“But where are all the people?” my friend Rachel Zell asked as we turned off 89 to Montpelier and entered the downtown area of Vermont’s capital.
The sun couldn’t decide whether to leave the clouds, and slush puddled the sidewalk. Not the most favorable weather for an outdoor event.
After finding a parking spot, we walked toward the city hall, the supposed starting point for the March for the Future.
The March for the Future took place on Jan. 20, the one-year anniversary of both the inauguration of Donald Trump and the historic women’s march.
The march was hosted by the political organization Rights and Democracy VT, and began at 1 p.m. at Montpelier City Hall and proceeded to the Statehouse lawn where speakers addressed the crowd.
It centered on youth voices; those who will come of age in Trump’s America.
“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. This generation is alive now, and we are taking action to make a better future,” the event’s mission statement said.
Finding the streets empty, we wondered if we had arrived on the right day.
But then came the wave of people down Main Street and any doubts disappeared.
The crowd was clad in the pink cat ear hats that have become the mark of the new feminist movement.
People held signs in their right hands and the small fingers of children in their left.
“Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like,” the group chanted.
The March featured a series of speakers, emphasizing the empowerment of youth voices.
These included the Muslim Girls Making Change, a Burlington slam poetry group of four high school students who use poetry to promote social justice in their community.
Their performance drew tears from many audience members.
The audience members themselves added incredible character to the event.
Families brought their kids, their posters and their passion to the Vermont winter air to show how much America’s youth matter.
“If you want to see the future, look down,” a poster said.
Each family who urges us to look down is also urging us to look forward.