Yesterday, I marched with 100,000 other people and rallied at the Minnesota State Capitol in St Paul MN. I've been asked by a lot of people why I marched, and also, what people in general are protesting/marching for. The answer, I believe, is kind of different for everyone and I wanted to lay out some of the ones I heard and saw yesterday. I want to make it clear that not all of these stances are ones that I personally agree with 100%, nor were all of them the reasons why I personally marched. However, I still admire that everyone present was there because there was SOME issue that was very important to THEM. Not everyone was "whining" or "crying" but many were simply showing support. This is what democracy is all about.
1. Pay inequality - women, on average, still make $.77 to every dollar that their male counterparts make.
2. Freedom for women to decide if they want an abortion.
3. Raising awareness and speaking out against sexual assault and against those who brush it under the rug.
4. Environmental rights - clean water, investment in renewable energy instead of fracking, belief in and attention to global warming, etc
5. LGBTQ rights (self explanatory I hope)
6. Support & Solidarity - supporting those at Standing Rock, encouraging women to become lawmakers so we are better represented, promoting feminism, standing up against misogyny and demeaning comments/behavior, support for the Muslim community and all races/immigrants, support for teachers, welcoming anyone "to the table" that is willing to understand each other's sides without ego or underlying agenda.
7. Displaying their disapproval of Donald Trump as President.
These are just SOME of the issues/themes I witnessed and the list is certainly not all inclusive. The photos I'm posting below represent these themes, and I understand if some will incite frustration or anger or disbelief or WHATEVER in you - please remember that we all have different perspectives and ideas.
To my knowledge there was only 1 incident, where a Trump supporter started spraying pepper spray into the peaceful marching crowd. Other than that, all were encouraged to let the police do their job and to ensure everyone remained peaceful. After all, our children were watching (literally). And it was BEAUTIFUL.
I'm not going to lie: I cried. I cried tears of happiness because you could feel so much love and support. Sure, you could feel some frustration and dislike for our new President, but I didn't think that was overwhelming. It was incredible to see people of all ages, color, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, class, profession, and size come together to let the WORLD know we are ready to work.
Our work begins now.