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I’m so glad I went to the Boston Women’s March because the day felt happy and hopeful, a much welcome change to the feelings of dread hanging over me since the election. It was wonderful to find myself surrounded by over 100,000 people who care and want to be involved. Not to mention there were more than 2 million people across the country and around the world who were also marching!

Boston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkI marched with a group of friends and my dad carrying signs designed by Hello!Lucky and The Working Assembly. My dad’s been an activist since he was a teenager protesting the Vietnam War, and I felt proud walking the streets of Boston with him by my side carrying an “I’m with her" sign. I was inspired by the creative signs, passionate speeches, and the mere ability to demonstrate peacefully in a respectful show of democracy and civic discourse. And I don’t want the momentum to end with the March. To make sure our voices continue to be heard, I’ll be following the Women's March campaign's 10 Actions in 100 Days, and contacting my legislators regularly to let them know what I'm thinking. I will also be sure to send thank you notes (I usually use one of these, of course) when our elected officials stand up for our rights—they'll need the encouragement as they fight the good fight.

I was also proud that Smudge Ink had good representation at the March! Read on to hear about everyone else's thoughts and experiences.

Boston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkSARAH. The Boston Women's March was beyond inspiring and an important reminder that everyone's voice matters. But more than that, it was a powerful reminder to me to show up and be an ally for people whose voices aren't being heard. To that end I look forward not just to participating in more marches and protests, but also doing my part by calling and writing to local and national elected officials. As one of the speakers said, "we've come so far but we have so much farther to go." On a side note: the signs were amazing. And I was happy to read that museums all over the world are adding them to their collections

Boston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkCLAYTON. I honestly didn't hear of the Women's March until a couple days before when I began to hear office chatter of people attending. Sarah invited me to join her Smithie group, and with that invitation, I decided go. It was my first protest ever. I went because: 1) there are a number of strong women in my life that I love and admire and 2) being there seemed like a good way to voice my discontent with the newly elected alongside many others that feel the same. It felt good being there. The sun was shining. And despite the many fears and much unhappiness amid the newly rising political and national climate, that day, amid the thousands, it felt like everything would be okay.

Boston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkERIN. I was excited and nervous for my first march. I really didn't know what to expect. I went with a group of some of my favorite nasty women, and we were definitely fired up listening to Elizabeth Warren and Maura Healy speak. It was very encouraging to be surrounded by so many people and know that we're standing up together. Though it took us at least an hour to even get out of Boston Common to start marching, I left feeling hopeful for the first time since the election.

Boston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkBoston Women's March | Blog | Smudge InkGEORGE. I am not a protestor. As a rule, I don't speak out. I avoid conflict at all costs. But there comes a time in life where we have to ask ourselves where the line is—what is too much? What will it take to push us to speak out? Having the rights of those around me challenged by the highest office in our land is well beyond my line, so far beyond that I could find no justification for staying home while my wife marched. To paraphrase my favorite sign of the day, the concern is so high that "even the introverts are here." My favorite moment, the one that made it worth the claustrophobia, was hearing an older woman telling her friend that "it's different this time" because so many men were there.

The sign I carried proclaimed "Liberty and Justice for ALL." I hope I live those words.