It was a dark and foggy morning when I drove out of Gig Harbor on my way to Bainbridge Island. My plan was to meet up with my friend and fellow writer, Kathy, and walk on the ferry to Seattle. There we could connect with the Women’s March on its journey through downtown to Seattle Center. Kathy provided me with a knitted, bright pink “pussy hat,” that had become all the rage as a protest against Donald Trump’s sexist remarks.
At the ferry we met up with Jill, a writer friend of Kathy’s. The three of us boarded, along with hundreds of women and men of all ages, youth, children and babies. There was a slight drizzle as the ferry left the dock, and I hoped it wouldn’t turn into a downpour. When we landed in Seattle, most people headed off to the march’s starting point, Judkin Park, which was a couple of miles from there. Instead, we hiked up the hilly streets until we reached the library on 4th and Madison, a point where the march would pass by.
By now the sky was clear, and the sun blessed us. Its beams angled between the skyscrapers and warmed the crowd. We all milled around in anticipation of the arrival of the marchers. High above us, helicopters whirred against the blue sky.
Policemen greeted pedestrians with a smile. Pink hats were everywhere and homemade signs were abundant. At noon a police escort rumbled by, and the marchers flowed past us, silently, like a powerful river. We cheered, took pictures, and then stepped into the flow.
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We were all choked up with the meaning of the moment. So many people coming together to stand for the things we all believe in, and to stand against the forces that have the potential to harm our democracy.
We marched along 4th Avenue, connecting with our fellow marchers and taking in the sidewalk crowds that cheered us on.
Here is a sampling of the signs: “I Can’t Believe I Still Have to Protest this S**t,” “Now You’ve Really PO’d Grandma,” “Love Trumps Hate,” “Keep Your Hands Off My Rights,” “Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights,” “Climate Change is Real,” “Build Bridges Not Walls,” “Will Someone Please Delete Trump’s Twitter Account,” “I’m with Her, & Her & Her & Her.”
I think my favorite sign said, “Great Presidents Capture Peoples’ Hearts, Not Their Anger.”
About halfway through the march, we could hear a deafening roar coming from behind us, and as it approached, we all spontaneously cheered and raised our arms. That “wave” was energizing, and transformed the quiet walking. It continued for the rest of the march.
There were speakers along the way, shouting through megaphones and urging us to get involved in the political process.
We wended our way to the fountain in Seattle Center. The water burst into the sky, then splashed onto the concrete paving with soothing effect. People rested along the fountain’s edge. We checked our phones, and learned that turnout across the country and the world had hit record numbers. Seattle had between 120,000 and 175,000 participants!
After resting our weary legs, we walked back toward the ferry. Fellow marchers were everywhere, filling up shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. An ethnic restaurant on 1st Avenue drew us in. We ordered cocktails, toasted ourselves, and all the dedicated people who showed up to voice their concerns.
What to do next? Stay involved, call our representatives, donate our time, and money. Pay close attention to the consequences of decisions made by this president and his cabinet, then take action. Watch out for each other!
Reach Mary Magee at email@example.com.