Why I march

Though Women's March attendance continues to decline, marching remains integral to fulfilling one's civic duty

Three years after the inauguration of President Trump, I am still marching, and every year the one question I get without fail is “Why do you march?”. 

I think it’s reasonable to assume that anyone’s default answer might be because of anger, shock, and even devastation – and while these reasons are undoubtedly valid, I march out of hope. The crowd keeps shrinking, but I continue to march because I believe that despite the injustices many Americans have faced over the course of the Trump administration, we will persist and create structural change.  

Although the organizers of the  Women’s March emphasize climate change, immigration, and reproductive rights, our current president inevitably becomes intertwined in the kitchen sink of issues being protested – which isn’t surprising given the last couple of years. 

In 2018 as I sat making my sign for the Women’s March, the government was shut down. By  2019, Justice Brett Kavanaugh had been confirmed to the Supreme Court, the President had authorized the use of lethal force and tear gas against migrants, and the government had shut down once again. Now in 2020, the President is awaiting his impeachment trial while Harvey Weinstein awaits his own trial, all after narrowly avoiding a war with Iran. And that is only the condensed highlight reel, so if you’re not appalled by any of the events listed above, go to any nonpartisan news outlet and you’ll be sure to find one. 

My issues with the current political climate aside, I feel as though it is my civic duty to march. As a teenager, I’m not yet eligible to vote and lack access to government officials,  so marching is one of the ways I am able to exercise my citizenship while supporting a cause I believe is just. 

But I also believe that it is important to address the role of social media among marchers.  I will admit that I’ll post a video or two on Snapchat at the march, but for the most part, I choose to stay off of social media because I believe that the sincerity of my efforts should not be undermined by a strategically designed Instagram post. I march because I am passionate about the causes supported by the Women’s March, not because I desire praise or attention for coming off as “woke”. 

I mean no disrespect to people who do take to social media to publicize their activities, but when I  march, I do not let my left hand know what my right hand is doing. I am not trying to impress anyone, nor do I need a pat on the back for fulfilling my civic duty. 

So why do I march? I march because women’s rights are human rights; because I believe a woman should have the right to choose; because I believe in the Green New Deal; because I believe that the United States must support and empower its immigrant and minority communities; because racism has no place in this country, and because I want my country to do better.