I marched on Saturday with 749,999 of my fellow Angelenos: old and young, different races and genders, some wearing hats, and many carrying signs with a plethora of diverse messages.
People marched for many different reasons: for women’s rights to gay rights to human rights; from a request for unity to a more divisive declaration against the current President. My reason for marching on Saturday can be summed up by the chant I proudly, and eventually hoarsely, shouted: “This is what democracy looks like”.
While I cannot predict what movement or political force may come from the marches across the country and internationally, I do know one thing for sure: This is what activism looks like.
And I know another thing: the world noticed!
Newspapers, TV screens, blogposts, Facebook, and telephone lines all lit up with reactions to the marches. People paid attention. Some people were inspired and some will take action in response. I may not agree with some of these actions, but I applaud them because it shows an understanding that we will no longer stand idly by.
On April 23rd in both Washington, DC and Santa Rosa, California, on April 30th in Los Angeles and on May 7th in Thousand Oaks, California, we will hold our annual Walk to End Genocide (including, for the first time in L.A., a timed 5K and 10K Run!).
We Walk to raise money for our mission to end genocide and mass atrocities worldwide by educating and mobilizing individuals, advocating for policy changes, and funding projects to support and build resilience in conflict-affected communities.
We Walk to show solidarity for our sisters and brothers in Sudan, in South Sudan, and in Chad where the Darfuri refugees are still living in camps.
We Walk in support for the Congolese, the Syrians, the Rohinga, and the Yazidis.
And we Walk so the world, or at least our portion of it, will take notice; to demand by our numbers that our elected officials make preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities a priority.
Please join the Walk to exercise your right and duty as a member of our democracy to speak up for change. If there is no Walk near you, join the JWW Walker in Spirit Team or donate to help us realize our vision of a world where civilian populations are no longer being attacked simply because of who they are: a world without genocide and mass atrocities.
This is what activism looks like!