The Resistance Begins: Democracy in Full Bloom

group picture with pink pussyhats

The Resistance Begins

Democracy in Full Bloom

Women’s March on Washington



From WRIR in Richmond, Virginia, it’s A Grain of Sand. I’m Charles McGuigan and this week’s show is   called Democracy in Full Bloom. It’s about the day the Resistance began at the Women’s March in Washington. Stay with us, we’ll be right back.




That, of course, was Pussy Riot with their song Make America Great Again. We—my son and I—arrived shortly after noon, boarding the orange line at the West Falls Church Metro Station where I parked our Honda CRV. A hundred people, almost every one of them wearing a pink hat, boarded before the metro pulled out. At each stop along the way through Virginia, more and more people—women and men of all ages and races—entered our subway car until we were packed in like drupelets, shoulder to shoulder, and when the doors opened at the Smithsonian Station we all poured out, and made our way to a world capped with a dull gray dome of sky.

From where we stood, in every direction, as far as the eye could see, there were people holding placards above their heads, all of them moving, some chanting, some singing, smiling, laughing. Kind people, engaged people, folks who care about their Republic, united, with every intention of upholding its principles. There was not a grimace among them, and contrary to what might be reported by the alternative truth bearer, there were no Trump supporters present that I saw. And had there been, I think that would have been fine. These people were here with a message of love and acceptance and an almost embryonic protection. They took their cue from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

man being interviewed with a large trump head on the ground

Here’s the thing: there was that pewter sky above and the slight chill of winter in the air, and the trees dark and denuded of leaves, but it was as if spring had somehow emerged, because in among all of the trees down the National Mall from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, along Independence Avenue and many other contiguous streets, the pink of pussyhats—hundreds of thousands of them—seemed to erupt from the dormant branches of the trees, from the filigree of limbs, as if the cherry blossoms had sprung forth. It was something to see, and there even seemed to be a slight fragrance in the air, full of warmth and promise.



In the course of the next seven hours we would talk with hundreds of women and men from all over the country, from California to Minnesota, Michigan to Colorado, West Virginia to South Carolina, every single corner of the country represented here.

Early in the day we meet Katie Jettwalls and her husband who had been here the previous day. The contrast between this march and the inauguration. Katie is a documentary photographer. Here’s her husband.



Track 51


DC was a wasteland. I mean it was just empty. There were no people yesterday.

Katie Jettwalls (documentary photographer)

It was so quiet and dull and dead even the Trump supporters that I was around and inaugural parade they were quiet they were disappointed when Trump didn’t get out of his, he only got out in front of his hotel so people said, We waited four hours for this. All they could see was tinted windows. And I said, Yeah, get used to disappointment


A little later we encounter a guy named Charles House who’s dressed as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, though generally he and his girlfriend portray villains like the Joker, Penguin, Bane. He tells me why he chose to dress as Batman today.

A woman from Hendersonville, North Carolina, had boarded one of five buses that left at ten the night before and arrived in Washington, D.C. at the break of dawn. And back in Hendersonville, this woman proudly reported, another 4,000 had taken part in a sister march back in her hometown.


There was one universal theme: all Americans deserve equal rights, regardless of gender or race or religious affiliation. Their messages, the vast majority of them hand-written on poster board, were clever and informed, artistic in their presentation.  No sloganism; they were thoughtful. They were funny. They were not mean-spirited.

Never in my life have I seen so many people gathered in D.C., and I grew up there and attended concerts and rallies in the nation’s capital since I was a boy, thumbing over from Falls Church, or riding my bike, later, in cars with friends.

woman with pink hat holds two protest signs

And to think, this Women’s March on Washington grew from the seed of an idea planted on social media by ONE woman. Just one woman. Rebecca Shook of Hawaii. She created an events page, and within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people said they would come. And the movement just kept growing, within in every state of the Union and beyond its borders, girdling the glove, with vast shows of unity on every continent, even Antarctica, aboard an expedition ship.


All along the route, which spread from street to street because Independence Avenue alone could not contain this great wash of humanity, the marchers greeted and thanked police officers and national guardsmen, a number of whom I interviewed. Each one of them said, these demonstrators were the nicest group of people they had ever encountered. And despite a crowd of hundreds of thousands, there was not one incident of violence, not a single arrest. One man from the National Park Service I interviewed said, in his 40 years of service on the Mall he had never seen a group of protestors who were as “kind and polite”.


My son Charles engaged with everyone, and talked about what he had seen and heard as we drove south on 95 late last night. “I’ll never forget it,” he said. “I was part of it.”


Which means he is now part of history, and, more importantly, part of the democratic process. He used his First Amendment rights, was equal, in the eyes of the law, to the man who resides in the White House.



Track 51


DC was a wasteland. I mean it was just empty. There were no people yesterday.

Katie Jettwalls (documentary photographer)

It was so quiet and dull and dead even the Trump supporters that I was around and inaugural parade they were quiet they were disappointed when Trump didn’t get out of his, he only got out in front of his hotel so people said, We waited four hours for this. All they could see was tinted windows. And I said, Yeah, get used to disappointment

Charles House

The real issue here is that batman is used to villians, while narcissists, are smart, and this one is not very smart so I’m not sure how to handle this particular villian.

Setting the bar so low.

I’m a photo journalist

Track 52

Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives. This is the hallmark of revolution, So my question to you today Are you ready, Are you ready, Yes I’m angry, yes, I’m outraged, Yes I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won’t change anything and we cannot fall into despair, like the poet W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, “We must love one another, or die.” I choose love. Are you with me? We choose love. We choose love.      Starts singing,

Track 53

Need more honest participation.

Can you handle it.

Are you ready,VCh

Put your hands together. . .  Don’t hang your shit on us.

Track 54

Thank you everybody for coming here today to show your support. This is the beginning, Choose love, thank you.

My sisters and brothers can you help me to give thanks to our organizers     CLAPPING.

Will you pray with me as we begin the march. Mother, Father, God, you brought us to this place We’ve been empowered by every person who’s stood before us and we’re empowered, God to make a change in our nation, help us to remember everyday of our lives that resistance begins now. This is only the beginning. We will march into the future prepared, oh God, to ensure that each person’s rights, each person’s dignity, worth and value is ensured. We ask this in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

man dressed in red blows on trumpet in a march

Track 55

Let’s march to the Washington Monument. I have an announcement of someone who is lost, a ninety-two year old woman. Please bring her to the police.

I’m from Raleigh New Jersey. Jennifer Kim. I’m here to support all women of color and say that we won’t stand silent. This is amazing. I came with all my friends. Nina Worth and DJ Worth from Bordentown. Hopefully everybody doesn’t just show up for something big like today and go back home and forget about it. Hopefully people get involved locally and remember mid-term elections in two years from the bottom up so hopefully we’ll have to do this again a few more years.

I’m an attorney.

Track 56

I work for the department of Agriculture food programs for kids.

As we as indigenous women we are all connected every single one of us. With a prayer because we are the original habitants of this land. A women’s warrior song.

Track 57

Track 58

Track 59


Track 60


Track 61

We drove six hours to catch buses and thenc  came here.

Jo from Chataqua. Mickey and Mindy.

Track 62

13 from all over Boston, LA, flw in two days ago. Representing all different groups.

I’m here to represent all the people who Trump insulted the Mexicans, the Latinos, the Women, the Muslims, the men, he insulted men by representing men wrong, sexual assault victims, I’m here to represent all the little girls who think they can never become president, because the most qualified candidate to ever run. I’m here for everyone who doesn’t have a voice or cha’t be here because they don’t have the money or they don’t have the time off of work. LGBT community. Basically all people Americans, all people that believe in humanity, decency, love,

American flag shown below a black lives matter poster and a resist poster

And the journalists, because Donald Trump is doing the first thing that dictators he’s taking away freedom of press, he’s taking away free speech and that is so incredibly dangerous. And people need to not think it’s a joke. It’s not a joke, so we need to support our media and not listen when he says everything is fake because they speak about what he does but he doesn’t like it. True media> I am from Colorado and I live in California near lake Tahoe my name is Nyla Tawa, Nahal Dousti Li from Seattle. Fifteen. Father is Charles is from

Track 63

From Egypt, my mom and she is from France.

Hands too small, can’t build a wall. Hands too small, can’t build a wall.

Who run the world, Girls.

Track 64

Black lives Matter

Leslie from New Jersey, Maplewood.

Track 65

I thought that there we less people, I think there were more people here today than there was yesterday. Around the world, not just the country, that’s amazing. And it’s all peaceful and united and that’s most important. I think we’ll be out here all night. I’m an engineer for a large defense company.

I work a lot with Navy I’m from Texas I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a very diverse group, this is a women’s march but there are men, there are women, there is old there is young everyone is represented here today. It wasn’t exciting I’ll just say that. It wasn’t as exciting. This group today what it should have been yesterday. I’m gonna find the Metro

About CharlesM 104 Articles
North of the James, is an award-winning general interest publication with a regional focus that has been serving the region for over 20 years. North of the James presents business profiles, book and restaurant reviews, a calendar of events, and much more

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