Over 3 Million March for Justice: Now what?
I am one of those who couldn’t believe that the America I know and love could elect Donald Trump as President.
I am also one of the over three million or more women, men, and children around the world who marched on Saturday, January 21, 2017 for women’s rights and justice for all.
Today I’m left with the reality that right now,
we’re in a fight for democracy.
Paulo Freire says, in his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed that first we need to name the problem, then reflect on solutions, then take action.
If we want to win this struggle, we must figure out:
- What are the problems that connects us?
- What binds us together?
- What are our commonalities?
- What’s our collective story?
In naming the problem, we must avoid conflicts and differences, and the way to do it is by figuring out what brings us together, who we are, and what matters most to us.
Once we determine what unites us, we can’t be afraid to take power, because local power is where it’s at if we are going to achieve our goals, if we are going to save our democracy. Locally is where we can have the most impact.
We must take the power that is ours.
That doesn’t mean that YOU must run for office but we must step forward and support those who are willing to run for office.
Yes, vote, and help get out the vote, but we must be aware and involved all year around with these issues that concern us all. I mean, what does it take to get YOU and ME off the couch to become a participating member of our society? Of our democracy?
For me, I’m ready to march on Tax Day Saturday April 15 to demand Trump release his taxes. This may not be the issue that matters most but I do think it is a specific issue many of us could rally around. Also Saturday April 22 is Earth Day, and I see that as having special significance this year. I would march for the Earth. I could also see a march on President’s Day Monday Feb. 20 to honor our OTHER presidents and one in March specifically about women’s rights.
What will YOU march for? What will YOU stand up for?
We must take responsibility to reach out to friends and neighbors to find out what matters most to them, to determine commonalities, so we can work together to achieve our goals.
While it is a huge point of pride to many that the marches did not generate any arrests, some of us need to be willing to participate in peaceful demonstrations that may lead to arrests.
At this point I feel like I have nothing to lose that matters more to me than the potential destruction of our planet, of our democracy, of our sense of justice. I am willing to be arrested. They can’t arrest all of us if we take the streets.
The bottom line is, the massive mobilization that we saw with the Women’s March needs to lead to organization of those three million or more people who left the comfort of their homes to stand up for what matters. For me, it’s social justice and environmental justice, and I’m still wearing my pussy hat today.
It’s going to be a wild ride for a few years because the actions of this current administration will only serve to accelerate the progress we’re already seeing in California and is bound to happen elsewhere.
Along the way there will be more marches and protests and other forms of disobedience and education.
On Wednesday night, January 25, 2017, Oxnard College will host an event sponsored by KCRW and the Ventura County Star to explore “Undocumented Under Trump: The uncertain future of immigrants in Southern California.” In this live broadcast at 7pm hosted by KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian, panelists Gabriella Navarro Busch, Immigration Lawyer; Nayra Pacheco, Outreach Coordinator at Just Communities; Geoff Dean, Ventura County Sheriff; and Mike Stoker Agricultural Law Attorney, former Santa Barbara County Supervisor and former Chairman of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, will address concerns about how Trump’s anti-immigration agenda could tear apart lives, jobs and families. KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian speaks with experts on immigrant rights and the local economy to learn how this new administration may impact one of California’s most vulnerable populations, and how local leaders are responding. RSVP and learn more here. You can listen live at KCRW or online at KCRW.com.
In the end, the change that we need will come because, just like we showed up by the millions to march, we will show up by the millions to make change happen. We can’t go back. The tide has already turned in California.
Like we are already seeing in California, the US and the world will transition to a sustainable, global, connected civilization. May it be just. May it be peaceful. May it be soon.
This was written at the request of my friend Michael Sullivan editor at the VC Reporter, and I sent a shorter version of this over to her to use as she sees useful. She and I were talking the other night while our sons were doing a project. She marched in LA and I marched in Ventura. We compared notes and thoughts and a key one is
Sending postcards? is that gonna cut it? more marches? will they care?
WHAT CAN AND WILL WE DO?
She asked me to write something up and I helped her further by forwarding on this request to a number of my Ventura County friends who attended the March in LA or Ventura. We asked:
- What did you learn from your experience?
- What is next for you as you/we press forward?
The results will be part of a feature story in the Thursday print edition of the VC Reporter with more images and quotes in the online edition of the VCR.
Did you participate? How? What did you learn? What will you do next?
Watch for the VCR article and for an exhibit of artifacts from Ventura County marchers to be held soon at the Museum of Ventura. Read more about how the signs are becoming part of the historical record.