If you haven’t heard of the Women’s March, then please do a little bit of googling to fill yourself in. Start here and then move on to the hundreds of articles and photos posted about this event.
My sister and many of my friends joined this march of solidarity and resistance in New York City, and many dear friends of mine were also at “the” march in Washington D.C.
However, these weren’t the only two marches on January 21st. Women all over the world were marching in their cities and towns, and I marched in Stockholm.
As a couple of my program-mates and I got off of the metro after having a beautiful brunch at one of their apartments, we ran into a protest just outside the station. They evidently were beginning there to later join the larger march at 2. Immediately I felt a warm emptiness to see how many people, american or no, were being affected by this election. The entire world has been thrown into a whirlwind of confusion and fear.
We arrived at the main square to see that a couple thousand people had gathered there. People of all genders were standing with signs, babies, backpacks, coffee, pink hats, all talking to each other and trying to figure out the world, together. I stood with my friends, and later my amazing roommate from Hamilton (also in Sweden for semester), with my back to a restaurant in this square. We were stuck behind a large evergreen tree which blocked the view of the stage, but eventually I made my way through the mush of people to see through the branches.
The speakers, I assume, were incredible. There was just one tiny problem. The speeches, of course, were all in Swedish. I had had exactly two one hour lessons in swedish before that. I could hear the passion and love and power in each of these women’s voices. I could tell that they were eloquent speakers, by the silence in the audience and the speed and fluidity of their words. I could feel the rush of emotion and agreement every time the speaker was interrupted with a cheer, and I did my best to join in with the screaming love every time. But it was hard. I so wanted to hear the perspective the women of this country have on the recent events. I wanted words of comfort and advice and power. I was able to catch the meanings of random words: abortion, Trump, misogyny, racism, Trump, transgender, etc.
I felt part of this but also apart. However, when we all started moving, it was a different story. We spread out to form this long line, and I looked behind me to see just how many people there were. I couldn’t see the end of the line as it curled around the block and who knows how far. We walked along the beautiful waterfront. I could see the island of museums, Djurgården I believe, in the distance across the water. The lane where we walked was lined with old trees. The water was half ice. My fingers were cold but my face was flushed with pride to be among these people. The art of resistance all around me.
The march ended outside the US Embassy. Soon after movement stopped my friends and I, tired and chilly, wandered away. We went exploring to clear our heads and warm up, but many many many people stayed. Though we couldn’t quite join in on the chanting, as most of it was in Swedish, we could still hear it as we left the line of people behind. We could have stayed there all night I suppose. Maybe some people did. But it was past four and food was much needed.
I could not help reporting my marching as often as I could after that. Almost bragging. I was so filled with pride, especially reading about the marches all over the world. Seeing the signs. The pussy hats. The passion and love and bravery of every person who identifies as woman and who wants equality. I hope these photos inspire you. Even if you couldn’t march, that doesn’t mean you did nothing. There is still so much more to be done, so much to resist. So do it.
First photo from Pontus Lundahl/TT NEWS AGENCY via Associated Press, the others are my own, the last three are by artist Shepard Fairey.