Note: Stop Street Harassment helped organize an Our Streets, Too, march and rally against street harassment in Washington, DC. Holla Back DC! was another co-organizer and this is their wrap-up of the events. The photos are courtesy of my partner.
What we love about DC is that it can be so unpredictable!! With only two weeks of preparation, and all the organizers organizing via email, we were scared if anyone would show up. The rally, Our Streets, Too! A Big Queer/Feminist/Allies Street Fest, started off at SunTrust plaza on 18th and Columbia. We never realized, until yesterday, under the blazing sun, how there really aren’t many places in DC to gather that aren’t related to parks (which, let’s be real, are mostly dog parks). People started making signs, assisting with the incredible banner, and sharing their stories of harassment.
Then at 2P, Batala started playing. If you haven’t heard them, man, you are missing out on an amazing group of sisters who can really rock a drum. Everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves, while more people started gathering.
Curious onlookers asked, “What is this about? Why are people gathering?” And, fliers went out to them with volunteers talking about street harassment in DC towards women and LGBTQ individuals. Watching and listening to some of these bystanders say, “Yeah, harassment does happen and it really shouldn’t,” made the rally planning and stress worth it.
Around 2:30, the march started down 18th Street. A la Rob Lowe on Parks and Recreation, we literally stopped traffic, as the march took over the streets. It was amazing. MPD stopped the protest a few times, but, no one was arrested and they didn’t give us much push back.
Lauren, from Defend Yourself, did a wonderful workshop which concluded the protest and rally. Seeing so many people gather in support of raising awareness on street harassment, stopping traffic, and getting some skills on how to address the harassment was a great way to start the summer.
Many thanks to the supporters and friends of Holla Back DC! who came out to the rally!
If you were at the rally or wanted to be, and feel inspired to get more involved in this issue, please fill out this volunteer form and we’ll get back to you!