Solidarity

This week has been a strange one for us all. It is the culmination of past weeks that have been strange; it is the beginning of weeks that for many of us are about to become even stranger. I am inside at the moment, as I was yesterday and as I will be in the coming days. I have lots to say about it, and I will in due course.

For now, I want to share some images from last weekends Women’s March in Amsterdam. It is the first time I did anything for International Women’s Day. It will most certainly not be the last.

Standing on Dam Square with so many different people as we waved our signs high was the most empowering thing I have ever experienced. We all come from our own backgrounds; we all have our own set of reasons why marching is important to us. A hundred different reasons, one essential cause.

As we marched, there was a chant that kept coming back (it’s in Dutch):

“Hoe laat is het?”

“Solidari-tijd” (Solidariteit)

“Hoe laat is het?”

“Solidari-tijd”

What time is it? Time for solidarity.

Each time it popped up again and I marched on, chanting it together with the thousands of humans there with me, it gave me goosebumps.

We live in interesting times. It’s 2020 and we are (still) marching for women’s rights in all its basic shapes and forms. It’s 2020 and we have been hit with a pandemic. It is affecting our lives in ways that most of us have never experienced before.

Last week I was outside, marching proudly,  and today I’m tucked away in my home in Amsterdam. I have the luck of having company, but there’s no way around it: it is isolation. It’s cutting off, it’s choosing for solitude. And yet somehow, our collective decision to stay at home feels powerful to me. In choosing to isolate, we become a part of something so much greater than just the one self. We are, for all intents and purposes a team, fighting for, or in this case against, the same thing. We are protecting one another.

We are sharing information and calling on one another to think about others. Press conferences mention that our decisions are essential in protecting all of those who are at risk. Moment after moment that have me thinking:

This feels like solidarity.

So here’s to that solidarity living on. Here’s to the women’s march of last week and the many fighters who took to our streets. Here’s to conscientious decision-making in the face of COVID-19 and all of us: fighters. Here’s to collective fights for things that matter, which at the end of the day can all be boiled down to one thing. Seeing one another as equal humans and working towards the betterment of our shared world.

I hope we’re all making carefully considered decisions that drip in our empathy for our fellow person. Much love to all.

IMG_2907
Post-march. A collection of signs outside the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. These signs were donated to Atria: Kennisinstituut voor Emancipatie en Vrouwengeschiedenis.

 

 

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