After the election debacle of 2016, my wife and I decided that we were going to take an active role in politics and really try to make a difference. We were disgusted by the hateful rhetoric, the spewing of lies, the fear mongering and the overall sliminess of the Trump clown show. When we heard of plans for the Women’s March on Washington shortly after the election, we said “We Are In!” We had no idea what the logistics would be but we did not care. We needed our voices to be heard!
Being newbies to any type of march or rally, we had no idea what to expect. We knew we were going to be surrounded by folks of like minds and hearts but how many, how organized, how behaved, etc.? We drove up with two friends the night before and stayed in the north part of the city, about a 40 minute walk to the rally point. The next morning, under foggy skies, we peaked out the window and started to see a sea of pink pussy-hats emerge. As we started to walk to the action, the sidewalks filled quickly with women, men and children marchers with awesome protest signs. Some of my favorite signs were: “Free Melania,” “This pussy grabs back” and “Make America Think Again.”
As we approached the Capitol at 11AM, the National Mall was filling up with people. The rally area, to the southeast of the Capitol, was completely packed so we all found space to congregate in the National Mall. By noon the entire Mall, from the Capitol to the Monument, was filled as were the side streets. Hmmmm…about twice as big as the inauguration crowd but who is counting? The energy, the turnout and the vibe were incredible. Even though there were so many people packed together, everyone was so considerate of each other. It was an orderly gathering of United States citizens to make a statement. It defined what a rally should be…strong voices and peaceful protesting.
The cell networks were completely jammed but we were able to get out a few texts to some friends who had come to the march and were able to hook up with them. The official “March” started at around 2:00PM as I remember but it was more of a “Shuffle.” The marching route was already packed with rally people from start to finish even before the march started. We all slowly mushed into the shuffle and made our way to the White House. Chants of “We want a leader and not a creepy tweeter,” “Hands too small…can’t build wall” along with “Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like!” were leading chants. During the march there was a sharp turn to the left on one of the roads so I started up a chant “Stay Left…Stay Left…” which I found amusing.
The March generally dispersed near the White House. I think all of us wanted to get closer to the Orange House for the final chants of the day but all of the streets were blocked off for fear of some extra Freedom of Speech I am guessing. As we made our way back to the Outer Banks, we were thankful we had committed to make the journey. We were energized to begin the long hard fight ahead. The Resistance has begun!