The Women’s March on Washington! What an Adventure! I’m so excited to go!
It’s the first one I’ve ever participated in (I’m not including the one I watched while I was a student in Paris and got hit with shrapnel). I am meeting up with a bunch of people I have never met before, driving down in a rented van and staying in Baltimore. We will be driving to the metro, taking it in to a designated stop, and meeting others there. I feel some anxiety over being with people I don’t know (it’s out of my comfort zone, which is part of the adventure!). I know a lot of others who will be there, arriving with their friends or chartered bus full of like-minded souls. My dad is coming with his church group (mom can’t make it, she hurt her knee…and at 76 she’s good at taking care of herself. Plus, she’s going to the local one in Boston instead! My parents are such inspirations!!).
My mom told me about the PUSSYHAT PROJECT where women have been knitting (or sewing) pink hats that look like they have cat ears on them. They have become a symbol of protest since the release of the video where he states he can “grab them by the pussy” (etc. I can barely type the whole thing out, the whole thing still angers me. Obviously, I’m not alone). I did not have time to find a hat through knitter friends, nor had time to go buy pink fleece. So I made my own out of an upcycled skirt and leftover black fleece using a pattern I found on one of the Women’s March Facebook pages. It’s a little weird, but that’s ok! I’m used to wearing different things…and in the sea of pink hats, mine will blend in.
What to Pack
Here’s a quick list of what I’m packing for the Women’s March:
comfortable walking boots (boots vs sneakers in case it rains. The mesh in my sneakers don’t keep out water)
sneakers (for when I’m not at the March and want a good alternative)
rain poncho (no umbrella, you want your hands free)
clear plastic backpack (regular backpacks discouraged for safety reason, and I want to bring snacks/water and have my hands free for holding signs)
water bottle with filter (peace of mind if I fill up at a water cooler or even the hotel room)
nut mix (with my dietary restrictions, who knows what I can eat on the road. This helps fill in the gap)
chocolate (because chocolate. It’s a good energy source too. Bite size portions so I can share with others)
utility belt (way cooler than fanny packs) for ID and phone
sharpie (tip: write important numbers on your body in case of arrest or emergencies. Chisel Tip for posters)
phone charger (my Auntie Di, who protested Vietnam and other important causes, sent me an Anker small one for quick recharge, and a larger one so I can share power, as presents for my first protest!)
flashlight (if you get this Refun rechargeable one, message me for instructions. I’ll send on the one Auntie Di sent me)
Advil and Bandaids
Maalox mixed with water or saline solution (antidote for tear gas)
pirate bandana (can be used to catch sweat, or for tear gas or other smokey situations)
and the other usual stuff (clothes/toiletries).
I’m off! Trains, vans, hotels and lots of walking with hundreds and hundreds of people standing up for their beliefs!
Monday Blues/Post Mortem
It was amazing to be a part of such an historic event. According to the news, this was the largest protest on Washington ever – even more than in the 60s for Civil Rights and against Vietnam. Looking at my packing list I did ok. I wish I had created or thought out my signage more. My hat received compliments, but I wish I had one of the comfier knitted or fleece ones. My boots were perfect for the miles we walked. I brought enough snacks to share with my newly made friends (leaving the March would have taken too long, the crowds were massive). The gourmet chocolate gave just that wonderful edge to our euphoria. I changed the plastic tote to a backpack (my tote was ok, but I saw dozens of backpacks that would have worked so much better!)
As follow up, I will keep facing my fears of standing up for myself (and what I passionately believe to be right). I will keep Adventuring on!