This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Posted January 25, 2017on:
Here we are Widdeshins, living in a Trumpian world. His first act as President was to name his inauguration day a holiday: National Day of Patriotic Devotion. Dear Leader Clamoring Yam (DLCY.)
“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Jan. 20, 2017, as National Day of Patriotic Devotion, in order to strengthen our bonds to each other and to our country — and to renew the duties of government to the people,” the order says.
“Our Constitution is written on parchment, but it lives in the hearts of the American people,” the order continues. “There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it; no law where the people do not follow it; and no peace where the people do not pray for it.”
I hope you are all ready to worship at the gilded feet of DLCY. His other early acts was an
executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule, which forbids family planning organizations that receive federal money to talk about contraception and abortion. Though some Democrats are saying they will fight it, we will see if party leaders have any fight left in them.
Whatever resistance is bubbling up, it is, unlike the Tea Party, actually bubbling from the bottom up. The Democratic Party has been completely missing in action since the Day of Horrors. The Marches on Washington and around the country (and the globe, like this march of 15 people in the tiny village of Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia) were entirely grass-roots organized. And they brought out millions to show the Dear Leader that we will not do what he desires most: love him. We will not love him, we will not respect him. He has earned neither.
Now on to the marches. The organizing was not without issues. The original DC march was somehow coopted by a Bernie Bros: Linda Sarsour. Her hatred of HRC manifested itself when the march released a list of 40 women it honored – and HRC was not on the list. When the internet exploded in rage, Sarsour said something stupid about being angry at HRC for attending the inauguration. I’m really not sure what he fuck that means, especially since her favorite Bot, Bernie, attended it as well. Even so, I really don’t understand how HRC attending the inauguration negates decades of public service and a historical run for President, which won her more votes than Dear Leader. Sarsour is filth. The irony is that she is now feeling the heat from the right-wing media. All the usual suspects have descended on her, accusing her of having ties to Hamas, Islamic Brotherhood and ISIS, as well as distributing Tweets from her that justify Sharia Law (I actually have not been able to verify if these Tweets are real or fake…) I won’t link to any of this because it comes from right-wing sites none of us want to visit. A visit to her Twitter page shows some of the more personal…shall we call them “contacts.” But Sarsour felt so sad about it that she started her own Twitter hashtag: #imarchwithlinda. Many, including Bernie, have Tweeted their support. As for me – to quote Angel on the series Angel – “And yet, somehow, I just can’t seem to care.” If only there was a woman, smeared for decades by the right-wing media, that Sarsour could relate to… if only… I can’t think of anyone, can you?
Now on to the more inspiring topic of the marches. The NYC march – pointedly not affiliated in any way with the DC march (!) was incredible. As a point of reference, here is the map showing the planned route it.
My friends and I walked to the starting line of the March, on 2nd Ave and 47th St. We had tickets, but before we could figure out where the staging area was, NYPD put down barriers and suddenly we and thousands of others were blocked from actually marching, though we could spectate. Before us was a women’s drumming group (sorry to say I don’t know who they were). They were going to lead the parade and 2nd in line was the Mayor’s Office, represented by Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, actors Helen Mirren and Cynthia Nixon, and many other city officials. The crowd was a bit annoyed at being locked in behind the barriers, and as soon as the drumming group passed, signaling the start of the March – thousands of people started climbing over the barriers to join the March. NYPD just shrugged. This was a good thing. Everybody realized that people just wanted to March. The result of thousands of people rushing the barricades is a traffic jam. Suddenly the March came to a halt. After about 30 minutes of not knowing what to do, NYPD told us to start walking towards 5th Ave (where the March was supposed to start making its way towards Trump Tower.) So thousands of us started walking on 43 through 47th Streets from 2nd to 5th Avenues. All traffic along the way came to a grinding halt. We are talking here spontaneously shutting down entire East Side of Manhattan. And yet, there was no violence, no screaming, no fighting. Many cars, now sitting in traffic that would not move for hours, honked in encouragement. We finally made our way to 5th Ave, now essentially the lead of the March, as the marching band – which lead the way on the official route, walked behind us. On 5th Ave, Minority Leader and NY Senator Chuck Schumer did a walk-by to many cheers. At a rally later he said Donald Trump wouldn’t know what hit him when Democrats are through with him. Again, we will see about that… we can only hope.
An incredible day, with zero violence and no arrests by NYPD. Some cops were taking selfies with the marchers. As my friends and I were making our way towards 5th Ave, I heard one police officer on his cell phone say: “It’s crazier up here than it is down there. It’s completely bonkers.”
Here are a bunch of photos from the march, some of my favorites signs I was able to capture, some taken by friends. Alas, many others I could not catch.
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