10 Ways to Keep Fighting After the Women’s March

As I joined the San Jose Women’s March on January 21, the positive energy embraced me. Women, men and children were all moving forward, squished together, happy, laughing and chanting. It was a giant party, attended by the many races and ethnicities that make up the U.S.

Shuffling forward slowly, I had time to read some of the unique signs: “Putin’s Princess” illustrated by Trump in a low-cut white ballgown, white gloves and a tiara; “Pussy Grabs Back”; and “Make Sexism Wrong Again.” At the rally at Cesar Chavez Plaza, when City Council member Cindy Chavez told us all to shake hands with our neighbors, we did so, smiling and laughing. Then we all danced to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman.” It was a day of unity.

Now, it’s three days after the Women’s Marches and time to wonder: What next? 

Here are 10 suggestions for ways to hold on to that awesome energy and keep fighting.

1.  Inform Yourself. How much do you know about the rights of women, immigrants, LGBTQ groups, transgender people, and of all the struggles to protect them? The Women’s March was billed as “a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all.” Fighting for those rights means first informing yourself of what they are.

2. Sign Petitions. Here’s a really important one to get started with: George Takei’s petition asking Trump to stand up for Muslims in the U.S. At the age of five, Takei was rounded up with his family and taken to a Japanese internment camp, because Japanese people were perceived as a national security threat. He is now fighting to make sure what happened to his family is not repeated. He urges readers to sign the petition to ”let the Muslim community know you support them and oppose any policy targeting them based on their religion or national origin.”

3. Volunteer. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo declared at our rally, “We are united. Here in San Jose, we are united.” What better way to show that unity than by volunteering, whether it’s working at a food bank, teaching English to newly arrived immigrants, picking up litter, or educating families about important programs that can empower their lives. We need to all work together.

4. Join A Movement. Several speakers at the Washington Women’s March had specific suggestions. Amanda Nguyen encouraged protestors to join her organization Rise, which works to protect the rights of sexual assault survivors. She herself is a sexual assault survivor, and her coalition helped craft the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Act, which became law last year. “In America, no one is powerless when we come together, and no one can make us invisible when we demand to be seen,” she told the crowd.

5. Run For Office. As Michael Moore spoke to the D.C. crowd, he urged them to call members of Congress, to challenge the “old guard” of the Democratic Party, and also to run for office. Indeed, as Care 2′s Lauren Longo noted in this blog postmore than 4,500 women have signed up to run for office since Donald Trump’s election.

Women's_March_(VOA)_25

Photo Credit: By Voice of America, via Wikimedia Commons

6.  Get To Know More People. Gloria Steinem, a feminist icon and hero to many of us, said, “God may be in the details, but the Goddess is in connections.” Following this, she urged the estimated 676,000 people standing before her to “Make sure you introduce yourselves to each other.” This is what we did at the San Jose rally, and I got to meet Doris, a young woman originally from Mexico. As we hugged, I think we both felt the power of unity.

7. Stand Up For Human Rights. This is not a one-time action. This means standing up for the rights of everyone, 24/7, whenever you see them abused. Aileen Casanave, one of the speakers at the San Jose rally, and a woman who has worked tirelessly to promote social justice and inclusion, gave the crowd some examples of this: If you are a manager, make sure the people who report to you are being treated fairly; If you are a teacher, respect all your students equally.

8.  Make A Commitment. As Gloria Steinem said at the Washington D.C. Women’s March, “Decide what you are going to do tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. And we’re never turning back.” Whatever action, community group, human rights group or issue appeals to you, make a commitment to that cause and stick with it. The next four years will be hard work, and we can’t take them sitting down.

9.  Hope.  Martin Luther King declared“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” That doesn’t mean ignoring the attacks on human rights that Donald Trump has repeatedly issued. It means looking at them head-on and deciding to resist them. 

10. Ignore The Pundits who say this movement will never make it. I’ve read several that echo the negative tone of this New York Times article: “The challenge facing the organizers is how to channel the resolve and outrage of an organic protest into action that produces political change. That goal has eluded other popular movements, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter.” Let’s focus on the positive and stay strong.

The Women’s Marches, with an estimated 2.5 million protestors around the world, on all 7 continents, are “the upside of the downside,” as Steinem put it. Trump is bringing people together in the fight for equality and the refusal to be dragged back into the dark ages.

Liz Lemon, CC via Flickr

106 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y10 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y10 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Siyus C
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for posting!

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Amalia Gaidarji
Amalia Gaidarji2 years ago

ty

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heather g
heather g2 years ago

Canadians support you fully - In fact, most of the world supports you !!

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Hannah B
Hannah B2 years ago

Thanks for the info on how to move forward and keep up the peaceful resistance!

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Brett C
Brett Cloud2 years ago

Ty

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