Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Year of Trump, a Day of Pushback

Wow, a mere year after Vulgarmort's inauguration, the U.S. Government has entered shutdown mode. Working the graveyard shift, I pretty much listened to coverage of the shutdown in real time. Asked by a Nederlander in a comment section about my feelings of being without a government, I replied 'without this government?'

I left work around 8AM and headed down to my volunteer coaching gig in Manhattan. As I typically do, I drove to 238th St and Broadway in the Bronx to take the 1 Train down to 59th St. At 225th St, a contingent of women in pink hats boarded the train, headed down for today's Women's March. I struck up a conversation with them about the awfulness of 'little gloves', and it turned out that they were from Westchester County, from a couple of towns not far from where I work... a couple of them actually had friends in common with me, and we whiled away the train ride swapping scuttlebutt about various individuals we knew. As they exited the train, I exhorted them to kick ass and take names.

We had four classes, going from 9:30 to 11:45, and we decided that the kids knew enough so that we could let them play randori, which is fighting without scorekeeping. The kids are trustworthy, they played hard against each other, but they played clean... they are a great bunch, very supportive of each other.

After class had ended, I headed out into streets packed with marchers. The mood was exuberant, though there was a sense of righteous anger at the depths to which the current maladministration had sunk. I decided that I really wasn't going to join the marchers because I was carrying a really large gym bag laden with a sweaty double-weave judogi that is heavy as hell... I really didn't need to get probed by NYPD for carrying a suspicious duffel. Also, I had to return to work at 5PM, my coworker who was originally scheduled to work Saturday afternoons had a training session for another job. I entered the 59th St station and the train that pulled into it was so packed that I had to run four car lengths before finding a car that I could squeeze into. There were a lot of passengers in pink hats. Standing next to me were three twentysomething year old women, and I joked that Trump would rue the day that he was inaugurated. One of the women laughed and said, "He pissed off the girls!" The train practically cleared out at 72nd St, near one of the staging areas of the ongoing rally. As they exited, I cheered on the girls, "Give him hell!"

From what I could see, the march, which was attended by tens of thousands of protestors (one traffic reporter estimated a crowd of over 100,000), was multigenerational and multiracial. One of the common themes I saw on signs was a demand for intersectionality. Another common theme was the need for voter turnout- wave imagery was common. Perhaps the funniest thing I saw was a young kid in a shark hat.

Now that I've been at work for a few hours, I've had some time to check out coverage of the marches across the country, and it is truly amazing. People are even more fired up than they were last year, and if this momentum can be sustained until November, the GOP is in deep, deep doodoo.

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