The power of resistance

Most people know Sir Isaac Newton as the self-described “natural philosopher” who is credited with describing certain “Laws of Nature.”  Newton’s Third Law of Nature is commonly understood to be, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Abstract thinkers easily apply this logic to human interaction.  When human actions are consistent with this premise, there is usually action of historic or consequential note.  Such was the post-inauguration Women’s March.

March organizers were surprised by the number of demonstrators who gathered in opposition to the Trump presidency and agenda.  Although Washington, D.C., was the locus of the action, women expressed their concerns in every state.  Listening to media descriptions of the March, few anticipated the participation of the millions who were engaged in this country and around the world.

I was there
I joined millions of sisters and brothers gathered in this empowering civil demonstration.  With crowds so large that most attendees had to strain to hear the speakers, there were no complaints.

Most carried signs reflecting their most urgent goals and all seemed satisfied being in the company of others who recognize the need for social justice.

Those incorrectly assuming that women can’t get along were sadly mistaken.  There was no evidence of argument, the exchange of an unkind word or a disagreement among the marchers.  We were focused, empowered and ready to fight for the causes represented in our coalition.

The march also had great support among men. They seemed happy to in support their female loved ones in a numerical show of strength.  It was clear that we shared many common concerns.

Pre-march speech
I was invited to speak at a pre-march breakfast.  Also in attendance were notables Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Eleanor Smeal, Patricia Arquette and Kamala Lozez.  In a sense, I felt like my friend, Coach Eddie Robinson, leading a team through a pre-game rally and defining our focus on the desired outcomes of our march.

We knew our objective to be to state to our nation and the world that it was unacceptable for our concerns to be trivialized.  By organizing and marshalling a larger presence than the president attracted to his inauguration, we refused to be ignored!

Never underestimate the power of a woman!  Never has a march been as successful in such a short time from conception to conduct.  The unity the women showed around the world is a good indication of action women are prepared to take to challenge the new administration on issues that may not always be billed as “women’s issues.”

It showed that women are stronger when we vow to support voting rights, civil rights, human rights, immigration, equal pay for all, and expanding social justice.

In rapid motion
In his First Law of Nature, Newton asserts, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

We are now in motion at a pace that has never been seen.  We will face forces that will attempt to retard our progress, but we cannot and will not disengage.  My prayer is that this new-found power of women be utilized to bring about equal rights not just for women, but for all of humanity.

Dr. E. Faye Williams is national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. Contact her via



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