Last night, the protest through Chicago was amazing, inspiring, uplifting. As I reflect on all of my feelings, I’m struck with pride for being a part of this moment, this movement. This is one of the most important things I’m doing in my life.
Admittedly, I went a little begrudgingly to the kickoff place. I was emotionally and physically exhausted from the entire day, not to mention the previous night, and my energy was drained. “I’ll just stop by,” I said, “on the way home from work to show a little solidarity.” Though I didn’t want to miss the event, it took everything I had to muster heading down there. It helped a friend was with me.
Then I arrived to an amassing group of people at the base of Trump Tower in downtown Chicago. Immediately I’m surrounded by so many beautiful people. People of all walks of life, color, position and background. People who want the same things for this country, their fellow man and themselves. People who stand for love over hate, inclusion over exclusion, hope over fear. People with signs reading “Love Trumps Hate” and people advocating for their loved ones.
It wasn’t long, maybe 10 minutes, before we took to Chicago’s streets, starting at Trump Tower and making our way through downtown during rush hour. We took to State Street, traveling north past The Chicago Theatre. We crossed the bridge toward the west side of Trump Tower. We headed to Chicago Avenue. We took to Michigan Avenue, spanning both sides of the street and stopping traffic. Later, I saw we took to Lake Shore Drive, and in the streets of many cities all across America. We exercised our right to protest. We exercised our right to speak. We exercised our belief in being heard.
We chanted and let our voices ring out against the echo chambers of the towering buildings surrounding us. We demonstrated civil unrest. We were supported by passersby and drivers alike. The Chicago Police were present, focused on crowd control and keeping the protest peaceful. For what I saw, everyone was respectful, regardless of their views and reason for being there.
Some may claim these protests are because we’re sore losers. But this is so much more than “my candidate” over the other winning. We protest against hate, bigotry and misogyny. We protest for love of our fellow man. We protest for a women’s right to choose, for fair treatment of all people, for climate control, for fair immigration laws. We protest for what we hope this country can and should be. What this country should already be.
If you weren’t able to attend the protest or one near you, I am with you. For my LGBT brothers and sisters, I am with you. For my friends of color, I am with you. For the women who are tired of fighting or just getting started, I am with you. For all of us who are afraid, I am with you.
And we are not alone. #StrongerTogether #LoveTrumpsHate