I’m more than a little worn out from driving, so there won’t be much to say about the March tonight. But I would like to point out that it was incredible, that it was enormous, and that I’m humbled, and delighted, to have been a part of it.
The organizers estimate an astounding 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE attended the March. Volunteers were working on putting together a person-by-person count; I’d be interested to see how close that poll came to the estimated figure. In any case, even the lowball police estimates (according to the Washington Post) put the figure over 750,000-850,000. No matter how you count it this was the largest march on Washington DC in history. The downtown of Washington has something of the air of a stately necropolis; but on Sunday, it was no longer the tomb of American law. It was alive and seething, and we were standing up there to make the law defend a woman’s right to control her own body.
Snide sidebar: Randall Terry gave an interview on the morning news the day of the March, promising an
ocean of signs and banners to confront the marchers. It seems that like the Aral Sea, Terry’s
ocean had receded quite a bit. There were a few antis strung out in ragged lines across two or three city blocks; Randall Terry positioned himself in front of some fetus signs pasted up on free standing boards. When I saw the interview on the morning news, I went back to the hotel room and made up a sign for blocking the computer-generated fetus graphics that read
Randall Terry GO HOME; if I’d known what the anti contingent would be like, I would have made it
Is this the best you can do?
I am awestruck and hopeful about what has just happened in the capital. This was incredible. It was historic. I only wish that I could have sat down with the organizers and talked about the mobilization effort that went into it over the past several months; I am sure that there is a fascinating story to tell about the use of the March for Women’s Lives MeetUp and other Internet geegaws for organizing, and the incredible way in which these online tools were transitioned into real offline action.
Have you written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining your support for the March (and abortion rights) yet? If not, you should. It’s time to take this piece of history into the future. The political bloviators and spin-meisters need to hear, loud and clear, how 1.15 MILLION PEOPLE just stood up and marched for choice, and how millions more stand behind them. If we raise this issue—if we put women’s rights to their own bodies on the table—if we make George W. Bush talk about it rather than utter mealy-mouthed dodges from one side of his mouth and anti-choice code words from the other—if we make John Kerry talk about it rather than look nervous and start muttering weak euphemisms—then we will win and the antis will lose.