I marched for my daughter. For my sons. For their future. I marched because my husband held my hand and beamed with pride. I marched because I’m a nurse, and because reproductive health rights can make or break a woman’s life. I marched for the women both here and in the world who cannot, and even for the ones who think they should not. I marched because it’s my right and my duty as an American to speak up when I see something wrong. And lastly, I marched because I come from an amazing family…and my pretty badass mother raised me to do the right thing.
My daughter and I couldn’t march because we were both sick. I had every intention of marching with my 11-year-old. It’s important for her to know that her life – as a woman – will matter. Women are not objects, we can do everything we like, and we are in charge of our own bodies. Our lives matter, black lives matter, all lives matter.
I marched for my two sons (and I marched alongside my older son), so they know the strength of collective action and understand the importance of equal rights and protections for all people. I marched for my mother, whose reproductive health has been supported by Planned Parenthood and other organizations over several decades, and who taught me to stand up for what I believe. I marched for my sister, who serves in the armed services and faces sexism and harassment by men who are supposed to be her comrades. I marched for my students, to protest sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus, and to support their ongoing right to an open, equal, and scientifically-based education. I marched to show my support for family planning funding; for immigrants’ rights and protections; for full equality for LGBTQ individuals; for people of color who still face both subtle and overt forms of discrimination in many areas of their lives; for women who face discrimination in education, employment, reproductive health, breastfeeding, childrearing (or choosing not to have children at all), and even while walking down the street as they are subjected–as I myself have been–to harassment and fear of assault. I marched to support the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, to provide necessary health coverage for all individuals regardless of preexisting conditions, income, age, and other characteristics. I marched for reasonable gun control to keep our schools and public spaces safe, and because no child should be afraid to go to school or be distracted by the presence of guns in their schools. I marched because I love the State of Nebraska, I love my community, and I love my country. I marched because I believe in the promises made throughout our history of freedom, equality, justice, and protection from persecution and harm, and I believe our future can be more civil, more equal, more welcoming, more supportive, and more forward-looking than our present. I believe in the Nebraska state motto: “Equality before the law.” Let’s get to work achieving that equality.
I marched so my 7-year-old daughter could see what it felt like when a bunch of people come together to stand up for what they believe in. I marched because I am passionate about my city, my state and my country and I want us to be on the right side of history. I marched because I think DJT isn’t fit to be our president and I can’t stand idle while he crushes everything we have worked for in terms of climate, gay rights, women’s issues, etc.
As a woman, as an immigrant, as a Muslim, as a minority, as a citizen, as a mother, I marched because this is not the America that I know and love – the country that embraced me as a seven-year-old, moving to a new home, speaking a new language and living in a new world. It was a beacon of hope where no one was unwanted and unwelcomed. A place that valued the importance of educating all children and providing opportunities for them to advance, no matter where they came from. The America that I know accepted those of different colors, cultures and creed. It protected freedom of choice and expression, and cared about the health and wellbeing of its citizens.
I marched because my beautiful country’s moral compass is being slowly destroyed by the egos of a few who don’t represent Americans as a whole. They don’t care about our health, our education system, our rights, our future and our fragile earth. They are too busy worrying about their own wealth and political standing, choosing their own self-serving agendas over what’s good for the American public. So I marched to stand up for what I believe is right and to support the country that had supported me. To make it a place my children can grow up to make a difference. And I will continue to march and listen and speak and fight until the power is back in the rightful hands of the people.
I marched on January 21st, 2017 because while I accept the results of the 2016 Presidential election, Donald Trump did not win my vote or the popular vote of the nation. I marched with a neighbor, our 2 dogs, and found among the marchers a mother I work for who is currently pregnant and a small business owner, one of my young students with her mother and younger sister, and several co-workers, friends and colleagues. It was entirely peaceful and respectful of not only our Nebraska Union grounds but also the State Capitol. I marched because I object to President Trump’s intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the Senate actions already taken to repeal its provisions. I marched for the rights of women to obtain safe and affordable reproductive care. I marched for the children with disabilities in a community program I direct who could lose their access to health care benefits. Most of all, I marched because it is my constitutional right to assemble and freely express myself peacefully and respectfully with my fellow Americans. I marched to be part of the largest political demonstration in the history of the United States. I thank the leaders and women who have gone before me that have afforded me that right. We the People.
I marched because I am a woman, and the mother of a woman. I marched because this presidential election made me say “enough”. The minority elected a sexual predator and misogynistic liar with no qualifications to lead this country. I have put up with this rape culture for too long. My daughter was sexually harassed the first time by a fellow student in second grade. It was discovered by her teacher. When the parents were called in the father said that “maybe she was asking for it”. The teacher would not share this information normally, but we were close and she made us promise we would not act on the info. This was not the last incident in grade school and I am sure she had to put up with much more than I ever did because she was pretty, smart, fun, popular. She was everything I wished I could have been except assaulted , she was raped. I march because this has to stop. You may not tell me that it is OK to elect a man that tells people that because he is famous he can grab a woman’s pussy. He can mock a disabled man by acting like a fool. He can call women fat pigs and thinks he can bully people because of their appearance…..really…..by appearance? I know I am not the only one wondering where he gets the nerve, but I digress. I march for those who love a person of the same sex and have the right to do that. I march for a woman to make her own reproductive decisions. I march for that person that feels trapped in the body that does not feel right. I march for those human beings that want a chance to make life better in this country. I march for all the hard working people that deserve to make a living wage. I march for every child to know that they will not be hungry, especially at school. I march for every person to have healthcare and not for the hospital ceos and pharmaceutical companies to become billionaires. I march for accessibility to health care for those with mental illness and disabilities. I march because I have had it with our political leaders. I want to be the grandma with nothing to do but love and spoil my grandsons, bake cookies and read books, but now I will have to spend my last years trying to make right, everything that has gone so wrong.