Like pretty much any city anywhere on the planet that had a Women’s March today, Boston blew way past the expected number of attendees. Forget the 20,000 that organizers were talking about originally; forget the 70,000 they were expecting as of last night; there were 150,000 of us!
It’s impossible to explain how jubilant and empowering it felt, to be surrounded by so many other people standing up in support of women’s rights, gay rights, black lives matter, immigrants, justice, etc etc etc, and overall standing as witnesses to the importance of equality, dignity, and human decency.
And it’s hard to capture the size of a crowd that large in photos (without using a helicopter), but that didn’t stop me from trying. The corner of Boston Common where the speakers were is a natural amphitheater about the size of a baseball field. We couldn’t even get near it, there were so many people already jammed in. But it’s somewhere beyond the farther line of porta-potties.
We ended up on one corner of the far side of the hill, along with tens of thousands of other people.
Want to feel the vibe a bit more? Here’s an action video, as I swiveled around on the snowbank we were standing on.
From our location, we could hear about 3/4 of Mayor Walsh’s speech; that dude knows how to yell into a microphone. We could only hear about 1/4 of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s, even though the crowd was especially quiet for her. And we couldn’t really hear anyone else. But that was OK. It was enough to cheer enthusiastically with the rest of the crowd.
Eventually the rally portion ended and the actual march began. The crowd ultimately filled the entire mile-long march route, with the first people arriving back at the Common before the later people even started walking.
There were loads of signs representing the enormously wide range of issues that people feel are important. But I saw one little sign that, to me, captured in a nutshell the collaborative, we’re-all-in-this-together, we’re-all-standing-up-for-each-other spirit that characterized the day.
Because of the huge crowds, we hadn’t even attempted to use the overburdened subway system today; we parked near E’s work, and walked from there. Ultimately we walked 7 miles today.
And every inch was worth it, to have been part of this.