Which March, Which Cause, and Why It Matters

We are now living in the Era of Marches. Tonight at the planning meeting for the People’s Climate March (Chicago edition!), we voted on what day would be best to 1) Get the most attention and 2) Rally support outside the norm.

We floated many dates — April 29th? To show solidarity with The Climate March on Washington DC?  April 22nd? To coincide with The Science March taking place on Earth Day? How about May 1, to join our friends marching for Labor justice?

What about location? Down Michigan Avenue to combat rampant consumerism? In the loop, where large crowds can usually roam freely? Or perhaps our goal is political and we should march from the Federal Building to Trump Tower?

Yeah. That’s a lot to think about. It’s mind-boggling the planning and consideration that goes into a single march, and yet, we are seeing multiple marches around the nation (indeed, around the world) every week and on every topic. While it can be an exhilarating and transformative experience (hello, Women’s March!), the sheer magnitude of marches these days, added to the vast array of causes, has me wondering, “Which march? Which cause? And why bother anyway?”

There are no easy answers, but the way I’ve broken it down in my own head is this:

  1. Which cause? There are multiple causes to support, and many are valid and deserve our time and attention. But let’s be real, people. Most of us have families, jobs, friends, and other things to do. But instead of saying no to everything, why not find the one cause that speaks most loudly to you? I mentioned in a previous post that for me, climate change is what keeps me up at night, so that’s where I choose to focus. Your priorities may be different and you should choose accordingly. Just don’t choose to stay home. We need you.
  2. Which march? I’ve never been to a march on Washington DC, but I suspect there is one in my near future. When you’re looking for a march to support, I’d suggest first deciding whether you’re willing to travel. For Washington, there are usually buses set up to help get you there — I live in Chicago, so this is easy to do — but even if you are in a rural environment, there is probably somebody organizing a bus trip for a city nearby. Just get online and find it. Don’t want to travel? Look for something in your city. Google is your friend. Type in your cause, find organizations that care, and start feeling up your calendar.
  3. Why bother? Because these are extraordinary times, and as the saying goes, we need extraordinary measures. If you care, you need to do something. If you don’t care, then sit on your ass — but don’t complain when you don’t get what you are hoping for. Or worse — you get somebody’s else’s bad idea.


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