Personally, I marched because I tend to be a quiet person, but I can't keep quiet anymore. I can't watch silently as America/the world becomes more selfish, exclusive, and discriminatory. I lived in a very integrated community as a child. I took it for granted. I took a Holocaust Studies class in high school and was shocked by what I learned. I wrote a paper for that class about the role of others in allowing the Jews and other marginalized groups to be carted off and put in work and death camps. I used Pastor Martin Niemöller's famous quote in that paper, and it has stuck with me ever since.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."
So, I have to speak up. I have to resist. Even if it just means marching and wearing a safety pin and a pussy hat. I need to make sure that people who feel threatened know I am on their side. Even if that means putting myself in the way of misogynists and bullies. Because I can't keep quiet. I can't sit back and watch America become a censored, walled-off place. I sure hope it doesn't happen here, either. (Rutte's "doe normaal of ga weg" this week has got me a bit concerned, not to mention Geert Wilders.)
So, yeah, I'm worried. I want my daughters to grow up in a safe, kind and generous world. I took the day off of work the day before the March to make hats for all of our family and friends who were marching. I sewed about 25 hats from double-sided, duo-tone fleece (which I had to buy online because the market was sold out of the shade of pink I wanted). Not everyone was able to make it who said they were coming, so I wound up giving away about ten hats to strangers at the March.
My husband and I are Americans who have been living in the Netherlands for 21 years. Our daughters were born in Amsterdam and have both attended the Vrijeschool since the peuterspeelzaal.
We are all horrified at the recent developments in America.