I’ve always tried to keep things real on NTTC… and I want to give you my real perspective on the Women’s March on Denver. Know that I’ll completely understand if you choose to stop reading now and come back on Wednesday when I’m back to my usual programming.
At the same time, I’ll hope you’ll continue to read the perspective from a moderate, from another peaceful participant… and someone super proud of what I saw and heard from the folks who assembled in Denver.
Making the decision to participate wasn’t easy. It wasn’t something that I flung my arm up about when I heard it was going on. A few things concerned me: 1) While I may not have voted for the current president, I had no interest in attending an anti-Trump event. I’m very particular about the energy in which I choose to surround myself. If it was negative, I wanted no part in it. 2) And, attending a demonstration, couldn’t that be dangerous? What if there was more of a riot going on, or heaven forbid, some type of violence? What if there was a crisis and I was putting myself in the line of fire? I’m just me. I take care of me. And, honestly, I didn’t want anything dangerous to happen on my watch. Lastly, 3) I had been sick all week. It’s winter in Colorado. Getting outside for several hours in frigid weather when you’re not feeling 100% can be a really bad idea.
At the same time, the focus of the Women’s March on Denver’s mission was to affirm that HUMAN rights that are important to so many (including me) are cared for during this transition of power. While I don’t often feel oppressed or limited in what is available to me, I know that I have a voice and a desire to help others. With that, I couldn’t say no. My cold lessened up by Saturday, and we made the decision to march. And to also keep our eyes open… if at any point, the march did not match our intentions, we had an exit plan. Spoiler Alert: The march more than surpassed our expectations and was an incredible use of our time and energy.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, I met up with my friend Erin to take the light rail into the city. With thousands of women expected to embark on the capitol. Public transportation was definitely the preferred method in and out of the city, and the train was buzzing with positive energy and excitement about the morning’s events.
When we arrived at Denver’s Civic Center Park donning our pink hats (that I made the night before!), we began to see that we were amongst friends. The enthusiasm was high, people were carrying signs with messages they wanted to express, and there was music playing in certain pockets which was super fun. I honestly wish there had been more music… and maybe that I had been closer to the tuba and trumpet I saw on the news! So cool!
The lawn was covered with so many women and men and children, and behind them came more and more. So many nationalities and races were represented along with the old and the young. America showed up for this event…. and we far exceeded the projections of 30,000 attendees, as a reported 200,000 + arrived to march for the cause.
True Story: Some of my favorite moments were tied to time spent eavesdropping. While we spoke to plenty of folks, listening to groups of friends connect on why they were there, overhearing to a group of older women talk about how they knit for charity and want to do more things to help, and hearing stories of those who had attended demonstrations in years past… it was awesome. Like many, I often live in my bubble and hearing the diverse perspectives I observed on Saturday was important. There are so many out there that need our help. I had an inkling and knowing that it was out there, but I didn’t “see” it until my friends and neighbors of Denver gave me a greater glimpse on Saturday.
Other great moments: My heart was warmed when I heard male voices chanting along (and often leading!) the rally cry, and the sweet sound of a mixed group of all colors repeating “Black Lives Matter.” One of my favorite scenes was coming through the Denver Pavilions, with observers perched on the different levels of the mall cheering us on as snowflakes dangled above. Completely memorable… and utterly picturesque. If you were there, I hope it gave you chills, like it did me. And that you were moved to tears at least once by this phenomenal assembly of beautiful humans.
Erin and I made the decision not to bring signs to the march. To begin with, I had no idea what a march sign should say, having never participated in such an event. Not to worry, my words were painted on signs big and small by my sisters and brothers in the crowd. Thankfully, I found myself surrounded by like-minded women and men, who crafted my message and thoughts of the day beautifully. There were many, many creative pieces, but the ones that made me reach for my camera were often the ones where peace, love, and kindness were expressed. And, those are the ones that I remember and the ones that resonated for me.
I guarantee everyone you speak to that attended had a favorite sign. It was artistic and poignant to walk the streets of Denver reading all the creations and declarations.
The sign that left the biggest mark on me was this one. And, I asked to take a picture with it.
Why? Because this entire experience struck a chord deep within, and frankly… I stirred something long at rest. I witnessed first-hand the power of assembly and the potential to drive change by showing up. Looking at what’s important to me and where I’d like to see change, I’m reaching out to Denver-based organizations to volunteer my time and efforts to make this world a better place for all of us today and in the years that come.
Social media has been on fire this weekend, with tons of criticism for those of us who attended (and even for those that didn’t attend.) Defenses have been uttered by those who say they didn’t need to attend, those who say they weren’t represented, and those who feel that their time spent marching was incredibly valuable. Amongst friends, the debate is exhausting.
Folks, life is short… we’re all different. At a very basic level, my only ask is that we are kind to one another, not just when it’s easy and convenient, but always… and my goodness, we have lots of work to do to build the best future that we can, for everyone involved. If you think we are the best we’ll ever be, you can rest… but I have hopes, dreams, and aspirations!
Get involved where you can and how you can in honor of what’s important to you!
I can’t wait to see what comes next for all of us! xoxo