The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing
I woke up on Saturday morning feeling saddened by the removal of Climate Change, Civil Rights & LGTBQ content from the Whitehouse Website page. My heart dropped – it had begun. The polarization, victimization, denial and bigotry was raising it’s ugly head across politics in the most obvious and unavoidable way. Knowing that there would be 700 marches across 7 continents that day gave me hope, hope for change.
I saw such hateful things being tweeted by keyboard warriors as I ate my breakfast that morning so I tweeted that the march was justified as it was a march against hate. Little did I know that 24 hours later that this tweet would’ve been seen a quarter of a million times.
Myself and anyone who agreed with the tenor of my tweet were then subject to a lot of hate, the people of the internet declared it open season from the comfort of their sofa. There was a lot of consistent calls of ‘hypocrisy’ You March against hate but you’re marching because you hate Donald Trump, there was a lot of ‘where were you?’ why don’t you protest Saudi laws/ religious persecution of women? and a lot of ‘why are you even protesting’ you’ve got equal rights why are you still moaning? Because my tweet went a bit viral my phone died and I lost track of responding to people in the best way I could #thisiswhyImarch but I feel like there’s a huge misrepresentation of why people were marching.
FOR ME: I WAS NOT MARCHING AGAINST DONALD TRUMP.
I was marching against the rise and triumph of hatred not just in America, not just in the UK with the rise in hate crime post-brexit I’m talking about a global issue of hatred based on gender, race, religion, sexuality. I’m lucky that I live in a democracy where freedom of speech is allowed, I have the same civil rights as any other man, woman and child. I am so lucky.
I marched because other people live in countries where they can’t protest.
I marched because I believe in climate change, freedom of speech, the right to choose what happens to a persons body.
I marched because all lives matter to me
I marched because my grandmother saw the horror of Nazi Germany and the persecution of groups of minorities
I marched because I believe that if we don’t show solidarity we run the risk of doing nothing
I marched because I needed hope
I marched because I don’t want to build walls
I marched because the president of the Free World had hateful opinions which were supported by millions of people
I didn’t march because I hate Trump. He is only one man I marched because we live in an age full of so much hate, sadness, injustice, unkindness. This march gave me more hope and I hope it stood as a symbol – now let’s keep the flame lit and push some real change.
Photos by the wonderful Fionn Murtagh