From left to right: Katy Kiefer, Wenonah Hauter, and Patty Lovera of Food & Water Watch
This election season has been trying for anyone that cares about women’s issues, civil rights, the environment, and the theft of our public goods for private profit. But, one thing has happened since the election that gives me great hope: I’ve seen several of my non-activist oriented friends moved to take action to stop Trump’s agenda. They are attending the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, and I’ll be there too—as will Food & Water Watch—to lend our collective voices to demand a true progressive agenda that serves to protect the basic rights of all Americans.
The ugliness of the Trump campaign (in particular, its multiple nasty shots at women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, etc.—the list goes on and on) has mobilized my friends and others who have never been to a demonstration, and it’s a bright ray hope in the darkness that many are feeling. Getting people engaged in politics has been a huge part of my career, and one of the reasons I founded Food & Water Watch: Without large numbers of people raising their voices in unison and getting involved in the electoral process, we’ll never beat back the anti-people, pro-corporate agenda that threatens our communities and our food, water and climate.
And as Trump’s first agenda item as president—picking a cabinet—reflects, he’s aligned with the same people that want to take away women’s rights, voting rights, and workers’ rights that are also threatening our access to safe food, clean water and a livable planet. His cabinet is filled with people compromised by corporate ties that want to extract every last drop of fossil fuels from the ground, hand over our water to Wall Street, starve our workers of wages, privatize our education, take away voting rights, persecute immigrants, and take away a woman’s right to choose.
The Women’s March on Washington has hit a nerve because increasingly, it’s going to be all of us—our mothers, sisters and friends—who will be stepping up to say enough is enough. People are becoming politicized, which is exactly what we need if we are going to protect our democracy from the corporate Trump agenda.
This is the silver lining to the dark cloud of the Trump administration. His presidency has mobilized so many people, like my friends, who will now be lending their voice to efforts to stop this terrible agenda that has been assaulting our collective rights for years. Trump has just given it an unapologetic face—and one we are all prepared to fight until all of our human rights and democratic freedoms are protected.
My friends and I will see you in Washington on Saturday.
* Updated: Food & Water Watch will be joining the Climate Justice contingent of the Women’s March on Washington. The march will convene on Saturday, 10:00 AM, January 21st at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol. We will be meeting at the Holiday Inn - Capitol Hill (550 C St SW) at 10:00 AM.