WHAT’S IN MY BAG: Protest Edition

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This saturday, March 24, I went to the March for our lives. I had been back and forth about going, because quite honestly, I don’t like crowds, I was worried about violence, I worried about restrooms… Then, I pushed myself, and I am glad I went. I can assure you that standing outside in Portland in March is fun, but I was in great company- my neighbor and her sweet, sweet daughter came too.  Also, it was the first time in a long while that I didn’t feel so sad and hopeless about gun violence. It’s one thing to read about the 70% of Americans that support a ban on assault rifles, it’s another matter to see it. To see and to be inspired by all the smart and yet painful signs.

Previously, I had only gone to the women’s march, and had made a few mistakes- so this time, I learned from them.


Protesting does not just mean going to demonstrations. Always put your health first, no matter how much you want to smash the patriarchy, and show your dissent etc. There are other ways to make your voices heard. The women’s march for example had an online platform, and so did the March for our Lives, and the March for Science as well. You can tweet and text from home. This is all stuff for another post though!

So, here’s what I had in my bag:

  1. the bag itself. Find something that is easily accessible and still practical. If that means a day pack, so be it. Nobody takes a Birkin bag to a protest, and you don’t want your arm/shoulder to hurt.  It can be rainy in March in Portland, so I made sure it’s material that is water-proof.I have two that I like, one is the Northface Amira (I have had this one for around 8 years, and I doubt they still make it) and the other one is the Deuter Speedlite 20 530. Both are trusty backpacks, the Deuter one being a bit smaller, and the one I ultimately went to the march with.
  2. Rain cover: In that bag, I took a rain jacket, IT’S MARCH IN PORTLAND Y’ALL.
  3. Water Bottle. Hydration is important. I had a metallic water bottle, but a camel back may work too.
  4. Yeah, Meds and a  a First aid kit. Two hours before the whole thing started, my stomach started hurting. I didn’t want to go back now, so I took a painkiller and it carried me through the day. I also had Tylenol with me, tums, chewing gum,  and Immodium. My first aid kit was a tiny one from target, with the bare minimum, but you can obviously take as much as you need.
  5. Clothes to change. I ended up not needing them but if I had stayed out until late, I probably would have gone and changed- it was cold and rainy!!
  6. Snacks: Here I am hesitant to give a recommendation, as people with IBD often have different foods they can eat. I had a solid breakfast in the morning (eggs), that kept me going for a while. I took a bar of chocolate with me, and the one energy bar that somehow doesn’t upset my stomach, Cliff white chocolate Macadamia. Again, this is what works for me, but it may not work for you.
  7. My phone charger: I knew I would take a lot of pictures, and I had told my husband that I’d check in after the march. I ended up not needing it, but whatever.
  8. Insurance info, address of your regular doctor, your GI and your preferred hospital.
  9. My red lipstick. very wichtig.

A few precautions that I took:

I looked at the March route and marked public bathrooms and bathrooms in stores that I could potentially use on my phone. Since it was downtown Portland, I knew most of them already. My favorites: Powell’s, Nordstrom, Anthropologie.

I walked with my neighbor and her daughter in a stroller. Aside from the fact that they have a slow pace, people always are respectful and helpful if you need to get out of a crowd.

I left when I had enough- in this day and age, most speeches will be either live streamed or on youtube later. Your health and energy always comes first. You’re of no use to anyone if you’re sick and exhausted for two days after the event (lessons learned from the 2017 women’s march).


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