Woke up at like 5:30am yesterday in the hopes of getting a good position. Somehow managed to misplace one of the two metro cards that I had charged up on Thursday! So grabbed a metro card with who knows how much on it in its place. Listening to the radio in the car on the way to the station, we heard that there had been ~6k people in the Sydney sister march, which was a little more than the ... 300 they were expecting! My mum and Don were there I am so proud of them. We were early enough at the station that things weren't too crowded, but about 2000% more than what you normally see on a Saturday morning that early. The random metro card we grabbed had enough charge on it, thankfully, because there were long lines to recharge your cards. It was still darkish when we got on the train. We got within visual distance of the stage (barely) and a handy jumbotron (decent, when the signs weren't in the way). We listened to a number of speakers. Gloria Steinem had some interesting things to say. Michael Moore is a troll, but some of the things that he was saying were true, fortunately Ashley Judd interrupted him before he went too far down his hyperbolic rabbit hole. The normally private Scarlett Johansson had some wonderful things to say, but the audio cut out toward the end of her remarks. Van Jones had some awesome things to say. Muriel Bowser had some choice things to say, including a claim that DC would become the 51st state (I do not oppose, but not likely). There were lots of pink hats. Lots of nasty women. There were some complaints about the organization, but I thought for the numbers of people it went pretty well. After so many speakers, and some degree of repetition, people were starting to get agitated so we started marching. I don't think people were following the official marching route, we ended up going right up Pennsylvania Ave, past Trump's new hotel (which got a number of boos) and past the White House. The DC National Guard were there in force, and they were terrific at helping to keep things safe and happy. In one video I saw later marchers were thanking the guardsmen (and guardswomen!). Police were present, but there weren't any negative confrontations that I could see. By some estimates the marchers numbered 500k. I have never seen the city so crowded in my life! Overall if I had to sum it up, I don't know what this will do or what this will change, but I have to say that I was glad that I went. In November I felt demoralized, and I still am to some degree, but it was positive experience to spend some time with people who also felt the same way and who are engaged to resist! Lena took some pictures on her phone (most of mine are on film to be developed later):
Lena and I were there.
Make America Tolerant Again!
All sorts of people marching and cheering and chanting.
“We will not go away! Welcome to your first day!”
“We are the popular vote!”
“I pay taxes what about you?!”
“What's that smell? TRUMP Hotel!”
“Love not hate that's what makes America great!!!”
“Hands too small! Can't build the wall!”
Hope! Nasty Women Snatch Back!
At the end of the march, we walked a few blocks back to Chinatown to get a direct ride out of the city. I figured that trying to change trains with the huge number of people was going to be a disaster. After trying three different entrances to the Chinatown metro station we finally got in. Once again we were thankful to have money on our metro cards because the lines were crazy. My feet were killing me, and the train in front of us broken down, and it was standing room only until the second to last stop. When we finally got to our car it was already dark again.