auntiemeesh: (resist)
[personal profile] auntiemeesh
Yesterday was such a big day, and I'm still exhausted, but if I put the recap off, it won't happen, and I want to get a recap up, so bear with me, here.

3 hours of pseudo-sleep on the bus was enough to keep me functional for most of the day yesterday, so the plan to stay up overnight on Friday worked.

We got in to DC almost an hour earlier than planned, which was good because everything else for the rest of the day took far longer than expected. We spent half an hour trying to get coffee (what we got was vaguely brown water that had almost certainly been poured over previously used grounds) and then made our way as close to the rally site as we could get. Turns out, because we were coming in from the east (buses parked at RFK stadium) we were behind the stages. Everyone packed in as much as they could, none of us realizing we were blocked from getting where we were going for a couple hours. We did, eventually, realize we needed to go around and come at the rally site from the west. We kept getting told, go one/two blocks this way and then come back around, and then when we came back around, getting pushed further out by the next security people. We finally ended up at the very back end of things, on 14th St, pretty close to the Washington Monument. There was a large screen a couple blocks in that we could just barely see, and we caught the very tail end of the speeches, although we were far enough from the screen that we couldn't actually tell what they were saying. We never, at any point, managed to get in to the official rally or march, but there were so so so many people that we were right in the thick of the overspill.

Despite all that, it was an amazing, energizing, uplifting experience. There's a certain feeling you get when you're in the middle of something that big and everyone is speaking in one voice, demanding to be heard and counted. It was a very positive energy. People were helping each other and welcoming strangers into their conversations. I can't vouch for the entire thing, but I didn't see any unrest or outbursts of anger.

Extricating ourselves from the whole thing was more difficult than we had expected. Things were still growing, really, at 2:15 when I realized I was done. I was starting to feel very disoriented and unbalanced (due in large part of the shuffling start and stop motion of the crowd combined with lack of sleep and patchwork food). We didn't have to be back at the bus till 6 but it seemed like it was time to get out of the crowd. Harder said than done, since the crowd was EVERYWHERE! We made one stop at a food truck to get some chicken tacos, and another for a bathroom break at a warming station (schools and other buildings were open to provide charging stations, bathrooms and places to warm up) and got back to the bus at 4:45. Long, long day. According to the app on my phone, we walked over 11 miles. According to my best attempt at recreating the day on Google Earth, it was more like 8.5. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle.

And now, the photos:
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Back at the buses: Now, which one did we come in on, again?
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Weary travelers waiting for the driver so we could sit down and warm up at the end of a long day.
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auntiemeesh

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