at the Sanity Rally
My friends and I started
out at 10:00 heading to the West Falls Church Metro station to catch a
When we got there we found a huge line (see line.jpg in the ZIP file).
The people in line were very jovial and no one
seemed to mind the wait. There were smiles and laughter over the signs
or costumes. Strangers were becoming friends during the wait.
After we waited 45 minutes in line someone finally announced the line
was just for buying fare cards - which we already had.
So we stood around for no reason for 45 minutes. Except it dd let me
get some good pictures of people and signs.
Once we realized we could get through the turnstiles we headed down to
the platform. It was packed 5 and 6 people deep
the entire length of the platform. We stood there in the vain hope we'd
be able to get on a car headed downtown. During the
time we waited trains headed for downtown zipped through the station
without stopping. They were all full to capacity - beyond
capacity actually. When a train finally did stop cheers erupted from
the crowd but were silenced almost immediately when we all
saw this train was full too. For some reason it seems Metro didn't put
any extra trains in service for Saturday despite the well-known
fact there would be heavier than usual traffic - idiots.
We finally wised up and went to the other side of the platform to catch
a car to the end of the line in hopes there would be
empty trains starting their run toward downtown. In this case going the
wrong way worked. We were able to get on a train
headed to Vienna station. By the time we'd made this move so had most
of the rest of the people waiting on the other side
of the platform. We all filled the train to beyond capacity. It headed
to the end of the line and turned around to head downtown.
There were cheers as we left the station. On the way we streamed the
event live on our smart phones so we could be a part of it
even if we weren't there yet.
Even though the car was overcrowded and people continued to squeeze in
at a few stations the mood was light and everyone
was having a great time. We were all talking with one another and if
you bumped into someone on accident it was just another
chance to make a new friend. There were people on the train from San
Francisco, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Oregon and all over the country. Yes, there were people from
red states there. As we neared downtown the stops
most at which most people were planning to exit the car broke out into
song - yes, really. Fortunately it was "Lean on Me"
and not "Kum By Ya."
Finally above ground again at 2:30 we ran into a steady stream of
people leaving the event. As we had pulled into our
final stop on the Metro we noticed full trains heading out of downtown.
The people trying to get out ahead of the mass
exodus at the end of the show. No matter, there were still thousands
and thousands of people at the rally.
It was a short walk for us until we entered a shoulder-to-shoulder
crowd just a couple of blocks from the Washington Memorial.
But as with he overcrowded train cars the crowd was in a great mood and
still having a great time after two or three hours of being
compacted into the space. Everyone was civil and everyone was still
saying "excuse me" or "pardon me" when they bumped into others.
The signs were hilarious. I really didn't see any overtly political
signs. Certainly no signs supporting a particular candidate.
There were, however, signs in support of legalizing marijuana. But not
any other ballot or issues signs to speak of.
Most signs were in the spirit of the day. One of my favorites was: "Mama grizzly Palin if we play dead will
you go away?"
There were older people and young people. There were all colors shapes
and sizes. It was a group of people who gathered
knowing this was not a political rally, knowing no candidates would
speak and none would be pitched. It was a group that
gathered to show the strength in numbers of those who want to send a
message to the politicians an pundits. We're tired of
the status quo and we want more from our media and our politicians.
Finally, it was a great group of excited people who will be voting come
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