So I went to my first demonstration in I’m-afraid-to-say-how-many years this weekend. Though driven by plenty of passion and even anger, the Oakland Women’s March was a positive, pleasant, laid-back affair for its up to 100,000 participants (not bad for a city of 400,000). Lots of creative signs, just like its sister rallies across the globe. (My personal favorites were signs #5 and #45.)

All in all, this extraordinary event seemed liked an ordinary thing to do. And I mean that in a good way.

Why a good way? Because if in fact Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to our democracy – or “merely” if he should be opposed because his policies will damage millions of folks – pushing back against him must become an ordinary part of many people’s lives going forward. There are myriad mechanisms for doing so, and protesting is just one part of the puzzle. But for right now let’s just focus on more marches.

Why more marches? Because, as per Slate’s often excellent Jamie Bouie, the contrast between the Women’s Marches’ massive turnouts and his own inauguration’s lighter attendance drove Trump batty and helped spark a counterproductive counterattack by him, via his press secretary.

Now, there’s a chance that Trump will ignore future protests against his presidency, or dismiss them as meaningless, or delve into some other type of self-delusion. But we know the guy craves approval, detests criticism, is incredibly thin-skinned and is prone to self-inflicted political wounds when incensed.

So…what are you doing on April 15?


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Based in Oakland, California, Stephen Golub writes, consults and teaches about international development, with a particular focus on justice, democracy, human rights and governance issues. Currently teaching part-time at Central European University in Budapest and previously at the University of California at Berkeley, he has worked in over 40 countries and with such organizations as Amnesty International, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Ford and Open Society Foundations, the U.K. Department for International Development, the U.N. Development Program and the World Bank

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