Yesterday, I joined over 500,000 people in DC and millions in sister events worldwide to show support for women's rights. It was by far the largest crowd I've ever been a part of. Supporters flew from across the country, drove from neighboring cities, and filed into crowded metro stations, some waiting over 2 hours to catch a train into the city. The final mass of people overflowed from the National Mall onto the surrounding streets and completely shutdown major roads around downtown DC.
The attendees covered so much ground that the original march route, from the Capitol Building to The White House, was completely packed. I was unable to get within a block of the main stage due to the densely packed crowd. Every few minutes, a rumbling roar of cheers would spread through the crowd, starting near the stage and sweeping backwards. Around the main group, spontaneous side marches broke out like slow moving rivers of pink hats, shirts, signs, and balloons. There was constantly movement all around. In the chaos of so many moving people, I'm not sure if the main march ever started.
Although very claustrophobic at times, I was struck by how polite everyone was, even when crammed shoulder to shoulder on tight side streets. National Guardsmen stationed around the march smiled and took photos with demonstrators.
To get to the north side of the event, I joined hundreds of marchers on 12th Street as they walked through cavernous tunnels beneath the mall on the normally busy roadway. We emerged into daylight a few hundred yards from Trump International Hotel. Booing and chants of "shame" sprung up all around as many demonstrators laid their signs against the newly placed crowd barricades surrounding the hotel. On the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the building, a flood of demonstrators streamed by. Late into the night, demonstrators filled restaurants, stores, and coffee shops around the city.
Altogether, I walked over 30 miles this weekend, met dozens of people, and took thousands of photos. I'm not sure what the next 4 years will hold for our country but I'm glad I was able to be a part of this past weekend's historic events.