They came from all around the DC area and from out-of-state – Minneapolis, New York State and more. They filled the historic Pennsylvania Ave and overflowed to some of the other streets.
The March for Our Lives was not just teens protesting. it was complete families, from grandmothers in wheelchairs to one-year-olds being fed a jelly sandwich by her mother as her father held a sign saying, “NRA Math. 1 Good Guy with (picture of AR-15) + Bad Guy with (picture of AR-15) equals 2 (picture of AR-15)’s $old.” The child’s sign said, “Gun Reform Now” and had a hand print in one corner and a crayon drawing in crayon.
It was also one of Washington’s best run protests. The tee shirt vendors were hard at work flogging various versions of the name. Probably the blue-green tie dye shirt was the most exotic. They were hawking diverse offerings including buttons with a banned symbol over a drawing of an AK-15, bumper stickers, and rainbow flags. There were Philly “Real (soft) Pretzels.”
Outside the journalism museum, the Newseum,was a table to make protest signs. On the stones below were slogans drawn in chalk.
Hail Canada! The Embassy stairs was the perfect place for a photo-op. and many took advantage of it. One woman flew a flag with the iconic drawings from the Women’s March.
On a street paralleling Pennsylvania, food trucks were linked up awaiting hungry marchers. This is the first time I’ve seen that happen. Usually the hot dog vendors are the saviors of footsore walkers. The restaurants were doing booming business.
The “March For Our Lives” had a fantastic music playlist including Miley Cyrus. I wonder about the choice of “Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones, but this is a generation that doesn’t remember the Altamont concert.
The media says there was a counter protest near the Trump International Hotel. The New York Times has an article about these protests all over the U.S.
This march reminded me of the 2002 march against the Iraq War. Again, the president was out-of-town, and no one came out of the White House to address the crowd. That march failed in preventing the war. Here the President released a statement praising the teens but then his motorcade avoided them in Florida where he was headed for the weekend.
I hope this movement succeeds in producing some welcome change.