This inspires me as a science fiction writer, imagining a dystopian world of the not-so-distant future. Protests- and, in Fourth World, rebellion– against an authoritarian government are inevitable, even essential.
Yesterday, under threatening skies, we stood with the Women’s March rally at the Civic Center in San Francisco, while our daughter was marching with half a million women in Washington, D.C. The passion, angst and anger were palpable, sometimes straining the sense of solidarity, as so many different agendas, pre-existing attitudes and goals were funneled into a few city blocks jam-packed with a hundred thousand people. Many women had brought their children to learn the value of participation, while others emphasized personal and political power, or immigration, or sexual freedom. All of these were important, but women’s rights remained at the core, and that focus allowed the first real glimmer of hope we’ve sensed since Friday’s inauguration. Everything from the tide of history and hard-won progress, to the moral power of fighting injustice, and even the genetic reality of being women, were impossible to deny. The president and his advisers may be able to put a D.C. spin on jobs, taxes, trade, alliances, border walls and carbon dioxide emissions, but the unforgettable Women’s Marches that took place across the country and worldwide will not yield so readily to spin.