We had over 20,000 people show up for the Women’s March in St. Petersburg. That’s an amazing turnout for our little city (equal to about 10% of the population), and was the largest protest in the city’s history. Up until the march started, the police were insisting that us marchers stay on the sidewalks, stopping at crosswalks to wait for the “Walk” sign. Once the crowd started to cross the bridge from the park (which is an island) that was the staging grounds and site to pre-march festivities, the police realized there was a problem. The sidewalks were not going to work.
With a quickness, the police made all the arrangements needed to start closing the streets. There was a small portion of the route that had to be kept on the sidewalk as the disruption to traffic would have been too much. With a loud cheer, the march was underway! The strength of our numbers was not to be contained. It probably also helped that our mayor was the headline speaker at the pre-march party.
The march was joyful, loud, irreverent, defiant, and beautiful. There were supposedly some counter-protesters, but I didn’t see them. People did out not to march, but to line the route and cheer us on. As the first wave of the march rounded the final corner, there was a man with an electric piano and a small P.A. system singing and playing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as loud as he could. It was perfect.
As usual, I took a lot of pictures. These are my favorites.