Yesterday, Carol and I attended the Women's March in Washington D.C., to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump and to support progressive policies, especially policies relating to women. D.C., of course, has lots and lots of protests, and I've never attended one before, but I felt strongly that I should attend this one. I'm glad we did.
Carol and I left home after the rally had already started so as not to make too long a day of it. We were forewarned by the radio that Shady Grove Metro station had no parking, so we went to the Rockville station and paid to park at the Rockville Town Center garage. That was a great decision. We walked over to the station and immediately caught a train. Awesome.
I commute every day on the Metro and have often seen it with standing room only crowds. So seeing it packed with people wasn't unusual to me. However, typically on a Saturday you don't see this. Here's a picture of our train car at around 11:30AM. It got even more crowded the farther we got into the city.
Our luck continued as we arrived at Gallery Place-Chinatown and immediately caught a yellow line train southward. Arriving at L'Enfant Plaza two stops later, we hit our first real obstacle. Exiting the station onto D street (which I presumed would be the least-used exit) took us over 20 minutes! With new trains arriving and depositing people on the platform behind us, this was a little scary for a while.
Upon our arrival on the streets, we moved north towards Independence Ave. where the march was going to take place. The crowd prevented us from crossing the street to join some friends, so after some back and forth we finally settled for a spot on the large patio surrounding the Federal Aviation Administration, which put us slightly above the crowd.
We could more or less hear the rally speakers, with occasional interruptions from the nearby religious nutjobs who were blasting out their nonsense with a bullhorn. We heard Scarlett Johansson speak as well as Janelle Monae and Alicia Keyes.
As usual with these types of things, they booked way too many speakers so the event went long and there were rumors that we wouldn't march because too many people were in attendance (this actually happened in Chicago). Finally, the organizers announced that we would indeed be marching, but were rerouting to Constitution Ave. We made our way down to Independence Avenue and started out, looking to cut across the mall as soon as we could.
As we began to actually march, the rally continued on behind us. The crowd roared "bigly" when Amy Shumer was introduced and she in turn introduced Madonna. As we marched, Madonna performed two songs, which was kind of cool.
We ended up on Pennsylvania Ave. and went all the way down to 15th Street which runs adjacent to the White House. They weren't allowing anyone into Lafayette Park so we couldn't march directly in front of the White House. Carol and I peeled off from the march at New York Avenue. We discovered later that the march ended one block after we left it.
At one point, our march took us past the new Trump International Hotel, which used to be the Old Post Office. In addition to booing and a lot of people giving the building the finger, many marchers left their signs on Trump's doorstep.
Carol and I ended up walking all the way to DuPont Circle. We had 8PM tickets for the play Copenhagen at TheatreJ where Carol works part time. We spent some time at a coffee shop (far off the beaten path as many marchers were still with us and looking to come in from the cold), then we had dinner and saw the excellent, thought-provoking show. We made it home around midnight.
During the march, cell service was unavailable because of the huge number of people so we really had no idea how big the crowd was. Estimates put it around 500,000 people, more than twice as many as attended Trump's inauguration. It was incredible and a jolt of hope after a really bleak two months since the election.
Here's an incredible video of the crowd taken from the roof of the FAA. Carol and I are standing almost directly beneath the camera.
Now the fight begins.