jaunthie: (Seamask)
[personal profile] jaunthie
Fair warning: this post contains a LOT of pictures, so expand accordingly.

Today was the Women's March. I had decided to go along with fisherbear, and my friends A and F decided that this was important enough, and likely to be mellow enough, to be their daughter K's first protest event. Given logistics, we decided to carpool to the light rail station and travel together to the access point closest to the start of the parade.

Well, we and everyone else living in our end of town.

This is the train car we were in. Keep in mind that we got on at the VERY FIRST STOP, the terminus of the line. There was no one on the train before we started boarding.

traincar2
traincar1

The same train, unloading at our station. This was just one train of MANY that morning.
just_one_train

A few scenes from when we were waiting at the access point for the march to reach us, so we could join:
love_sign
we_the_people

Eventually the march reached us, preceded by very friendly and organized bicycle police officers who made sure there was enough room for those already marching at the front of the crowd to get by. (The officers received several rounds of enthusiastic applause, as seen in this video, which is not mine.)


We joined in as soon as we could. Some early sights after we had joined the march:
bush_hotel
watercolor
union_station

Our first real chance to see just how HUGE the marge was came after the first turn and the slow climb up a very mild incline. Initial expectations were for "up to 50,000". The most recent counts I have heard agree it was around 130,000. Undoubtedly the lovely weather helped, but honestly, most people were dressed for the rain we never saw, so I suspect it would have beat estimates regardless. During the height of the march, the entire route was packed with marchers the entire length of the route, with people waiting at the starting rally point to start walking for several hours.
towards_columbia
towards_union

I don't normally take documentary photographs of particular individuals, but some people practically demand that you do so, either because they're deliberately posting, or because it's just a shot I can't resist. In the former category:
uterine

This fellow was one of a bunch of folks perched on the ledge that was part of a Bank of America:
but_geez
Geez indeed. Or as another sign had it:
omg_wtf

More and more people joined along the way, with more and more signs, art, and oh so many knitted, sewn, and crocheted hats!
solidarity
floral_peace
nation_not_discrimination
revolution_orchid
no_retro
grab_not
Fisherbear joked that Big Yarn had clearly conspired to bring this event about. Explaining some of the more graphic/foul-languaged signs to K was an interesting challenge. She really took it all in stride, and trooped along without complaint. She's a great kid.

Getting closer to the end of the 3.7 mile route, the pace increased from 'nearly a crawl with frequent pauses' to 'gentle mosey'. Everyone kept in good order, with no signs of anything but what this was, a peaceful protest. The local (and not-so-local; we saw officers from multiple precincts around the region) were stellar, keeping the route clear and defined, and working hard to make sure everyone stayed safe. People were appreciative, even pausing to thank them and take photos.
thanks_officer

Eventually we arrived at the end point of the march. Many people gathered around the International Fountain to enjoy the moment.
at_the_fountain
But by and large, people reached the end, enjoyed the ambiance a bit, and then peacefully and quietly departed to catch buses/monorail/other transport back to the lightrail stations or carpooled home. We were very lucky to run into a friend and neighbor of A's who had room in her van for us to carpool back to our neighborhood.

All in all, a very good day. I've seen absolutely zero reports of any vandalism or aggression from the marchers. It was exactly what it was meant to be, a peaceful protest and an astonishing display of communal activism. And I got to break out my camera and exercise my rusty documentary skills as an extra bonus.
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