As Lin-Manuel Miranda phrased it in Hamilton: THIS IS NOT THE MOMENT, IT'S THE MOVEMENT!

I have never attended a rally or a protest march before in my life, but the current status of America, with the election and Friday's inauguration to solidify its results, compelled me to act.  I was humbled to be a part of the hundreds of thousands that came to Washington D.C. today to stand up for basic human rights and decency and against the hateful rhetoric endorsed by Trump and his team.

The start of our day was delayed, leaving home at 11am, but the crowds on public transportation had not diminished despite the rally having started an hour earlier.  As we exited at the Navy Archives metro stop, people were everywhere strategizing about how to get over to the march starting site on Independence Avenue.  Some were content to just hang out in the plaza or on the National Mall to have mini rallies or just absorb the energy.




As I made my way south, the crowds were getting more dense.  The rally position was supposed to be Independence Avenue starting at 3rd and continuing through 14th.  I thought I should play it safe and try to enter at 12th.  Well, with just a half hour to go before the posted march start time, 12th street was looking less and less like it was going to happen.  I spent about 30 minutes crammed into a packed group expressing optimism that once the crowd on Independence Avenue started to move, we would be able to merge in.




Needing a break from the smoosh, I decided to slowly make my way back through the side crowd with the intention of meeting up with the march on 14th Street across from the Washington Monument.  While there was a lot more room there to breathe, it was still amazingly packed!  The log jam was created because there was not one flow of marchers, but several all meeting and merging near the Smithsonian National Museum of African History and Culture.  It was fantastic to see.  I think it was fortuitous that I made the decision to head further down the march route because I later learned that march officials said they had too many people to actually get moving and marching as planned.  Not a bad outcome, I think, but it also meant that people on Independence Avenue were stuck there for longer than they expected as they tried to find other ways to exit and find their path to the White House.



Taking a detour around the museum to get to Constitution Avenue, I started on the "home" stretch - the home being the White House.  The crowd was really well behaved, and I think the Secret Service appreciated it.  Some marchers decided to hang out along the fence near the South Lawn, but I wanted to see what else was going on.  I quickly learned the amazing movement didn't end there!





As I walked away from the White House towards Freedom Plaza, a huge group over a mile long was marching up Pennsylvania Avenue and a smaller group started to make their way up 14th Street.  The bleachers that were empty the previous day for the inaugural parade were filled up with march supporters.  The best spot on the route was in front of the Trump Hotel where marchers did a quick Game of Thrones "Shame" chant every couple of minutes. Overall, the energy was amazing, people were smiling and polite, and the message to me was clear:  You are not alone! There are millions - here in the US and around the world - who are sharing in your anxiety and concern for the health and security of the country you love so dearly, as well as the potential walking back of progressive legislation on human rights.  There are millions who agree that this is not normal and that we need to be more vigilant than ever to adhere to truth, support others being victimized if we can, and push for accountability and subsequent consequences.  Yea women!  Big thanks for the men who also came to support their favorite women.  And outstanding job by the D.C. Police Department who were really tested the day before by hooligan anarchists causing property damage around our city.  I think the police were relieved by the positivity and the self-control exhibited by all the outstanding people who went to great lengths to come to D.C. to be that tiny "ant" in the aerial view street photo that, when multiplied, became a sea of "ants" in pink hats.











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