I’m excited to report that I was able to make it to the West Coast Walk for Life while I was in San Francisco this weekend. I came really close to confining myself to the comfort of my hotel, but I’m so glad I went. Some pictures and observations:
I’ve never seen so many people in one place.
I couldn’t make a rough estimate of how many people were there, because I could never see them all at once. Even when I found higher ground, the crowd stretched over one horizon to another. This video is the closest I could come to capturing it:
What you see there is only about 20% of the people in attendance. One man said he stood in one place and waited for the entire line of marchers to walk by, and it took an hour. I heard someone say that an estimated 40, 000 turned out, but that seems a little low.
I didn’t see a single media outlet there, which was odd given the enormity of the turnout. It basically shut down part of the city.
Overall, it was a young crowd.
There were tons of people there aged 16 – 25, and they were full of energy for the cause. I wondered if that had anything to do with the fact that they all grew up in the age of ultrasounds, where we have a whole lot more information about what really goes on in the womb.
What I found most interesting was the counter-protestors. I was surprised that there were so few of them — they were like a drop of water in the ocean compared to the marchers. Also, their average age was older than that of the pro-life crowd.
The most striking thing was how many of them wore some sort of disguise.
I’d estimate that 30 – 50% of the counter-protestors wore some kind of costume or obscured their faces in some way.
Also fascinating was their heavy emphasis on the sacrilegious. Notice the upside-down cross on the face of the girl below. (I obscured part of her sign because it was really vulgar.)
A focus of many of the signs was graphic, unbelievably crude sexual insults involving Jesus and Mary. This disgusting sign below is one of the few I can post a picture of, as it was, amazingly, one of the milder messages.
Some of them put on little impromptu plays where they’d pretend to be Jesus or Mary and pantomime lurid sexual acts, shouting profanity-laden narration all the while.
The highlight of the day was listening to the testimonies of the courageous women of Silent No More. There wasn’t a dry eye on the field. God bless these women.
It was a beautiful day in a beautiful city.
After seeing the turnout of this Walk and others like it, I have no doubt that the tide is turning. As I walked back to the train station, through crowds of awed onlookers, many of whom were whispering things like “Can you believe this?”, I felt filled with hope for the future of unborn life in this country.
- How I became pro-life
- My friend Abigail’s story of how she went from a pro-choice feminist at Smith College to a pro-life housewife
- St. Blogustine’s great pictures of the Washington March for Life
- The Anchoress’ link-o-rama roundup of pro-life marches
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