If my experience is any indication, you might want to seriously rethink going to the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert rally today. I waited at the Virginia Square Metro stop on the Orange Line for a about 1/2 hour with hundreds of other people. During that time, two packed-liked-sardines trains went by – running, I’d add, on normal, weekend service schedule – and basically nobody got on. I left, with the next train supposedly coming in 13 minutes. I asked the Metro person there, and she seemed completely exasperated, said that the organizers of the rally wouldn’t pay for more Metro trains or something, hence no extra train capacity to carry hundreds of thousands of people. As far as I can tell, this is a major FAIL, I’m just not sure by who exactly.
P.S. It’s really sad, because people were there from all over the country. I spoke to an older couple from Franklin County, Virginia, as well as a woman from New Haven, Connecticut (had taken Amtrak down this morning). Will they ever make it to the rally? Who knows. The Franklin County couple was considering, along with their grandchildren, heading out on the Metro to Vienna, then seeing if they could get on there. Good luck with that!
UPDATE: Someone told me the rally organizers only put in their permit application that they expected 60,000 people?!? If true, that’s completely bonkers; more likely, 600,000 people want to go to this thing!
UPDATE #2: Having completely given up on Metro, I’m now going to hitch a ride with my friend Eric and try to get down there by car of all things. Crazy, but what the hell.
UPDATE #3 (2:19 pm): Well, I made it to the rally – sort of. I say “sort of” because I actually made it to a huge crowd of people many blocks from where the rally was rumored to be taking place. At that point, it was complete human gridlock, or something close to it. Took me about an hour or so just to get out of there. Also, we could barely hear anything of what was being said, and there didn’t see to be big screens set up down the Mall a bit. Basically, these guys are comedians, not rally organizers, and it showed today! Also, I still can’t really say what this “rally” was all about, exactly, but whatever it was, it was huge! Hopefully, I’ll have a few photos of the crowd, some fun signs, etc. to post. Other than that…just watch it on TV!
UPDATE #4: A few photos on the “flip.”