On Saturday we donned our banners, wrapped up warm and got on the train up to the Women’s March on London which is a grassroots movement that started up in the wake of the US presidential election. A lot of the words that Trump flung around during the run-up to the election appeared to show him as somewhat of a misogynist and the march aimed to show solidarity across the world that he didn’t speak on their behalf.
Having been to a couple of marches in the past, including the London Slutwalk back in 2011, I was super keen to try and join this one as it seemed to be a movement that had more momentum and feeling that anything I had seen in recent times. I am keen feminist and vocal opponent to unfairness and inequality to genders – in particular repression of women’s rights. It’s astonishing how the pay gap still exists between men and women and how pregnant women are still discriminated in the workplace – and that’s just Western world issues. Across the world, rape, infanticide and assault are still the norm. This march could be anything the attendee wanted it to be and so why not general solidarity for equality? For the first time I had a daughter I could share this with and thought I would see how we would get on for a saturday day out!
I prepped like I have never prepped before, reading all the FAQs on the website and following all the comments on the Facebook event page to ensure I had as much info about how to be safe as possible. This guide from Jenn Sutherland-Miller and Jenni Mahnaz on Medium was a godsend and helped fuel a lot of my planning. There was going to be a meeting point for parents and children to march just to the left of the meeting place of the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square and there would be bubbles and face painting! Great news! I booked my train ticket, ensuring a travelcard in case we had to jump on train, tube or bus and ensured I have a £20 note in case we needed to get a taxi.
Train times were looked up and planned (especially as we use the ill-fated Southern Line) so I could focus on other stuff like my bag and what to wear as it was meant to be 2*c all day in London! Little One got dressed in a button-up t-shirt and leggings with a long sleeved jumpsuit over the top and waterproof trainers. That coupled with her toasty coat, scarf, mittens and cat hat meant that she would be very snug. I saw a top tip for using a pair of socks to put under mittens if it was really cold so I packed some of those too.
I split my bank card, ID and cash up and put in different places and pockets, charged my phone to the full, packed dry snacks and sandwiches and a bottle of water, nappies, baby wipes and a mat to change on in case we had to do it on the run (although not outside of course!) and off we went!
We got up to the meeting point of Grosvenor Square in front of the American Embassy with plenty of time at 11.15am. The march was due to start at 12pm so we got a chance to walk around around and get a vibe of the day and find the meeting point for those with kids. We were able to join the front of the march that let us go first which was great as some parents had buggies but then you had me with NOTHING BUT MY ARMS AND a dawdling toddler who often wanted to be carried because she wanted to see. The crowds kept bursting into spontaneous cheers which scared her a little bit and the closer than we crept past 1pm, the more tired she looked. When i asked her if she was tired, she refused to say yes (the little trooper…)
After walking for about 20 mins, down Park Lane and just before Hyde Park Corner, she spontaneously vomited. Just a little BLEUGH and then carried on walking. I got her to the side of the road ASAP and gave her some water and little rest. She hadn’t been walking long but I suspect that she had just a little overwhelmed with the crowds, being outside and having a fish sandwich floating around in her stomach after a bit of walking.
I decided to cut our part of the march short at Hyde Park Corner and the promise of chocolate and getting on a bus to Victoria Station seemed to cheer her up. Considering this was her first protest march, I think she did pretty well and I was overwhelmed with how friendly and good natured people were to us as we walked with our ‘Kittens Against Trump’ sign.
I made a video about the day which you can see below. I’m still trying to improve these vlogs, so please excuse the general sound and focus issues but I aim to get better with each and every one!
Essentially we had a great day getting to meet other people who wanted to get their voice heard about general equality and women’s rights. It was really well organised and super peaceful. I am so proud that i got to attend and could take my daughter with me. I hope to be able to show her this in the future and say “See? You started young with wanted a great future for yourself”.
I appreciate that my views aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t deny the fact that people felt the need to protest with a 3 million people turnout worldwide. Peace x