It was amazing and exhilarating to be part of such a massive collective experience. We left my neighborhood in Northwest Washington DC early, about 8am. At that hour on a Saturday morning, my neighborhood was already buzzing with people on their way to the march. On Friday, inauguration day, I had gone out to see what was afoot. What I discovered on Friday was a dead zone. On any normal day my neighborhood is very busy; Connecticut Ave near the Woodley Park metro is normally crowded with people going about their day. On inauguration day it was nearly empty. A lonely traffic cop stood at the intersection, idle, with no worries about directing any traffic. I walked down to Dupont Circle and saw lots of people going into the Office Depot and then emerging with rolled up poster board carried under arms. They were clearly getting ready for Saturday. Then I walked over to the Washington DC Friends Meeting House which was holding a training session on non-violent interventions to public assaults. We rolled played several different scenarios of public aggression and how to intervene effectively.
On Saturday this training came in handy. While walking from the Union Station metro over to meet our friends, we passed by a large bus emblazoned with Trump campaign slogans. Vendors in front of the bus were hawking Trump sweatshirts, teeshirts, and hats. These vendors were clearly out of place, because the street was teaming with women carrying signs and wearing their distinctive knitted caps. I stopped to look at the merchandise and then suggested to the man in charge that yesterday, during the inauguration, was their better time to make sales and that today, Saturday, belonged to the Women’s March participants.