With several lessons to plan for next week, naturally, I decided to procrastinate by going to Paris for the third time. But this time, it was for a far worthier cause: protesting against the tiny-handed, bigoted Cheeto and his lieutenant chauvinist.
After a Friday night of sushi and Eagle Eye in Amiens, S, A, and I—a trio of Nice alumni—took a Saturday morning BlaBlaCar to Paris. We lucked out with the driver and his friend, young cinema students who showed us their comedic web series Shlags and participated in a cultural music exchange with us.
On to the protest: we marched in the streets for two hours, from Place Joffre to Trocadéro, where we were accompanied by armored, armed gendarmerie (I’m serious, they were flat-out carrying guns and riot shields). According to the news sites, there were about 500 of us, mostly Americans, though there were all sorts of other people protesting as well. The diversity was incredible: white people, people of color, the LGBTQ community, children on shoulders, students, assistants, parents, old people with canes, and even dogs.
The catchiest chant, by far, was, “Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!” (It’s actually still stuck in my head as I write this.)
Some other protest lines:
“Black Lives Matter”
“We reject the President-elect”
“Trump and Pence makes no sense”
“Love, not hate, makes America great”
“Say it loud say it clear, refugees are welcome here”
“This is what democracy looks like”
My personal favorites:
“Women’s rights are human rights”
“Feminist as fuck”
“Hands too small, can’t build a wall”
“Make America gay again”
I’m so glad that S, A, and I made the last-minute decision to participate in the protest—I don’t have the words to describe how life-changing it was to be immersed in solidarity, activism, and hope. For example, when women started shouting, “My body, my choice!” and men chimed in with, “Their body, their choice!” / “Her body, her choice!” I was so overwhelmed that I started to tear up; my little feminist heart was just so full of gratitude and pride. Also, shout-out to the white people who were holding signs like, “White people did this” and “White silence is white violence.” Fittingly, after S, A, and I left and hunted down a café to defrost in, we passed speakers blaring the lyrics to “We Are Family.”
I don’t know who made this sign, but it was so on point and she saw me laughing at it:
This girl was having the time of her life, blessing people with her tiny hand sign:
By the way, S, A, and I actually got caught on video: around 0:16, you can see the three of us busily documenting our first-ever protest and supporting social justice!