Why I Marched: A Perspective on Protest and Politics

By Barbara Klein

 

Godammit. I’m marching.

I marched because we need to raise our voices and stomp on our oppressors.

I marched because activism is not only an event, it’s a lifestyle.

It’s the preservation of a lifestyle that every American is born into.

Freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom of liberty, freedom of justice. We are the land of the free and the brave. And hundreds of thousands of men and women, from all walks of life, the persecuted and the lucky, the weak and the strong, the survivors and the alphas… our courage will fortify us as we take a journey of solidarity.

We stand up against the bullies, the dictators, the egomaniacs that are strangling our liberty. We stomp in protest against a society where there is race inequality, abuse of power, homophobia, rampant sexism and a pervasive arrogance that threatens to loosen the fabric of our country to mere threads. We are hanging on a by a thread -at best, by a rope. Like a noose around our necks.

Once an activist, always an activist. When I was seven years old, and barely four feet tall, I protested bull fighting. My tiny frame was overshadowed by a tall sign, with a 2 x 4 nailed to the back of it. I would teeter and totter along the sidewalk, with a line of other protesters, holding that sign with all my might and calling out the abuse of the bulls. ‘TAKE THE BELTS OFF THEIR BALLS,’ I’d scream at the top of my lungs, again and again. Pride welled up in my chest with each step. Too young to know it at the time, this was my first taste of empowerment. That protest was my first sip of the proverbial juice. Except this Koolaid wasn’t meant to be the ultimate sacrifice, this was one tall glass of cool, clear water. The kind that cleanses, refreshes, invigorates.

We fought for freedom. We defended the defenseless, the innocent, the victims.

In a real way, we are all victims.

We are victims of the system, victims of our antipathy, victims of each other.

This world can be a scary place to be, until it isn’t.

When we stand in our power, we can change the world. We can!

As Margaret Mead says, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The Women’s March movement was spearheaded by four power players: Linda Sansour, an award-winning, Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist and community organizer. Tamika Mallory, a fiery and outspoken champion for social justice who has worked closely with the Obama administration on civil right issues, women’s rights, health care, gun violence and police misconduct. Carmen Perez, a dedicated advocate of civil rights for all, and Executive Director of The Gathering for Justice. Bob Bland, CEO and founder of Manufacture New York, a social enterprise that is rethinking the fashion ecosystem with the mission to create a sustainable global supply chain.

These four women, and the many men and women who complete the organization stated the March’s mission as follows: “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

I stand in solidarity, today, tomorrow and every day to show our strength, our hearts, our humanity. And whether it’s fighting for the rights of bulls, or standing up to a bully….I will march, not only to the beat of my own drummer, but to the heartbeat of a Nation torn and divided.

I march to repair our hearts, and Hers.

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Barbara Klein
A self confessed pixie angel, I’m also a luxury residential realtor, a long suffering hotel wife, a wide-eyed alpha angel, a diehard Pollyanna, a devoted philanthropist and a skincare entrepreneur...not necessarily in that order. I am in love with my muse, but far too protective of her. I am learning, bit by bit, to set her free. Wild is my way.
Barbara Klein

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