Monday, January 23, 2017

The Women's March on Washington

My daughter Brigid at the mach - photo credit to my daughter Grace

The Women's March on Washington turned out to be just as wonderful and life-fulfilling as I'd hoped. I admit, I got a little scared on Friday, after hearing about violent protests and pepper spraying in Washington on Friday. Still, we decided to go ahead with our plans, and my daughters, Brigid and Grace and I boarded a bus at 6:00 am, and arrived in Washington a couple of hours later.

Everyone we encountered throughout the entire day was beaming with good will. Even the Washington DC security, who lined the route to the march, cheered us on and gave us high fives.  At most of the houses on the route to the March, up Capital Ave, supporters waved or cheered from their front porches. One house had a live band. One resident of the street handed out soup. Except for one lonely house with a pro-Trump sign in the window, almost every house along the two-mile avenue had a sign that expressed solidarity with the march.

Also awesome was the sea of pink hats, the result of the Pussy Hat Project. From our bus on the way to the march, we saw a long line of pink-hatted people waiting to get into one of the metro stations. We saw trains crammed with pink hats, and the crowd around us, walking to the march was an endless expanse of pink hats. Now I wish I'd knit one for myself, but I used all my knitting energy making anti-Trump yarn bombs, which I secured to trees on Capitol Hill and in other spots around Washington. I will knit a few now. I'm sure I'll find some places to put them. :)

Friday was a sad day. Trump's inaugural speech was disturbing, to say the least. After speaking grandly about returning wealth that had been "ripped" from American homes, Trump's VERY FIRST action in office was to screw the middle class by suspending indefinitely an initiative that would have lowered PMI premiums. He then went on to scrub the White House web site of any mention of climate change. The new "America First Energy Plan" is a truly terrifying document and I urge you all to read it, unless you're OK with the total destruction of our national parks. After this, what I needed was to be with other people who agreed that this is fucked up and un-American; that we need to fight Trump and his policies.

Trump is unbearable

I was thrilled to attend the march with my daughters, and experience the largest protest in American history with them. My mother was an activist - I have memories of being pushed in a stroller while she canvassed door-to-door for liberal political candidates. She died twenty years ago, but I know that she, along with my aunts and grandmother, were with us in spirit. I hope that Brigid and Grace and I will carry on my mother's practice of activism.

Of course we had some funny little incidents, the main one being the drama caused by Brigid's coat. She got a free fur coat from a thrift shop, and using other thrifted textiles, stitched the word NASTY on the back and appliqued an assortment of female anatomy. Wooden sign posts were forbidden, but Brigid found a thrifted baby toy and fashioned it into a long, albeit droopy sign post. People freaked out a bit We hadn't even boarded our bus in Charlottesville and I spotted someone photographing Brigid and her coat. And so it went, for the whole march, people asking to photograph the coat or to have their picture taken with her. Eventually we ran into the press. A journalist from Montreal interviewed her, and later, another journalist chased her down and said, "Do you know how many people are chasing after you, trying to get a picture of your coat?" She took a lot of pictures, and then another journalist took more.  Also, as we approached some police officers who were watching the crowd, I overheard one of them say to the other, "We've got a vagina coat over here." But when we walked past and he saw the "Nasty" on the back, he said, "That's awesome." I guess it's pretty cool if the D.C. police admire your protest wear. Have you seen her coat in your feeds?

We ran into the woman pictured below and of course had to have a chat and some photographs. The hilarious thing was that a little girl, as she approached us, screamed, "That is NOT a hot dog!"
The "hot dog lady"

Brigid's coat turned out to be useful in addition to being decorative. There were tight bag restrictions at the march, so we put most of what we needed into our pockets. Brigid's coat pocket was large enough to hold a partial roll of toilet paper, which came in handy at the port-a-potties at the end of the march.

Finally, one of the most personally heartwarming things about the march was that I hung a small "NO TRUMP" yarn bomb on a tree in Lincoln Park on the way to the march. Hours later, as we were walking back to our bus, I checked to see if it was still there. It was, only someone had embellished it with a solidarity pin. We also noticed that the tree I'd randomly selected was a pussywillow!

I hope that everyone had a great marching experience on Saturday. It was a historic moment and if we continue to stand together, we can defeat this man.


  1. What a great report! That coat is amazing, as are your yarn bombs. I hope you will put some around Charlottesville. It was such a fantastic day, and now, somehow, we have to keep it going.

  2. I had a fabulous march as well, stomach bug and all. I have seen that coat popping up in my 'discover instagram' feed or whatever that is called. SO STINKING COOL! Had I seen it, I would have photographed it too! I love, love, love that someone added to your yarn bombing. I love that you yarn bombed! But now it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We need to use this feel-good glow we all have from Saturday to come together and get these assclowns out of the office.

  3. Thank you so much for this blog post. Glad I was able to find some more pictures of your daughter on Instagram :) Love you guys - miss you tons - wish we could have spent more time together!

    1. I'm glad we did get a chance to see each other. It's been too long!

  4. That coat is incredible. I hope your daughter wears it every day.

  5. Fantastic coat, fabulous signs, amazing yarn bomb. Thank you and your daughters!!

  6. I marched in Madison that day and thank YOU for taking the march to Washington! Solidarity!
    I enjoyed reading about what it was like THERE, it sounds a lot like the march we had here--full of empowerment, diversity and peace. And a lot of humor.