Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
I was one of 215,000 people who attended the Comedy Central satirical rally, “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.” I went because I agree with Jon Stewart that the tone of political discourse in this country has gotten so nasty that little progress has been made in solving the problems we, as a nation, face. Without a doubt, this was a liberal crowd, so I don’t know if this rally will change anything. But I felt like my presence was needed as a show of support, and I was pleasantly surprised at how many others felt the same way. It was the most civilized large gathering that I have ever attended, and it turned out to be a wonderfully enjoyable day, even though I didn’t get to see or hear much of the on-stage activities.
Another reason it was a great day was because I went with two of my favorite people in the world, my husband Bob, and Paul, who drove up from Charlottesville for the event. We were also quite lucky in the transportation department, which was not true of a lot of the attendees.
We had a slow start, with Bob and Paul working on the sign for the rally until almost 11:00 a.m. We got to the Forest Glen Metro at 11:15, where there was still parking. I had the presence of mind, the day before, to buy Paul a fare card. The line to the fare card machines filled up the whole foyer between them and the gates. So, we breezed right in. The platform was full, but I led Bob and Paul all the way up to the platform to where I usually stand. I could see that the key to getting on a train was to be where the doors actually opened. We got on the first train that came, which was almost full. We rode to Judiciary Square, and walked to the rally.
It was insanely crowded, and we had to walk our way through a huge crowd to get to the back, where there was some breathing room. But it wasn’t scary because everyone in the throng was so polite. We tried to hear and see the rally, but couldn’t get close enough to a jumbotron. Finally, we gave up and walked way back, and just held up our sign for the steady stream of people still coming onto the grounds.
I took photos of interesting signs and people, and occasionally people would take photos of us. I had some interesting conversations, too. I talked to one of the Veterans for Peace guys, and while we were talking a Park Police officer told them they had to take down their enormous balloon. At first I thought he was just another guy in a Halloween costume, but I was wrong. The policeman was nice, but insistent that the balloon come down right then.
We eventually hooked up with Hilarie and Mark from Ohio, and tried to figure out what to do for dinner. They were planning to drive back that night, but needed something to eat before they left. They had parked their van in a garage about 8 blocks from the rally. So, we followed them to their vehicle, and they drove us to Forest Glen to get our car. Then we went to the Royal Mile Pub and had a fabulous meal and conversation, comparing notes from our experiences of the day. And from what I heard, the Metro would have been a totally not sane place to be.
As I said, we had a great day, but I’ll have to rely on the Internet to find out what actually happened on the stage.
Go to my Flickr photos to see all the photos I took of signs and people: