WORDS & IMAGES: RACHEL FRY
If I had to choose two words to describe the March on Washington and the people walking the streets of Washington D.C. that day, I would choose the words kind and fierce. There was not a single arrest in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2017 and I can’t help but think that largely attributed to the event being executed by women. I was continually taken aback by the kindness I experienced from others at the March. Whether it was someone accidentally bumping into me and immediately apologizing, or a stranger giving me his extra metro pass when mine had run dry of money. People were kind. But they were also laser focused on their mission. I saw this fierceness throughout the crowd all from behind my lens. The emotions were pouring from people’s faces. They were angry, upset, hurt, but nevertheless they showed up. They were there with their signs and their pink pussy hats. I often looked into the crowd and would make eye contact with individual faces. We would lock eyes and in that short exchange we shared an unspoken conversation, one where we said that this is not OK and that we are not going to stand for this. It was the most connected I’ve ever felt with complete strangers in an event of that magnitude.
This was also my first protest. I went with family friends who used to protest during the Vietnam War days. They said they had never seen that many people at a single protest ever. One of the most impactful exchanges I had that day was when I was waiting in line at the bathroom of the pizza place we dined in after our legs could no longer move. A guy standing in line wearing a pink pussy hat turned to me and said “Thank you for coming to the March today”. I was completely surprised by his comment and replied, “No, thank you for coming”. I told him that it was inspiring to see so many men at the protest. His response was simply “It’s our duty to be here”.
I am proud to have been a part of that epic day in history. Fine Art Prints from the March on Washington are available through the link below. All proceeds are being donated to ACLU.