I was drawn to this particular video because it reminded me of a demonstration that I attended several years ago in D.C. about women's healthcare issues. We had all assembled in buses from across the country and it was a long, long travel to D.C. from the Kansas City area. Our group was tired when we started the day's demonstration, and because there were thousands of people there for the march, it was overwhelming (and exhilirating) to be a part of it. When all was said and done, demonstration coordinators concluded that there were 250,000 people in attendance. When I returned home the next day and watched the national news, it was reported that there were only 100,000 people. I remember the moment standing in front of the t.v. seeing this incongruity in numbers because I learned two things that day: I learned that it feels powerful to demonstrate with others, but that the media has its own agenda to convey what it wants to the world. I learned that the dissonance between media representations of a social movement and a demonstration can be powerful, and that it keeps people from engaging in a more true-to-life conversation about the issue. Am I glad that I attended the demonstration? Yes. Those who attended the demonstration still carry with us the experience and insights of marching in D.C. that day. But if a historian were to purely gaze over the media representation of that day, they wouldn't get as nearly as full of a picture as someone who participated.
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