Cleveland is not a large city but this is a photo of our Public Square today. I was proud to be an American as I stood with thousands of men and women in concern for human rights in this country under the new administration. It was a peaceful, respectful and calm day. (It was 60 degrees and sunny on a January day!) It is a grassroots movement happening not just all over America today, but all over the world, in solidarity with us. It is exhilarating, it is hopeful, it is democracy in action.
Yesterday was not an encouraging day for the majority of Americans. Many of us despair at the thought of going backward into the inequalities of the past. We are afraid for our daughters and millions of women not having access to health care and contraceptives. We are afraid for our grandchildren and the unsafe and unstable planet they may live on. We are afraid for our LGBT friends and family that may have their basic rights reversed. We are afraid of our immigrant neighbors enduring even more discrimination and bias than they already have. We cannot tolerate a leader who makes fun of disabled people and blatantly disrespects women.
As a retired teacher I, and all my teaching colleagues, are horrified at the nominee for Secretary of Education. She does not know the most basic education laws or issues. She is against the public schools and supports charter schools that have been nothing but failure and are not for ALL children, just the lucky few.
When I looked at the many and diverse homemade signs today I saw what people are FOR not AGAINST. We are FOR our fellow Americans and their rights. We are FOR healthcare and excellent education and saving our planet. The opposers are AGAINST everything. They are about taking things away starting with affordable health care for millions of Americans.
The new president already broke his promise to be the president of all Americans (stated on election night) when his administration removed LGBT rights and climate control from the government website.
There was an estimate of 15,000 in Cleveland today, 500,000 in Washington, 175,000 in Chicago. There are hundreds of marches all over this country. The president's Twitter account is strangely silent today.
TODAY I am proud to be an American. What a difference a day can make.