I was at the March for Women’s Lives yesterday.
It was impressive to see so many committed people all in the same place at the same time. I arrived at about 10am, listened to several speakers and sort of wandered around, before I met up with a few other DC area webloggers. By far the best speaker (in my opinion) was Cybill Shepherd, who’s anger was inspiring (if anyone can find a transcript of her speech, please let me know).
I was struck by the diversity of the crowd — at one point I was watching a bag-piper playing with two guys who were drumming on an inverted 5-gallon plastic bucket. The piper was middle-aged, and formally dressed in a kilt, and the two guys with the drum were young, shirtless and had dreads. I assumed that their collaboration was impromptu — it was oddly compelling, and sounded pretty good.
I saw several signs I that said “3 generations for choice.” Imagine marching in an event like that with your Mom and Grandma! It was inspiring to see women of many different ages, classes and backgrounds engaged in a common activity — most people (myself included) rarely interact with people different from themselves. It’s good to see. Also, I got to pet a Chihuahua named Ruby who was wearing a tiny pink T-shirt with pro-choice stickers all over it — how cool is that?!
I was impressed by how organized the march was. I found my delegation without incident, and the AV systems were good. There were plenty of signs to be had, and volunteers were out making sure everyone was counted. The organizers of the march did a nice job.
The march started off a bit late, but I suppose that is to be expected. We accidentally left our delegation in the dust, but we waved our signs anyway. It was really more of a mozy or a stroll than a march, but my tired feet appreciated that. We decided not to stay for the afternoon rally — but we were there, and we got counted. That’s what is important to me.
Reports of how many people were on the Mall yesterday are somewhat contradictory. March organizers report that there were over 1 million, while informal police estimates range from 500,000 to 800,000 (personally, I think the organizers’ number is closer to the truth). Regardless of what the real number was, it was a lot, and most sources agree that it was the largest march of its kind.