I’m going on the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday. The London bit. I haven’t got the energy to go to Washington. My political leanings only extend to the end of the M1. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this march. I really am looking forward to it. Properly butterflies in the stomach about it.
A friend asked me why last week. I’ve been thinking about it.
Here are my, mostly incoherent thoughts.
Politics on a large scale is almost impossible for an individual to take part in/influence/access. If you try, and believe me I have, there are always barriers. You can’t speak to him until you’ve spoken to the fifteen people below him in order of age and importance. You can’t meet with them, they’re busy. You can’t talk to him about that, it’s not his area. He’s not your MP so you can’t write to him. You can’t send that petition with that petition, it’s not valid. That is not the correct form. I cannot send you the correct form. And on, and on, and on.
Until you start to try and change the world, you have no idea how many doors will be very politely closed in your face. Politics in the UK is built to work top down, not bottom up.
The only time you really get to make a difference is if you a) get really lucky – and this has happened to me, or b) you become part of something much, much bigger. It’s easy to ignore one person. It’s harder to ignore a thousand.
Normally I campaign on a small scale. A handful of us cluster around the Clock Tower in Leicester, usually on a rainy Friday night or a rainy Saturday lunch time. We compete with the drunks, the fundamental Christians and the bored and curious for what little attention we can get. I’m excited about getting involved in something bigger.
It will be great to show unity with those who are really going to pay the price of Trump’s regime. I can’t do anything except stand up and be counted, to make it known that I’m willing to stand next to and in solidarity with those who will suffer the most. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think we’ll all suffer, but I’m not going to be subject to his abortion laws or his lax interpretation of what consent means, but I feel for those who are.
What was one march in Washington is now, according to the women’s march website 386 marches across the globe with an estimated total of 735,000 marchers joining in protest. I want to be one of those 735,000. I am going to be one of them. So are lots of people I know. So many people I know who don’t usually do this kind of thing are either going or want to go, or going to different events. It’s already uniting people. It’s already a good thing.
Marching might seem futile, but it can actually create the space for change, because if there’s two things politicians aren’t keen on, it’s bad media reporting and mobs. Mobs you see, can get unruly and we are not that far away from the French revolution that people in power don’t start to get twitchy.
It also gives you something to do with your feelings. If you start to think about politics for any length of time, no matter what your colour on the political spectrum, it’s very easy to get aerated about the state of the world, and even easier to get frustrated. You can sign petitions, write letters, go to meetings etc, and all of these things are valid and have their uses, but sometimes, when something is really huge and overwhelming, something physical to do really does help. We talk about standing up for our beliefs. Well sometimes we need to stand up for them, and sometimes we need to walk them about a bit.
I’m not an American citizen, and yet Trump is already influencing the face of global politics. His face is on every newspaper, every television screen, every media outlet. It’s no good ignoring him and hoping he’ll go away. He doesn’t work like that. It strikes me that nobody has ever said no to Donald in his life, and that’s what he needs. He needs someone to say no, except that he has grown so huge, so egotistical that it’s not just one voice that’s needed anymore, it’s thousands of voices saying the same thing over and over again. That’s what I’m hoping this march will do, what my voice will do. It will join with all the other marches and all the other voices and it will say NO.
I cannot wait to say NO to Donald Trump.