Head in a blender

John Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity

Andy Pedisich   November 1 2010 01:12:04 PM
Last Saturday, October 30th, I had the pleasure of attending the John Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity. Linda and I took the train from Philadelphia to Washington DC with a couple of friends.

It was the biggest event I have ever attended.  Having been to stadium type events where the capacity was in the 60,000 range, I'd estimate that there were about 250,000 people there.  The crowd stretched from the parking area in front of the capitol building to the Washinton Monument. Seriously though, I don't think the official numbers are out.  

Here's a very insightful take on the rally.  It's much better written than I could have done it.

We got there around 10:30 for a 1:00 PM event, and the place was already mobbed.  The streets continued to swell with the masses as the event started.  Here's a great link to some of the signs people held at the rally.

Here are some of the high points of the rally from my perspective.

  • Amongst all those people, back to back, belly to belly, there was no pushing and shoving.  Nobody got angry.  There was plenty of room for impatience, but there was extremely little of it.
  • I can only recall one person who asked another not to push in a louder than normal voice.
  • There was a general feeling of calmness and lots of considerations for others.
  • Some people were climbing trees and street signs to get a better view of things.  These climbers were cheered by the crowd as if they were in the Olympics.  People that climbed traffic signals were obedient and got down off the sign when Police told them to.
  • It took close to an hour to move 3 blocks and a 1/2 hour to get from a sidestreet to the middle of the mall area.
  • At one point, Linda and I thought we were working our way toward a look at the stage, but we later discovered that what were looking at was a glimpse of a Jumbotron about 1/2 mile away, and that main stage was a good 3/4 mile beyond that.
  • We couldn't move in the crowd unless we spotted a "flow point" where we could see people squeezing through the crowd.  This opened up serpentine like spaces where many people would move in single file,
  • Panic was not in attendance.
  • There were lots of humorous remarks by everyone.
  • Linda and I wore the clown noses.
  • There was definitely a warm glow happening.
FAQ's about our trip to DC:

Did we see anything except for people?

Funny you should ask that. No.  We pretty much just saw a lot of people up close and personal.

Could we hear anything?

Yes, we could hear part of the speeches and performances by Ozzy (not Ray) and the Roots and a bunch of others.

Was in a magical experience?

Yes, and I am glad to be counted as a person attending.

Would you attend again?

Yes, but I would get there a lot earlier.

What did the rally prove?

To me, it proved that there were reasonable people form all age groups and all walks of life who had the desire to gather together in an effort to collectively solve problems and dissolve deadlocks in a non-partisan way.

And it proved that the funnybone is still intact, and still alive and well in America's body.

- Andy

01:12:04 PM November 1 2010