If the Sister March in Wichita, Kansas was representative of other events in solidarity with the Women’s March in DC, there is a good start to peaceful resistance around the world. The sun warmed the morning, pink hats dotted the crowd like so much party confetti scattered among the thousands in attendance, and the mood was optimistic toward a future where we stand together against injustice for any of our compromised friends or neighbors.
The signs held by many echoed every concern of the last year. When a couple of bystanders yelled opposition to the purposes of the march, they were ignored by all the rest. Over all, it appeared to be the perfect first step of peaceful resistance, an exercise of our first amendment rights on the first day of a new era, when the only way to go is forward.
Some of my favorite signs held these messages:
Respect Existence OR Expect Resistance
We’re Not Going Anywhere. United Against Hate.
We love our Muslim Brothers and Sisters. Deport Racism.
I’m Muslim. Isis Doesn’t Represent Me or Islam
Black Lives Matter
We Stand with Standing Rock
Women March for Health Care
Girls Just Want to Have Fun- Damental Rights
The Brave Choose Love
Who Would Jesus Exclude?
Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly. Micah 6:8
Hope Not Fear
Make America Think Again
Hear Our Voice
Marching for my Daughter: Her Values, Her Voice, Her Vote, Her Choice
A Woman’s Place is in the Revolution
I’m too clumsy to be around fragile masculinity
End White Silence
Never Doubt you are Valuable, Powerful and Deserving of every chance in the world.
And perhaps my favorite, Building Bridges Not Walls
(more on that later)
A few speakers and musicians were lined up to address the crowd. Though hard to hear and understand, I was able to listen to one energetic woman. She shared motivational ideas that included this message,“Love one another. Share love, even in the tiniest ways. Smile at someone you don’t know.
“This is why I fight. I fight for my daughter and my son—for everyone. Because it’s the right thing to do. We can’t go back. We need to move forward for a better America.
“If we stop trying we’ll never learn to walk. Sure, we’ll get knocked down. But we’ll get back up again. We the People hold our destiny in our own hands. We hold the power to affect the lives around us.
“In the words of a popular song, ‘I may have only one match, but I can make an explosion!’ Together we can be that explosion! Do not be afraid, for we were born to do this.”
As the marchers filtered back toward the origin of their walk, we listened to live musicians present the song, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”. I left feeling energized and optimistic that we could hang onto the progress we’ve made over the last half-century toward inclusive human rights.