This weekend my mum and I drove up to Washington DC to join the 500,000+ people there for the Women’s March on Washington (I heard elsewhere that 500,000 is actually inaccurate and that it was much more). I’ve never been to a march before, and this was such an amazing, positive experience. People were joking and complimenting each others, and I even got offered free candy.
We took the subway into Washington after spending the night with friends in Northern Virginia. The subway was soooo crowded. Luckily, the line moved really quickly and everyone was in a good mood – there weren’t even people trying to cut in line or anything.
The conductor cracked a few jokes and said that the subways were more crowded than they were for the inauguration the day before.
My mum and I made signs to bring. We both wanted to go positive with our signs, and I decided to support something near and dear – the public school system. I had the idea to make our signs out of fabric, and it was a great choice. Whenever we got tired of holding them or needed both our hands for something, we could just fold them up and stick them in our bags.
I found a few other teachers who were there to support public schools as well. Everyone reacted really well to my sign. I would like to think it all had to do with people appreciating public schools, but the extra energy might have also had something to do with Betsy DeVos’ hearing this week.
We knew there would be a lot of people there, but I don’t think anyone expected just how many people would turn out for it.
It was really inspiring to see so many different kinds of people come together.
This little guy was definitely the cutest marcher I saw. His mom said that it was his first march.
Some canine friends came along too – some wearing pink accessories to show their support!
And there were even a few celebrities in the crowd – like Pikachu!
There were lots of kids and some people came with their whole families.
It was a little hard to figure out what exactly was going on for parts of it. The stage area was so crowded that we couldn’t get anywhere near it and so many people were using their phones that it was hard to get a connection. While trying to figure out when the march was going to start (it got pushed back a couple of times), my mum and I chilled on a wall by the Air and Space Museum and people watched. It was fun to see all the different signs people had. We missed all of them, but there were lots of speeches. I don’t agree with some of the messages that were expressed during them (especially some of the more violent messages), but I’m glad that there were so many groups that showed up to speak.
Eventually, people started moving in a march like way, so we joined the crowd and paraded down the streets.
It was really powerful being with so many people. There were some police around, but everyone was being friendly and thanking them for being there to protect us. I later heard that not a single person was arrested even though the crowd was massive. I’m not surprised. The vibe at the march was very positive and supportive. Except for a brief period where we were passing the Trump Hotel and people started chanting “shame”.
We eventually made it all the way to the White House.
Some people had thrown their signs over on to the front lawn.
Others had tucked their signs into the fence. It was really cool to see all the different messages all together.
I’m so proud of all the people who showed their support worldwide! We need to take that energy and use it as the start of continuing efforts to fight for rights and support marginalized people.
We heard lots of chants, but I had a favorite because I felt like it really captured the spirit of the march: Welcome to your first day, we will not go away.