AMERICANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND PROTEST
It’s guaranteed by our Constitution:
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Funny how many people don’t know that.
I spent a good part of the day on the computer, wishing I could be with the peaceable* men and women who marched, all over the States and the world, to remind the incoming president that his power is nowhere near absolute, and he is the servant of the people, not their master.
Friends of mine who posted pictures were in DC and Oakland and other marches, and one of my children was at the San Francisco march.
I am very proud of all the people who, in the face of frustration, marched with peaceful intent. They were marching even for the people who voted for the present administration, because those people will need healthcare and job rights, too.
They put their money where their mouths were: it took planning, organization, time, money, and effort to get that many people – literally millions – to the many march sites.
Crowds scare me – I avoid places I can’t get out of quickly
How much of that is me, and how much decades of chronic illness and no energy, is debatable, but I hope I would have made the effort, somewhere, if it were physically possible; I would have liked to march with friends.
It is not enough to be there in spirit. The Millions Missing protests this past year had people with CFS send in their shoes to represent themselves, and a pair of mine went. Symbols are important, but it is sad that my shoes could do something I cannot.
There have been marches by disabled people – but they are usually much smaller and require a lot of support.
My stamina is zilch: the marches were for reasonably healthy people who could travel, assemble, walk the distance, stand and listen – and then get home safely. These are the times when I miss that the most, when everyone else gets to go.
Most of the time I pretend I live in this room at my computer by choice; today that delusion was very hard, especially when my friends were posting selfies of themselves with the monuments on the Mall in the background. I got to go with them that way; I spent the day watching, reading, listening.
And sleeping. Thrilling it was not.
And glad I could stop worrying when the message came from San Francisco: Home safe.
*The previous version: If you want peace, prepare for war.