The Women’s March rallied millions of women and men to stand together in Washington, D.C., around the country and on every continent. We marched to defend our families and our basic rights against threats posed by the Trump administration and congressional leadership. We marched to say that we would not be silenced. We marched for a vision of unity, respect, decency and kindness.
This was the start of the people’s defense of our core public interest safeguards. It was a counter-inauguration of the kind of people power that Trump is going to face in the days, months and years to come as he tries to undermine core values, including our right to a healthy environment. It was uplifting, energizing and filled me with hope in the face of a new administration that focuses on fear, divisiveness and hatred and that has committed to undermining our core environmental and health safeguards.
The Women’s March is part of a movement that is growing every day and that includes protection of our health, our water, our air, our climate, our land. It goes hand in hand with other efforts such as the People’s Climate Movement which is building towards an April 29 March on Washington for Climate Jobs and Justice to fight back against the Trump administration and congressional attacks on working people, labor unions, people of color, immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and our environment.
Standing together is the way to stand strong. Many communities are faced with so many challenges hitting them at once: air pollution, water pollution, impacts of climate change as well as immigration, economic and racial, religious and gender justice issues. The Women’s March was the first of what will be many outpourings of voices calling for this new Trump administration to serve the needs of all people across all of the issues that are important for our well-being.
No one voted for dirty water, dirty air or worsening climate change. Americans overwhelmingly want environmental safeguards, climate action and clean energy. Attacks on our environment and health are counter to American greatness. The administration ignores the public at its peril and will be held accountable for its actions. It is a time where we must look to the courage of people to stand up for what they believe in.
What we saw this past year in Flint, in Standing Rock, and so many other places was the depth of the environmental problems that Americans still face and the courageous leadership rooted in those communities.
This grassroots leadership was also at the heart of the Women’s March. The Women’s March is now turning into a Women’s Movement that continues to capture the imaginations of women, men and children and continues to organize a broad spectrum of people to stand up for what they believe in. Up next is a new campaign for an action every 10 days for the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
It is critical that we all continue to organize and participate in the drumbeat of letters, phone calls, rallies, and marches challenging the Trump administration’s actions to undermine public interest safeguards. The January 21 images were powerful and show that people here at home and around the world do not want to return to a time when polluters trumped the health of the people.
We now must ensure that the voice of people strengthens and swells with every threat to our health and public interest that Trump, his agencies and leaders in Congress try to push through. Millions marched on January 21. Millions more taking action in the days to come are our best safeguard.