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The Future Is Woman!
& "I'm Not Ovary Acting"
A 90 block chunk of NYC's prime weekend retail businesses were effectively shut down, and within that zone none of the City's nominally 'open' streets or avenues remained open, all occupied by the sheer overflow of women, and men, struggling to be a part of this massive, May-like January uprising. This was a joyous rehearsal for revolution!
It had been a while since I'd gone hiking mid-town Manhattan. Normal Saturday traffic, pedestrian and vehicular, can be intimidating enough, but today the streets between 55th and 40th, Avenues Second to Fifth, witnessed a spontaneous uprising of NY #Solidarity against Donald Trump. Stupendous numbers of protesters over-jammed all of the cities resources and the police were effectively hoist in the petard of their own barricade system, which blocked all crosstown movement, causing the cross-streets to become clogged and overwhelmed with sheer numbers. Assembling marchers were prevented from ever reaching their planned rendezvous points, so side-streets and sidewalks everywhere became rallies and mini-marches of their own.
The police seemed oblivious as every corner of space inside and outside their fences were filled to human capacity. The mayor may have given them laissez-faire orders, or they knew instinctively they were impossibly outnumbered, as well as thoroughly woman-shamed by the stunning spectacle of indignant females of all ages, colors and classes, many pushing baby carriages, along with dads galore carrying youngsters on their shoulders. It was, for all of the chaos, a sublimely subversive NYC afternoon...
Nearly every cross-street had assemblies that had failed to reach the 'waiting pen' they were supposed to be in until they joined the main march. The long line of interlocking police fences—and the solid mass of placard bearing marchers on either side of it—effectively rendered cross-town movement impossible. All pedestrian progress any which way was made with a wing and prayer—even doorways were filled with demonstrators who'd given up trying to move in the sidewalk mob.
Meanwhile cars, trucks, and buses ad nauseam jammed the midtown, mid-afternoon avenues and streets that were supposed to be open to them. Marchers locked traffic in place good and proper for hours on end, angry horns and catcalls notwithstanding. This was New York City disruption at its finest, an unequivocally revolutionary civic expression.
Taking the initiative, the womens' groups occupied the cross-streets and marched there. They occupied both of the sidewalks, and marched there. They occupied the side of the avenue intended to allow an open lane of car traffic, and marched there. If police barricades were intended to restrict marchers to the assigned route, they did not only fail, the effort was crushed, most-hearteningly, by an army of placard bearers and their moral force.
This was unlike any march I have ever joined in NYC. The sun broke early in the afternoon with such a splendor I am sure everyone felt its warmth and affirming effect. This march was at least half the size in number as the City's 2014 Climate March, some five times what was expected here today, and I am not alone in a half million head estimate. This was raw, untapped power, true anarchy on the streets of mid-town Manhattan, from the whole spectrum of humanity, from arm-walker grandma's to punk teen lesbians, sore HRC Dems to red beret commies. This was an inspirational day for activism the world over.
It is instructive to imagine Hillary had won. These streets would be smug with quiet 'lesser evil' complacency, and we would continue to baa like sheep another four or eight years while she followed Obama and her husbands footsteps in betraying everything they ever campaigned for or promised in pursuit of a barefaced neoliberal agenda. That's the hard truth of it. Trump's turn to go down is coming too, the question being whether he is smart enough to quit on his own or waits until the GOP has no choice but to vote for impeachment for its very own survival. Thence Pence, who may arguably be worse. Trump's ouster will be a Pyrrhic victory for the left.
That doesn't detract from this historic day of women's solidarity in these historic times. Let us hope the future is female, for all of our sakes.