baby in a stroller, who were wearing pro-Trump pins on their ascots. They were standing outside the Smithsonian metro and looked a little confused?)

Moments when I couldn't hold back my tears:

- Janelle Monáe's speech, and her Sandra Bland "Say Her Name" chant followed by the "Say His Name" chant with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Mohamed Bah, and Jordan Davis.

- Ashley Judd's reading (performance!) of 19 year old spoken word poet Nina Donovan's "Nasty Woman" poem. Goosebumps. Chills. She did Nina's poem justice, and it appears Nina agrees.

- America Ferrera's speech.

- Sophie Cruz. Giving her speech in both English and Spanish. And the crowd chanting "Sophie!"

- Amanda Nguyen's speech.

- I didn't cry, but jumped up and down with joy when Angela Davis showed up.

Weirdly favorite moment (among many favorite moments):

- Just the way that Madonna paused and said, "...Fuck you." [after beginning with "And to our detractors that insist this march will never add up to anything..."] Coming from a linguistic standpoint, that was a really feel-good sounding Fuck You. It just felt good in my ears, and my heart.

Favorite signs:

- On one side it said: "Trump is Shit" and on the other side it said "Find the Clit".
- "If abortions are murder, blow jobs are cannibalism."
- The woman who dressed up as labia.

Celebrity run-in:

- I sat across from Michael Ian Black and his family on the metro, during the ride home. We made eye contact briefly and I think he knew I recognized him. I don't believe in bugging celebrities (you know, in the rare event that I see them out walking around living their life), so I didn't say anything. But it was sweet seeing that he had come with his daughter, son and wife; also really cool that he took the metro, with the rest of the public! I don't know, I guess I expect celebrities to take Ubers or personal chauffeurs everywhere when faced with crowded situations like this. He tweeted quite a bit about his experience at the March.

Shout out:

- To the two ladies from Vermont who I met on the metro, who gave me 'love rocks' after overhearing me tell my Mom that I had brought compression socks for her in case her feet hurt later. The 'love rocks' were in honor of their friend's daughters who had died in a recent tragic accident. They told me they like to leave them on benches and other public places as a memorial.
posted by nightrecordings at 11:12 AM on January 22, 2017 [8 favorites]

- Sophie Cruz. Giving her speech in both English and Spanish. And the crowd chanting "Sophie!"

Fun fact: my partner either started that particular chant or was one of the very first to do so. I just leaned over and checked, and they said, "Well, if we could do it for Gloria Steinem..."
posted by sciatrix at 11:54 AM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

I wanted to post a separate comment about something I observed at the DC March, yesterday, that I wonder if others observed at either the DC or sister marches.

I know there was quite a bit of back and forth on the Women's March social media forums concerning white feminists' not-always-welcoming and not-always-open-minded response to feminists of color. Some related articles here and here.

I recognize that my experience is subjective and talking about what I observed and overheard does not make it fact nor representative of the March or its protesters as a whole. Nor am I positing that.

First, many of the DC March protesters started to get - understandably - antsy when 1:15pm (the scheduled time for the speeches to end and the march to start) rolled around and there were still many, many more speeches. We had all been standing for at least four, if not six plus hours, at that point. I get that everyone was tired and feeling anxious to march.

And that might be why I then started to hear some rather hurtful comments. In addition to comments about feeling tired, wanting to march, let's get this started already, etc., I was standing near a lot of white protesters whose comments also contained statements like, "Why do they [people of color] have to make it all about it them and race?" This type of 'ugh why do they keep talking about race, why do they keep talking about women of color only/specifically' was heard more than once, from several groups and couplings of white people standing nearby. I heard audible sighs when another person-of-color was introduced to speak on the stage. Perhaps because people were tired and wanted to march, but sometimes the sigh was followed by, "It's not all about them [people of color]" and "They just keep saying the same thing, it's getting repetitive."

Am I shocked or surprised by any of this? Nope. Since always, many white feminists dismiss women of color. This is nothing new. But I'm not going to ignore it when I hear it.

I'm a white, cisgender woman. I have privileges that women of color do not. When women of color speak about their experience, and about feminism, I talk less and listen more. It was an honor to hear each and every woman speak yesterday, and that includes the many women of color who came forward to share their stories, their struggles, their successes, and their passion to fight.

Yesterday, it made my heart sink to hear so many white women, standing beside not just me but also women and men of color at the same March for what are meant to be the same reasons, dismiss other women because of their race.

This isn't something I'm accusing the Metafilter crowd of doing, although I know it has been discussed here, and widely.

I'm bringing this up because I think it needs to be said and discussed, again and again. The discussion shouldn't stop because we had an overall successful series of worldwide protests. Our work work as feminists would be so much stronger if we'd stop dismissing race.

And yes, what I'm about to say is intersectionality 101, but I met a lot of women yesterday who - based on what I observed as their less than kind words and actions - have not yet taken intersectionality 101, let alone seem to be aware of intersectionality as a concept. (There were a ton of "Intersectional Feminism" signs out yesterday, however - and that was fantastic to see!)

Talking about race doesn't divide women. What does divide women is dismissing race. Yes, it's hard to be a white woman. White women make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. That is a reality and it's utter bullshit to boot. But black women? Let's not forget that they make 65 cents for every man's dollar. Hispanic women make even less at 58 cents for every man's dollar. If you thought a white woman's 82 cent for every dollar wage gap was bullshit, try being a woman of color. And yes, I realize that Asian women make slightly higher wages than white woman at 87 cents for every man's dollar, but that is partly the result of 'positive stereotypes' about Asian intelligence and work ethic. I don't think I need to explain why this is equally hurtful for Asian women. Women are undervalued because of their gender, but a woman's race has always been used as the ultimate determinant in just how undervalued she will be in the eyes of society. Not only are women ranked below men, but we're sub-ranked according to our race. I feel like this should be obvious, but apparently it's not.

I noticed after I started to hear rumblings at the March of, "why are women of color making this all about them," a lot of people started to walk out of the march. People were still standing listening to speakers, but there was a huge out-flow of people leaving to go... somewhere. Maybe they were tired, could only stay for a little while, or just needed to use the porta potty. But from some I heard comments, sighs; from some I saw eye rolls.

One of the signs I brought said "Black Lives Matter more than White Feelings". At one point I was holding it up while large streams of protesters passed me by to exit, and got quite a bit of side eye from white people. One woman who saw my sign did touch my arm, smile, and say, "Yes." So, again, I realize that not every white feminist is like this, nor am I saying the majority are like this. But if my sign made some white feminists feel uncomfortable yesterday, I'm really glad, because now they're thinking about it. I hope.

Anyway, I'm going to emphasize again that I bring this up not as a Metafilter-specific issue, but rather an issue that we Women's March participants and allies need to keep in the forefront of our minds. Because this 'turn a blind eye to race' factor was very, very apparent and visible yesterday, and despite all of the great things said and achieved at yesterday's Marches, systemic issues like the one I've described here cannot continue to be ignored if we intend to succeed in our mission.

I would love to hear other's thoughts on this, as well as any similar or counter observations.
posted by nightrecordings at 12:30 PM on January 22, 2017 [25 favorites]

I actually posted a comment about a similar experience here, also at DC. As I said I was fucking appalled by the antsieness and the shouts to just march already, and I pushed back very hard on them where I saw them. It wasn't enough to stop it--actually my partner and I had a small but frustrated fight and it; they thought that shouting back at the determined asshole white dude who kept insisting we should march would just give him more attention.

But I wasn't the only one pushing back around us, and I wasn't even the only one who told that dude to shut up. And the lady near me who had picked up the chant stopped when I sharply said it was a jerk move and explained why, and settled in and grinned and listened after a little while.

So. It was something. And I'll keep at least speaking quietly to white people about stuff like that in crowds, too.
posted by sciatrix at 2:16 PM on January 22, 2017 [7 favorites]

I too overcame anxieties & misgivings & went to the NYC march with my wife & 6-yr-old daughter (her sign: "I do not like Donald Trump. I think he will be a bad president!") & am so happy I did. My kid's mind was blown by how big the crowd was and how funny the signs were--it wasn't what she was expecting, I think.

After the rally it took us nearly 2 hours to move walk one block, from 1st to 2nd. It was sometimes stressful (I tend to freak out in crowds) but I kept reminding myself that there wasn't anywhere else we needed to be, there wasn't some widget not being made or some peace not being waged because we were stuck in an inefficient bottleneck. Showing up, jeering & singing, looking at other signs & waving our own--that's all we needed & wanted to do.

I don't generally post pictures of my kid but am glad to report that in all the pictures we took she has a look of cackling, demented, toothless glee. Like the first time she squeezed bubble wrap. Which makes me feel like she was tapping into something witchy and excellent & made me even prouder.
posted by miles per flower at 2:34 PM on January 22, 2017 [8 favorites]

I attended the march in DC and am so glad I got over my introvert tendencies and went. What an awe-inspiring, empowering day. My social media feeds have been filled with amazing women and allies all day!

In follow up, today I emailed my Representative and both of my Senators for the first time in my adult life to thank them for their support for the March and to share my thoughts on the REINS Act. I'm ashamed that it took me til my early 30s to contact any of my elected officials, but I'm hoping it's a new habit I can start this year.
posted by JannaK at 6:35 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

Tens of thousands were left on train platforms because trains were already sardined. Just amazing turnout and energy in LA!
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:31 AM on January 23, 2017

Btw, let me mention Swing Left. It finds your closest swing district and helps you flip it Democratic. Just came into being. We need to take back the House!
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:35 AM on January 23, 2017 [6 favorites]

One thing for larger cities to consider for future events should be making sure our events do not impinge on the those who still have to work and who rely on public transportation.

I saw many, many unhappy people who were clearly on the way to work who also had to wait for many, many trains before they could get on board.* Perhaps people who are near the doors could offer to hop off to make room for someone. Also, as a heavy user of public transportation I don't think I saw any alerts about the upcoming march and any possible delays. I know turnout was larger than expected, but going forward Metro should make a concerted effort to get the word out and suggest alternative routes.

*I discovered that one reason it was so busy at the end of the line in Santa Monica is that people further along who couldn't get on decided to take the train in the opposite direction back to Santa Monica so they could be on the train when it left.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:41 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Portland, Maine march was an unbelievable crowd of awesome people. I took just a few photos.
posted by mikepop at 8:41 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would love to hear other's thoughts on this, as well as any similar or counter observations.

Counter observation here:

It felt like the Cincinnati Sister March had more WOC speakers than white speakers. Someone can correct me if they know better, and we arrived slightly late, but it really seemed to me like more WOC were speaking than white people were speaking. So that was great! There was TONS of cheering and applauding when BLM were mentioned. I didn't overhear anything negative like "all lives matter" or any of that bullshit.

The marching crowd chanted "black lives matter" just as much as they chanted "keep Planned Parenthood" and "Not My President." It was pretty great.

I have to wonder if the tone that our city sets helped us in this matter. I know there is TONS of work to do, but it feels like the people in charge (maybe not sooooo much the Chief of Police, but he's just a dick in general, so....) take BLM pretty seriously here. There have been task forces gathered, lots of listening and good feedback, etc. The city as a whole was very, very upset at the mistrial of a white police officer who killed a black man in a traffic stop; everyone was like, "Seriously? Dude was wearing a confederate flag t-shirt under his police uniform. COME ON. How is that a hung jury??" The city takes this shit seriously (the police officer in question, btw, was being charged with murder, a charge brought by the white DA), so I think we do, too.
posted by cooker girl at 9:06 AM on January 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

nightrecordings, my experience in DC was very similar. I posted some links of a few others' experiences in the thread on the blue. Overall, I'm glad I went and participated. But, there was a lot of #notallwhitewomen on display. It highlighted how much more work we white intersectional feminists have to do in educating other white women.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:15 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Cooker girl, DC absolutely had a clear majority of WoC speakers too. The problem was less the speakers and more some responses of the crowd.
posted by sciatrix at 9:24 AM on January 23, 2017

Such a great thing, all of it! We're not dead yet!
posted by Oyéah at 9:28 AM on January 23, 2017

Oh, that's too bad. Hopefully I just didn't get lucky and the rest of the crowd was as receptive as the people I was surrounded by.
posted by cooker girl at 9:29 AM on January 23, 2017

Honestly, it was a mixed bag? Like, I also don't want you to take away the impression that this was an event with a crowd that didn't genuinely care about being intersectional either. There were e.g. the fast and delighted way the crowd around us took up the chant for Sophie Cruz, there were a lot of people who pushed back on the "bored now" thing, there was a fucking roar from the crowds when Janelle Monae got us chanting #SayHerName. Like that's the loudest I have ever heard any group of people in my damn life. There was a lot of explaining who people were and their context around me, and a whole lotta love for Maxine Waters whose speech had just as few fucks as her Congressional press conference last week.

It was definitely flawed and we white feminists have some goddamn work to do. But it was also in no way irredeemable either. We've come quite some way, I think, and acknowledging that we have quite a way to go doesn't negate that. This is a beginning, so let's have conversations about what we'd like to do better as we go.
posted by sciatrix at 10:57 AM on January 23, 2017 [5 favorites]

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