How Packed Was the Women’s March in DC? How Sparse Was the Inauguration? A Personal Account
By now, you can review a number of aerial photographs comparing Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration to previous inaugurations, and you can see aerial shots of the various Women’s Marches that occurred the next day. They show at a macro-scale that Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20 was sparsely attended compared to its predecessors, and that the January 21 Women’s March in DC protesting ascendant Trumpism was far more heavily attended. Regardless of this, Donald Trump and his spokesman Sean Spicer proceeded to falsely claim that his Inauguration was record-settingly massive, a move that has been widely mocked.
I’d like to augment the macro-scale photographs with my own micro-scale story, just in case you need a bit of corroboration to judge whether our new presidential administration is telling the truth about attendance at the Women’s March and Trump’s Inauguration the day before.
I took this photo at the entrance to the Farragut West metro station yesterday at 4:47 pm, a few minutes after my family and I reached the end of the Women’s March in Washington, DC. It took us more than 2 hours to reach the actual train platform from this point, and after that we spent another half hour watching absolutely packed train after absolutely packed train roll by us, stuffed to the gills with march participants from nearby stations and unable to fit us. Finally, our metro station was sent an empty train that we shoved into. Right until the very last stop of the Silver line 40 minutes later, that train was standing room only. Every last inch was packed; I couldn’t even reach a pole and had to hold on to the edge of a poster frame in order to keep myself from toppling as the train lurched forward. At each stop, the automated safety systems would open and close the doors a few times, sensing riders who were bulging out the door. As we neared the last stop, eager to finally hop off the train and gain some breathing room, the conductor let us know that 3 other trains packed just like ours were waiting to enter the station, and we’d have to wait just a few minutes longer while those trains emptied themselves of passengers. The Women’s March in DC was packed tight like this in DC all day.
My family also went to the Inauguration to participate in a scheduled protest there the day before. On Inauguration Day we also left the event just after it ended, also leaving from the center of the event and also heading to the DC Metro to get out of town. In sharp contrast, however, on Inauguration Day we were able to stroll down a non-packed street to the Metro, glide right through the ticket area and hop right on a train that had loads of extra space and seats to spare. Here’s a picture of the Trump Inauguration parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue, taken at 1:33 PM, between Donald Trump’s oath of office and the start of the parade. As you can see, spectators were just one deep on my (North) side of the street and the reviewing stands were empty.
That’s the difference between the attendance at the Inauguration and the attendance at the Women’s March in Washington, DC as my family and I experienced it.