Things to Do

Participate in a Political Protest

Practice democracy and march the same grounds as game-changers before you.
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock

Why you might roll your eyes:

Cynical locals are supposed to know that even big rallies are quickly forgotten in our spin-doctored modern political environment. Plus, your boss might spot you hoisting a make hash legal sign by the White House.

Why you’ll love it:

For a cause you fervently support, nothing beats the democracy-in-action camaraderie of chanting slogans and rallying shoulder to shoulder with like-minded people. Plus, it’s awe-inspiring- and often change-inducing- to raise your voice/banner/fist with the Lincoln Memorial or US Capitol as a backdrop. “Demonstrators in Washington appear to be petitioning the federal government directly,” says Christopher Klemek, an urban-history professor at George Washington University. You’ll be joining a storied group- the civil-rights advocates who marched on the Mall with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963; the suffragettes who, by upstaging President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913, later helped women get the vote. Protests can be either spontaneous or planned, so keep up with the media and check websites for causes you support about upcoming events.

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