I must admit, it's exciting to be a college student amidst the buzz of political activism. And being an art student means we put time and care into our signs. I told you about the fervor over the sign I painted for a recent march in "I'm With Her." One of those reporter images is still a front-page image for the online version of The Edinburgh Evening News! In fact, one of my tutors suggested my original sign might be a collector's item, so rather than ruin it in bad weather, I had it scanned and turned into products through my online store. I'm proud to say folks are buying shirts, signs and bags with my Lady Liberty image on them from Edinburgh to Seattle! (A portion of sales will be donated to the ACLU.) I also had two more-weather-resistant signs made for Stan and me to use at today's march.
That said, my friend Karin's poster was the hit of today's march. She made a hand-letterpress sign that reads "No to Fear, Hate, Greed." If you know anything about letterpress, you know the time and care that went into these. Gorgeous.
Of course, we weren't the only ones who put thought into our signs. While I hate that we need to make these signs at all, the more marches we have, the more creative the signs get. I especially loved the Scottish DT model cheet-o.
And this group took the pussy hat to new extremes.
It was amazing to see this outpouring of creativity despite the weather forecast of cold, rain, wind, and snow. Somehow, the weather stayed just clear enough for us to stand it as an enormous crowd grew at The Meadows (Edinburgh's version of Central Park). We were surrounded by wonderful signs in all directions:
Despite its fame, Edinburgh is a small town - the murals in the background are by one of my tutors at uni, Astrid Jaekel.
We loved enjoying all the clever displays of people's thoughts, however, we were also freezing cold standing in one spot on wet ground. So we were especially excited when we began to actually march. The wind made pictures hard to take as we held onto our signs tightly - they became sails! As we got to the Royal Mile, it wasn't so bad. We chanted and smiled at the folks who stopped to watch our parade. What a way to experience this ancient city! (That's St. Giles Cathedral on the right.)
We really were marching in the middle of a cold snap, probably the worst weather we've had all winter. Most of us couldn't feel our toes or fingers anymore. We were also hungry. So, about half way down the Royal Mile, we cut left to have lunch at Viva Mexico. (Yes, there is great Mexican food to be found in Edinburgh!) We fell apart with hot chocolate and home-made tortilla chips. Here are Antii and Stan.
and me and my girls, Karin and Amandine.
What a great crowd (I'll share numbers when I know them), what great day! There's nothing like a powerful message and bad weather to pull people together! I leave you with the protest singer at The Meadows. Sorry I couldn't get the whole thing, he was great too! (Click the image to play on Youtube.)
Here's the coverage in the Edinburgh Evening News.