[American] Democracy can be a fickle thing. It probably goes without saying that the nature of the Free World was turned upside down this a couple of weeks ago with the election of the next president of the United States. With the way world works these days it's almost impossible to avoid politics altogether. There's no way to beat around the bush when it comes to the concerns of the disenfranchised with regards to Donald Trump's presidential agenda. Without fail, the disenfranchised took their concerns to the streets of the biggest cities across the "blue states" of America. To the surprise of no one, New Yorkers answered the call. There was an event I saw on Facebook that several people I knew were attending. It was simply titled "Trump is NOT my President. March against Trump." The scheduled affair involved a rally at Union Square around 12 noon and a planned march along Broadway to 5th Avenue culminating at the foot of Trump Tower. Civil disobedience was a recurring theme in the music I used to listen to as a teen. It was also something I've never experienced first hand so I thought, "Why not go? Best to bring a camera when you do." Armed with a pb&j sandwich, a red bull, a bottle of water, my D700 and utmost curiosity I decided to go and have a look for myself.
Reservations aside, it's safe to say that our new president is quite the controversial figure. I have never seen such a wide-sweeping array of political movements united under one march. Reviled or revered, remnants of Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, Environmentalists and Feminists to Bernie bros, they were all present.
I used to wonder what the point of it all was. What makes a protest effective? Certainly it's not the signs or the chants, although they do make for entertaining moments. Maybe this call to action is a call to attention.
Obviously this protest doesn't change the results of the election, so why bother? I'm fairly certain that everyone who attended knew that their actions wouldn't overturn the results. Maybe it's about solidarity, to fight not necessarily for what's right but to remind ourselves what human empathy is about. A sort of group therapy. Perhaps to show the world and to the disenfranchised, "we don't think like him."