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My brief summary of the Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive — with tons of pictures:
First, the brief comments:
— I love that the Mythbusters spoke on stage. But their attempt to do live experiments with a huge sample size was a bust. I know the Rally was supposed to be apolitical, but it would’ve been nice to hear them advocate for more science funding and better science education.
— Did the Rally planners completely underestimate the crowd? From where I was standing, you couldn’t see much of anything and there was very little room to move. That’s just asking for chaos.
— I was standing close to a First Aid tent and, for the people who actually needed to use it, it was a battle trying to get access to it. (It’s hard to get a crowd to move for you when we don’t have any space in which to maneuver).
— I had asked Comedy Central for a Press Pass, but they ultimately said no. There was a report that of the 1000+ requests they received, 400 passes were issued. If you know a better way to get access to big events like this (for the future), I’d love to hear it.
— As soon as I got onto the down escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro stop, I noticed the group of Pharyngula fans (with appropriate signs) at the top of the steps. I think they said hello, but I didn’t make sense of all this in time to give a proper hello back. My apologies!
Alright — now, to the pics (after the jump):

The group I was with left from the Shady Grove Metro stop (far from the National Mall) a few hours before the event started.
We were too late.
This was the line just to get Metro tickets… we still had to go down the stairs and through the tunnel before we could get to the machines:

Even when we got back home, hours after the rally ended, the crowd hadn’t subsided:

Despite all the people, we made it there!
But our spot was awful. We could barely see the TV monitors, much less the actual stage. I only got this pic because my camera was held high above my head.

Here’s the view of the crowd from where I was standing:

So we all decided to leave the Rally shortly after it began.
It might seem like a failed attempt at attending the Rally, but at that point, finding some space to move and breathe was a welcome relief.
On the bright side, I was able to take pics of some of the fantastic signs and costumes I saw (before, during, and after the rally) — and a few people sent me their pics as well:

This next one comes via Mitchell Thomas Massey:

The UbiFamily (frequent commenters here) had their own signs and costumes (the last one reading, “Is This Thing On?”):

Amanda‘s poster may be one of my favorites:

Hey, it’s another Indian person!

Do I see the back of Pedobear…?

I love the next sign… and yes, those are people climbing trees, because it was the only way for our section to see much of anything:

I don’t know who had this sign, but if you’re reading this, you are full of awesome!:

An homage to XKCD:

To the stranger who made the following sign, I swear I was around there somewhere! (Thanks to Amanda Molnar for the pic):

I’m not sure whose sign this is, but it was getting a lot of play on Twitter (via @a_okafor007):

There were some interesting characters present, too:

Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster made a couple appearances:

(That last image is courtesy of Ubi Dubium.)
Brian Fields took this shot of a sidestreet that wasn’t even in the official Rally “area”… which makes me think those crowd estimates were under-reported:

I heard that the folks from the United Coalition of Reason gathered at the Navy Memorial before the march to the National Mall. Fred Edwords of UnitedCoR points out that they passed one of their godless bus shelters along the way 🙂 As they walked, they chanted, “2-4-6-8, Separate church and state!” (Picture below by Diane Griffin):

The best part about the day for me was meeting a bunch of atheists afterwards at a restaurant. I’ll admit I was amazed at how many people came, but we packed the restaurant (and several tables on the rooftop).

Thanks to everyone who came out for the celebration 🙂