Authorities now estimate the crowd size for the Women’s March, the day after to have been three-times larger then the crowds gathered to witness Trump take the Oath of Office, on Friday January 20, 2017.
While compiling my images of both days into one set, I began to understand how Americans believe they live in completely alternate parallel realities. So, I wondered just how many people who attended the inauguration on Friday also attended the #WomensMarch on Saturday. Besides a handful of journalists, I don’t believe there were many who did.
During my two-day coverage I witnessed a wide range of emotions. At the Washington Mall on Friday, 160,000 gazed at large screens in admiration, feeling pride for their nation. Only a few blocks away — divided by impenetrable barriers at Pennsylvania Avenue — protestors clashed with riot police after setting a limousine ablaze at Franklin Square Park.
Twenty-four hours later it became clear the world had changed. The people surrounded the People’s House. I teared up seeing the thousands of signs left at the fence near the White House.
Certainly most of Saturday’s marchers arrived that same day. My guess is that most Trump supporters either stayed in their hotel rooms or had already left DC by day two ( I might have only seen a handful).
But I am doubtful their hearts would have melted even if they saw the massive crowds of almost 500,000 women donning pink-knitted hats and guys holding signs that read ‘I am With Her, and Her, and Her, and Her’.
Even though fatigue eventually limited my ability to take it all in, I am so glad I was able to cover both days. Without this massive boost of positivity I am afraid the first-ever trip to my new home’s Capitol would have become a very lasting sour memory.
Gladly, I witnessed a tremendous — often overwhelming —boost of positive energy from people who came together in full force to #resist something that should not have a place on this planet.