Over the last century or so, there has been a lot to protest about.
In the fifties and sixties, there was the African-American Civil Rights Movement, where the aim was to end racial segregation and discrimination. The sixties and seventies saw the women’s liberation movement form and persevere, as well as protests against the Vietnam War. Many of the protests of the eighties were against nuclear arms, while those in the years following regarded the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
These demonstrations involved large numbers of people gathering together to march in peaceful solidarity, and were usually thoroughly organised events. Throughout the years, the equally important issues of abortion, tree logging, animal cruelty, LGBTQ community rights and immigration rights also came to the forefront (although on a slightly lesser scale), and these demonstrations were generally carried out by smaller groups and organisations.
Even now, we often see pieces on the news of small, ragtag groups who have decided to form protests against those they believe are in the wrong. We see them chaining themselves to trees, sitting in front of bulldozers, jumping over fences to liberate animals from their enclosures or holding up handmade signs while being dragged away by the police. As such, some people tend to think negatively about these people, despite the positive sentiments they are trying to convey. Although they are passionate about their causes, their scruffy looks often undermine their messages, and a lot of people dismiss them as ‘hippies’ (meant in a derogatory tone) or ‘troublemakers’.
Perhaps that is why the Women’s March, held on January 21, 2017, was such a huge event. Covering 7 continents, 82 countries, and involving over 5 million people, the March was one of the largest demonstrations in political history, and what’s more, it involved normal, everyday citizens, hoping to make a difference. Holding up witty and inspiring homemade signs, millions of men, women and children marched in their cities to protest for equality, the environment and a host of other important social issues. A lot of the rallies also aimed their protests at America’s newly inaugurated president, Donald Trump, whose statements and positions embody the exact opposite of what the protests aimed to achieve.
While there were plenty of images of this worldwide event posted on social media and news sites, there have also been two books released that feature photos from the Women’s March. Why We March and Why I March were released by two different publishing houses, yet they are very similar in scope. Both feature many of the same protest photos from around the world, as well as quotes from some of the inspirational people who spoke during the march. Both books state that they will also donate any royalties from the sale of their books to important charities such as Planned Parenthood, and other non-profits that were affiliated with the march.
These books mark an important time in our history. The signs that people have created show their wittiness with words and, more importantly, their solidarity when protesting a cause they believe strongly in. These books are perfect if you’re looking for a tangible commemoration to this significant worldwide event.