No Hate, No Mandate Rally – Buffalo, NY January 21, 2017

16142575_10208835590951144_3929003454227523844_nAlright, so I’m a few days late with this post, but I still wanted to get some of my thoughts down for safekeeping before *too* long! This past Saturday, I attended my first real political event (aside from voting): the “No Hate, No Mandate” March and Rally right here in Buffalo, NY.

It was a very last-minute decision of mine to attend. I learned about the events through Facebook (thanks for the heads-up, social media!) and decided on probably Friday, in the midst of the inauguration, that I wanted to attend. My frustrations regarding the political climate of our country have boiled over, and I decided to put some action behind my words.

16142900_10208835595471257_9010976208537447216_nI started off by visiting the Solidarity Hub at the 9th Ward in Babeville. It was crowded – really, really packed to the core – and brimming with this ENERGY. I did a quick walk-through and got some free swag from a friend at the Planned Parenthood table, then bought the other sign seen in my photo here for a $1 donation. I love the message; in three languages, it says “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbors!”

Around 12:15, we started walking. There were so many of us! We weren’t allowed to walk in the streets, but safe to say thousands of us marched on either side of the street, the half-mile or so to Niagara Square. There, we met up with others for the rally. These politically-charged individuals filled the square and honestly — it was an incredible feeling that ever-so-slightly restored my belief in the good of humankind.

16114822_10208835594271227_1087997540070375901_nPeople of all ages, genders, races, sexual orientations, ethnicities and backgrounds came together that day… and for those few hours, I honestly felt okay about the future of our world. I felt like although things are certainly going to be difficult, the fight isn’t over.

And I know that: the fight is far from over. One march, one rally…. or even hundreds, across the world, even in Europe, Antarctica and across the US and Canada…. isn’t enough. We have to keep going with our actions AND our words. Keep fighting.

For the record: I’ve recently started up monthly donations to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Trevor Project. For more charities that could use your help and support in this time, check out this post from November from Time.

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