The “Power of the Polls” — this year’s theme, because I guess we need a theme to unify us beyond being women and being perpetually pissed off — was hosted in Las Vegas on Sunday, launching a nationwide voter registration tour.
Why Las Vegas? The reasons seemed a little forced — a vulnerable Republican incumbent, competitive state elections, perhaps the availability of Cher as a celebrity speaker.
The “sister marches” were held on Saturday, the anniversary of last year’s inaugural event — and the day before the main event in Vegas. Go figure. Of course, Michigan held its march in Lansing on Jan. 21, possibly for the most Michigan of reasons: skip the sunshiny, spring-like day (Saturday) that many of the other marches enjoyed, for the foggy gray gloom of a 37-degree day instead (Sunday).
Despite the damp and the gray and the mud — and let’s face it, a lack of coordination and promotion — the crowd, to my untrained eye from the nearby parking deck, was at least equal to last year’s. An improved sound system carried the concise and powerful messages from speakers on a range of issues from Native Americans to gun control to LBGTQ to Black Lives Matter and, throughout all, sexual assault, discrimination, and harassment (see full list of speakers here)
Huh. Wonder what brought all that up. Predictions this year, due to the rise of the #metoo movement, were that anger would be the driving force at these gatherings. And certainly there was anger — God knows women and minorities are righteously enraged right now — but the feel of the crowd was, in my opinion, almost as if the anger had peaked, morphing into that cold, clear stage of rage, that “OK, this is really enough now” that tips into a razor-sharp focus on how to push back effectively.
Last year we were just mad. This year we are Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Like last year, it was empowering to be there, surrounded by people — women and men — who didn’t consider you crazy for thinking the current immigration climate is racist. Who agree that government is supposed to be about more than the economy. Who think science is about facts and not opinion. Who think women — and blacks, and gays, and Hispanics, and wow the list is SO LONG — should not sit down and shut up.
This sign is all of us right now: