Moments in the Movement: Reflections on the Women’s March on Oklahoma

by Zoya Satter, Winter 2017 InternFeb 21, 2017

Despair, exhaustion, pessimism.

Desire, hope, optimism.

Contrasting emotions that I feel many experienced, one month ago today, in the whirlwind that was President Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s Marches that occurred across our country. These two pivotal, opposing events determined in part how the next few years will play out. The struggle between those in power seeking money and us ordinary citizens seeking to right the wrongs in our nation will likely be the overarching theme.

Saturday January 21st, 2017, was a monumental day, not just for our country or the world, but for Oklahoma.

My small home state did phenomenal on that day. More than an estimated 12,000 people came marching along with their fellow sisters to echo the national call for justice and equality.

12,000 people!

Let that sink in.

Congrats fellow Okies- we made history! This was the largest protest that has ever taken place on Oklahoma soil. The largest protest in our state calling for women’s rights, in front of our Capitol building, where some lawmakers use their position of power to lash out against us.

As I arrived at the March, a rainbow of color was the first thing to greet my eyes. Then I gasped as I registered the sheer number of people already standing at the steps of the capitol with more rushing to join them. I had a feeling that this could be one of the largest protests at the State Capitol but this was unprecedented!

I somehow managed to find a spot near the front of the march with my family and friends. And around the block we went, which took about ten minutes.

CAIR’s very own Anna Facci was at the head of the line, leading us in chants to keep the energy high and our spirits strong. I was surrounded by an array of signs ranging from small to thought-provoking, another testament to human creativity knowing no bounds.

Imagine my amazement when, entering back on state capitol grounds, I saw thousands of people still waiting to even begin marching around the block! The turnout was phenomenal and awe-inspiring. It brings a certain kind of comfort to actually witness the outpouring of love and support in this state for each other, for our shared humanity.

Every single minority group possible was present on that day. All around us was love, laughter, and smiles. We were all part of a bigger movement. It’s a powerful feeling, to feel connected to every human being present, to view the sheer number of people with your own eyes, to know that all are gathered for the same purpose.

What began as the Women’s March on Washington ended up spanning every state in this great nation as well as countries around the globe. There were Marches held on every continent, even Antarctica! Make no mistake, this was not just a series of protests- this is the beginning of a movement. What is now our responsibility is to ensure that this movement does not die out.

We left with hope for tomorrow.

Thank you to the organizers for arranging such a phenomenal event!

To my dear US Government, don’t you dare think for a second that we will let this matter rest. Tread lightly, for we are watching and ready to fight for what we believe in. Over 3 million of your citizens took to the streets this past weekend, protesting the administration’s inadequacy and fear-mongering.

Our great country is in your hands now, and we will hold you accountable for any wrongs committed.