What a difference a day makes! In a sharp contrast to Trump's sad and depressing inauguration, the Women's March on Washington was vibrant and electric, boasting a crowd not only more diverse than Trump's but also significantly larger.
After attending Trump's inauguration by myself, I packed up the family to go to the march on Saturday. I went to the same parking lot to take the same train to the same metro station, except this time the parking lot was almost full. It certainly wasn't even close to full the day before. In fact, the official Metro Twitter account made sure to let everyone that the parking lots weren't even close to capacity on Friday but that most of the lots were at, or even over, capacity Saturday morning.
And then we saw this:
That would be a line of people waiting to get Metro cards to get into the station. The platform was crowded whereas yesterday at a comparable time, there were maybe seven or eight other people waiting with me.
Despite the weather being just as dreary as Friday, the Saturday crowd was incredibly upbeat and excited. Even when people spoke disparagingly about Trump, it was with an optimism that was entirely missing with the Trump crowd. People were cheering and taking selfies with strangers wearing the now-ubiquitous pink pussyhat.
When the train arrived, it was already crowded and it became even more so as most of the platform squeezed on. Deb, Jordan, Anastasia and myself were squished into the back corner. But even though the passengers were hot, cramped and impatient (the train kept stopping, making a 20 minute ride into 45 minutes), they were upbeat and chatty. I ended up discussing Trump, Jordan's autism, the inauguration, The Daily Banter (Hello new readers!) and a variety of other topics as we killed time in close quarters.
It's hard to convey just how many people were swarming the station when we finally arrived at L'Enfant Plaza. It took us fifteen minutes just to get out of the station.
And that's when I started to get an inkling of just how large the march was. Vox compared two pictures taken at about the same time comparing the inauguration and the march and the differences are unreal:
Vox mentions that the crowd spilled over onto Jefferson Dr. (the street running in front of the museums on the right side of the pictures), but what they don't mention is the crowd was also packed in the streets behind the museums as well. D St. and C St., running parallel to the Mall were a solid block of bodies as was 7th, 9th, L'Enfant Plaza and 12th. Independence Ave. was a lost cause altogether.
We didn't go towards the Capitol but I can only assume 6th, 4th, and 3rd where choked with marchers as well. We were so far away, we couldn't even hear the speeches being made over the loudspeakers and neither could anyone around us. But that didn't bother the crowd in the slightest. There was still an incredible amount of energy and even mini-marches as thousands of people chanted and sang as they walked down Madison Drive (the opposite side of the Mall) away from the stage.
These people and so many others walking around the far end of the Mall were not there to see celebrities or to hear speeches, they were there so they could be heard. So I listened:
In case you're wondering, those are not cherry picked. I went up to only 4 groups of women and I got considered and thoughtful answers from all of them. Unlike the incoherent rage of the average Trump supporter, the people at this march understood what they were there for and why. And that, more than anything else, bodes ill for Trump and his agenda.
This is a powerful start to a movement that is going to give Republicans the kind of heartburn that the Tea Party inflicted on the Democrats. The difference? Unlike the astroturf Tea Party that required secret funding from billionaires to get started, this movement is already enormous and 100% authentically grassroots.
Maybe treating women like trash was not the smartest move on the part of Trump and his lackeys in the GOP?
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