I love marches, and always have. They are an opportunity to transform the isolation of fear and anger into joyous community. To sing, to drum, to dance in the street. To tear down walls.
I woke up sick on Friday, coughing, sneezing, dizzy. By Saturday morning, it was clear that I should not be marching. I consoled myself that I had marched enough, that nobody could fault me for sitting this one out. I had helped organize the attendance of a local contingent of over 30 people, and I was sick. I had done good service.
But the bottom line was just that… I couldn’t not be there. I could not not go.
It was joyous, celebratory, and life affirming, as I knew it would be. Chuck Schumer beat on my drum! (Support that man – in his new role as Senate Minority Leader, he needs all the help he can get.)
However – the march is only a beginning, a gateway drug, a pep rally. What are the next steps you will take? Do you want to make a stand? Do you believe, as I do, that love trumps hate? That democracy is a participatory sport? Here are some things to do about it:
- Read the Indivisible Guide. Read it again. Share it far and wide with friends, family, and neighbors. Come talk about it at Hudson Civic Action’s next monthly meeting, February 14.
- Learn the names and phone numbers of your Senators’ and Congressperson’s offices. Better yet, learn the address of your Congressperson’ local district office, and set up a contingent to visit when they’re in town.
- Meet the leaders of your neighborhood houses of worship, regardless of whether or not you are person of faith, . Religious traditions have been at the center of every single social justice movement of the last 150 years. These people are on the front lines. Reach out and say hello, learn what their concerns are, and if you can lend a land.
- Write a letter or three to the Editors of your local papers. Be solution oriented, and don’t be discouraged if they aren’t published. Write three more.
Consider this: everybody who attended a march yesterday most likely spent at least 2-4 hours for the event, including travel. If every marcher were to commit those 2-4 hours to civic engagement on a monthly (or weekly!) basis – well, I don’t know what could happen. Calling their congressperson, visiting their office, attending local public meetings and speaking truth to power…just think of the possibilities.
The people united, will never be divided. It’s not just a slogan or a chant – it’s the truth, and history bears it out.
Act for justice,
Steve RamshurFounder, Executive Director
Hudson Civic Action