Picture courtesy of AGMA’s crappy phone camera
Hats I mean… Pink pussy hats. Everywhere.
The Women’s March on Washington was awesome!
I’m sure you’ve read about it and seen the pictures by now. You’ve heard about Ashely Judd’s reading of that incredibly powerful poem written by a young Tennessee woman. And Michael Moore’s five step resistance plan. And feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s speech.
And Madonna. She was…Madonna. ‘Nuff said.
But as always, there is an AGMA version. Of course.
I got to DC on Friday, 1/20. Inauguration Day. Tragically, another day in American history that will live in infamy.
The Dulles gift shops were stocked full of DT t-shirts and memorabilia and made in China “Make America Great Again” red hats. Considering how sparsely attended the inauguration was, they would have been financially more astute to have stocked Women’s March stuff since there were sooooo many more people at the March.
I stayed with my niece and her family in Virginia. Before I left home, I got a text from my neice asking if I had my flu shot. Ah oh… Turns out her middle son had the flu, but before the end of the weekend, my niece also came down with it. And her husband and oldest son got a severe, extra nasty colds. It was the house of contagion.
Friday was spent getting ready for the March the next morning. I finished my poster which was truly a thing of beauty. Front…
I loaded up my burner phone (OMG – yes I did…) with the ACLU DC Justice app. And encrypted everything on my phone just in case it was confiscated. AGMA created a new FB account thinking I would do FB live if things got “rough”. I brought $100 with me and my medications in their original bottles in case I got tossed in the hoosegow. I wrote emergency contact numbers on my arm with a sharpie.
You can imagine my surprise when I saw a grand total of two police officers the entire day until the March got to the park in front of the White House.
Not that I’m sad it was peaceful and I didn’t need to do all that stuff. AGMA just felt a bit…over prepared. Understatement.
But it’s better to prepare for the worst and get the best, which is what happened!
There were 9 of us who went down to the March. We got there around 9:50 AM. We couldn’t see the stage, but had a jumbotron in front of us so could hear and see the rally. I didn’t realize that there were soooo many people there that 70% of them couldn’t see or hear anything.
My first inkling at the size of the crowd was when a friend who came up from Atlanta called me. She said that they were in front of the National Archives and couldn’t get any closer. That was a loooong way away.
The rally was great, but long. Too long. The organizers, in wanting to be inclusive of all groups, let too many of the many speakers go on a bit too long. So instead of being the 3 hours and 15 minutes it was supposed to be, it went over 4.5 hours.
It was chilly and crowded and was nearly impossible to get to a port-o-let. I didn’t try. Thankfully, AGMA is good at managing stuff like that. TMI right?
By the time the March started, AGMA was by herself. My niece and the other 7 ladies bailed at 3.5 hours. They were cold, hungry, had to pee and tired. And my niece looked awful. Remember, she was coming down with the flu.
But AGMA had no intention of leaving. I was there to march and, by God, I was going to march.
And I did. And it was a glorious thing.
Despite the long rally and tired feet and hungry bellies and full bladders, when the march finally started, the marchers were polite and peaceful and considerate of each other. The energy was amazing.
I’ve never been in a crowd of nearly a million people. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Words fail AGMA if you can believe that…
Once we got to the Elliptical in front of the White House, I found a bench to stand on and watched for nearly an hour as people poured it the park. Again, it was a sight I really can’t describe.
At 5:15 PM, it seemed like it was time to leave. It was getting dark, things were winding down and I had to figure out how to get back to my nieces house.
But AGMA had two urgent needs. I needed a toilet and some food. I brought one banana to the rally. Not good planning. I was starving.
Thankfully there were port-o-lets close by and no lines.
But the lines at the food trucks were crazy long. AGMA opted to head to the Metro to get somewhat close to my niece’s house.
It took my niece about 20 minutes to drive to the Metro stop to pick me up. There was a Subway, a Chinese food place and a BBQ place across the street. That was cruel. The smell was intoxicating.
Bless my niece’s husband for having dinner ready when I got back. They all kind of stared at me in disbelief as I inhaled the food. Then had a second helping. Protesting and marching evidently requires a lot of fuel.
Oh, and my burner phone could barely take pictures let alone do Facebook live. I guess you can’t expect a lot for $29.99 from Walmart. And I came back with my $100 and all of my meds. And I had sharpie on my arm for a few days afterwards. A reminder of what didn’t happen.
But in the 10 days since the inauguration, it’s far worse that I imagined. Probably far worse than anybody imagined. Our free speech, our free press, the rule of law, our Constitution are all under serious attack.
I keep thinking of Theoden’s line from The Two Towers from the Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien, “What can men do against such reckless hate?”
Every American has to answer that question for themselves. My prayer is that each one of us will be brave. And not be silent.
P.S. On a lighter note – OMG, OMG, OMG…I got inked yesterday. It’s glorious! Stay tuned for a picture once it quits looking red and nasty.