This past January was the first time I attended the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Afterwards, I felt giddy for weeks. There is something about the energy of that many people coming together in defense of life that galvanizes you.
While we were all hoping there wouldn’t need to be another March, it’s looking like 2013 is not the year we end abortion. So we’re gonna march again on January 22, 2014. And nothing will make it better or more meaningful than having you – yes, you – show up.
Here are my tips and tricks for preparing for (and getting the most out of) your March for Life experience.
1. Buy warm stuff.
I am from Texas. I don’t know what cold means. Not really. I showed up in what I previously thought was a “warm” coat, only to find it about as effective as a light cardigan against the 18-degrees-and-snowing weather. On the day of the March, you may spend several hours in the elements, and you’ll walk a long way.
Destiny and I were miserable. Miserable. We got cold enough that we felt sick, and it took us hours to warm up.
Dying of hypothermia is not pro-life. So even if you have to borrow or thrift, get real cold-weather gear. And don’t neglect your feet. (Note: In the snow, cowboy boots are not your friends.)
2. Find a hotel room.
This one is self-explanatory. About half a million people will be converging on Our Nation’s Capitol. Book a room now. For extra-super fun, share with a friend or friends. I shared with Destiny two nights and Jewels Green one, and it was probably a little too much of a good time. (Jewels brought me coffee in the morning. You should room with her if you can.)
3. Take taxis.
Start saving now. Get a jar and write “TAXI” on it, and put as much money in there as you can. Skip meals if you have to. Because the Metro is scary and confusing. Everyone moves way too fast and the thingy where you buy the tickets is terrifying in its complexity. I have used subway systems in New York and San Francisco, and I don’t know if it was the hypothermia affecting my brain or what, but the D.C. train was baffling and horrible.
So I spent most of my allotted funds on taxis, and I enjoyed it like you wouldn’t believe. I had only been in a cab a dozen or so times before last January, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I like it when people do stuff for me so I can think about squirrels in Christmas hats or whatever else happens to be going through my mind.
Anyway, I had a great discussion about abortion with one of my taxi drivers, and I shared cabs with lots of interesting pro-lifers I only knew because they’re famous on the Internet.
If you want to be frugal and rad and take the train, hey. You do that. But I am a taxi girl and I’ll stay a taxi girl.
Destiny, Jewels, and me. Those gals are my heroes.
4. Meet people.
That’s the best part about this thing. We’re there to make a statement and send a message (if the press bothers to report that there’s a march happening), but we’re also there to encourage and edify each other. Here’s a statement that will make you say “duh”: being a pro-life activist, writer, student, or whatever, isn’t easy. Sometimes you feel isolated or burned out. You feel like you’re alone, or you’re out of ideas.
The March will pep you up. You’ll make connections. You’ll think of new projects. You’ll even Dance on Injustice.
You’ll also meet pro-life people you only know from the Internet. Come meet me, for instance. I’m nice.
This is basically how I packed last year. Don’t do this.
5. Plan ahead.
Start doing some research on all the events that are happening that week and weekend so you can take advantage of your time in D.C. There is way more to do than just the March – the Rose Dinner, the Youth Rally, the Law Conference, the totally incredible Dance On Injustice, and so much more. You can register for many events – and book your hotel room – at the March for Life website.
But don’t stop there! Start doing your research. Google, Facebook, and ask your friends. There is so much to learn and so many connections to make that week.
You’ve got plenty of time to save up, book a hotel and a flight, get some warm clothes, and come out to an event that will change your life if you let it. Join us. March for Life with Live Action this January. I promise you’ll be glad you did.