The Mess of Expression

The January 21st Women’s March will be remembered for it’s scale and international scope, seeing an estimated 4.8 million women participate in marches across 82 countries. It will also be remembered for it’s environmental impact, with marchers choosing to leave their placards and posters spread across cities and parks where marches were organized.

The discarded signs were most prevalent in Washington, the sight of the largest march, which attracted approximately 500 000 people. The discarded signs were left as a means of reminding President Donald Trump of the marchers message, a lasting image of the sentiments behind the movement. His Hotels and and office towers in New York were also left with a new garden of neon paperwork.

The intentions behind the leftover signs was assuredly positive, however the long term impact was perhaps not considered. Hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper aren’t going to disappear overnight. The marchers have now created the need for a large scale clean up, which certainly will not be carried out by Mr. Trump himself. The environmental burden of protests is a delicate topic, with valid opinions being scrawled on non-reusable paper products.
The Women’s march was an event centered around women proudly owning their identity, an essential component of an equitable and successful culture. By owning their identity, they must also own their actions. Signs left out on others property is an inconvenience, and adds a slightly negative spin to an overwhelmingly positive event. Women’s rights should and will continued to be championed, as will other protestable causes. The aftermath just has to be considered as comprehensively as the event itself.


*Image courtesy of The Hill

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