Sunday, January 22, 2017

One Small View of the Boston Women's March

Words aren't going to fully express the March yesterday, but at least I can try. I met friends and took the T in, which was, I think it's safe to say, busier than your average Saturday morning.
And with more pink hats.
Getting off at Downtown Crossing, with everyone else.
Waiting to cross to the Common.
My, the Common is busy this morning.
People all seem to be headed in the same direction, too.
And again, pink hats. And scarves, and other items.
The crowd before the speeches. We ended up standing here for about two hours, and I have to say, my back was screaming by about halfway in. I don't like standing for so long! My legs, hips, arms, shoulders, back ... just have to say, ow.
But the speeches were really good. Elizabeth Warren's was great, not surprisingly, but I was also impressed with Maura Healey, the Attorney General, and they had a variety of perspectives that was good: not just women, not just white people, not just politicians.

The Boston Children's Chorus sang America the Beautiful; the crowd sang along for the first verse, but of course average people only know the first verse, so we could actually hear the choir sing another verse; it was touching. I also loved that they switched the end of it, so that the first verse ended, as written, "and crown thy good with brotherhood" and the second with "and crown thy good with sisterhood," which of course got a big cheer (there were plenty of men in attendance, but I think the majority was still women).

Now, the size of the March: during the week before, the organizers kept announcing increased numbers of people who registered to come (60,000, then 70,000, then 80,000, and finally over 90,000 on Friday night). When I tell you that the numbers they are now announcing are 175,000, you will understand that the planning was overwhelmed. I'm not blaming them, who could keep up with that? And they did try. When the speakers were finished, they announced that the March would start from "the back," and people should look for marshals to guide them as to which way to go. We were somewhere in the middle, and couldn't see any marshals; after a while, the crowd started moving, so we all went along with it for a while; then it stopped, then went a different way...I think it might have worked better if they had given directions like "walk toward the Public Garden side" or "walk back toward Boylston Street" or something more specific, but they didn't.

Again, not laying blame, but just saying; it took us close to an hour and a half to get off the Common. Let me show you:
So, from where we were standing, a rough idea. Without the crowd, I imagine it's a five minute stroll. As it was, by the time we made it to Beacon Street, I was in great pain, and also uninterested in cramming myself into the stream of people crawling down the street (not quite marching, along there, anyway).

Some photos:
Notice that the clouds cleared away. The sun felt so nice! It was a bit chilly, standing still, without the sun.

It was nice to see some of the neighbors joining in, from above street level..
So here's Charles Street, once we finally made it that far.
And the crowd still behind us.
And that is why, like salmon going upstream, we forded the crowd and got into Starbucks. The line there meant more standing, but a drink and some almonds really helped my ability to do anything but curl up and whimper.

Side note: we found space in a corner, next to the out-of-service rest room, and a surprising number of people were skeptical that it was "really" out of service. Which, you know, argue all you want, but the door is still locked.

Before I go on, let me share with you some of the many great signs I saw. Well, this one is a t-shirt, which I saw at the beginning of the day and quite liked.
You don't want to piss Grandma off.
This one is creative, right?
And in the city of the Boston Tea Party, so is a "Boston She Party" sign.
I liked this idea, too.
A good reminder: this is NOT normal.
These signs were marched around, and before the speakers started, you could track them bv the cheering. "Pussy power" on one side:
And on the other (harder to see here but it was the only time I saw this side), "Dicktator!" with various unflattering photos of Trump.
Nice use of Maya Angelou's poem.
And a good twist on the song.
Another great sentiment.
Couldn't get the whole thing, but it says, "I didn't come out of the closet for this."
And "Make Bigots Afraid Again."
"Ugh" just sums it up.
And in front of "Ugh" is "Nah. -Rosa Parks, 1955."
I do appreciate a good play on words.
As well as a Harry Potter reference: Dumbledore wouldn't let this happen. (Did you see what Sir Ian McKellen's sign was, in London?)
Nice use of ACA issues.
And this hat, which actually says, not what Trump's says, but instead says "Make America Gay Again."
I like the rhythm of this one.
Just a few snowflakes complaining? Well, here comes the avalanche.
Once we felt able to walk again, post-Starbucks, and with the March still crawling down the street, we decided to walk down Charles Street to MGH, since we would never have been able to get back to the Orange Line the way we came in. This guy was also walking down Charles.
I wonder what his sign meant? Anyone have ideas? Other than USSR?
I didn't carry a sign myself, partly because, oh, so many reasons, too many for one sign, and partly because, quite simply, I knew my arms wouldn't want to be holding it up all the time. But when I saw this photo (from NY), I knew that this is the one I would have carried, if I had carried a sign.
Because I'm not a march-and-protest person. That just doesn't tend to be my way of working. I think the last time I was in Boston for a protest, it was when I was in college! (Though in terms of being in Boston for a big crowd, there was that time the Bruins won the Cup). But for this, oh yeah, there I was.

If you missed it, from the NY Times, this page shows photos from protests globally, and as you scroll down, there's a little globe that spins to show you where each photo is from. Pretty cool, really, how many places.


Blogger Mary Ellen said...

It was an amazing rally. I was really moved to see how many dads were there with their school-aged daughters, in their pinks hats and all. That was nice to see. And the variety of ages! Teenagers to college students to our-agers to elderly people, all together. It was amazing. I hope the momentum keeps up. The work isn't done; that was just the roll call.

10:44 PM, January 22, 2017  

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