This is what democracy looks like

Senior Kyra Eswaran describes her experience at the Women’s March


Kyra Eswaran

Protesters march in St. Louis at the 2018 Women’s March

On January 20, 2018, I attended the second annual Women’s March in St. Louis. At 8 o’clock in the morning, I found myself sitting alone at the Metro station with a bottle of water, and a sign that had “Make America kind again” written on it. Shortly after, bustling groups of women started to join me on the platform, all carrying signs and wearing bright pink hats as I was. These women told each other their stories as if they were old friends, even though they had only met moments before. This alone inspired me, but there were many more experiences to come that I will remember forever.

I’ll admit there were times I feared what was ahead of me. I wasn’t positive that the organizers had all of their permits, so as I sat on the noisy Metro station and watched dozens of people step on and off the train, I contemplated the possibility of being arrested. But when I stepped off of the Metro and began following the line of people snake through the sidewalks towards an even larger, and even louder crowd, the only feeling I had was excitement.

Joined by my best friend, her mother, and 10,000 others, I marched, chanted, and hollered. Every person there had some specific reasons for marching, but whether one was marching to end the pink tax or for the #MeToo movement, there was a central cause for assembling on that day. Equality. Millions of people around the world are discriminated against based on things such as gender and race, and events like the women’s marches seek to destroy hateful rhetoric and fill its place in society with love and kindness.

While I marched, I experienced so many emotions. The sense of community and empowerment I felt were more powerful than anything I’d ever felt before. I felt like I knew the strangers marching by my side well enough that I could tell you their middle name and blood type. Having my best friend at my side made this experience even more amazing in the way that we were there to support one another. Community is important, and you can always find it at the women’s marches. Stand up for what you believe in, no matter what challenges face you, because the moments that you spend fighting for a cause you believe in are the ones you’ll remember forever,

March, act, and vote, because together, we can change the world.