It wasn’t even close. Around three times as many people attended the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday than took part in President Trump’s inauguration the day before, according to crowd counting experts cited by the New York Times. Overhead photographs already appeared to show that there were way more people on the streets of Washington on Saturday than on Friday. Webcam shots also seemed to show there were more people on the National Mall on Saturday than Friday. Crowd scientists are now confirming what seemed obvious to the naked eye.
Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still from the Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain took a careful look at photos and videos of the National Mall and surrounding area and estimated there were around 160,000 people right before Trump began speaking. In comparison, there were at least 470,000 people in the same area at around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The scientists’ estimates are on the conservative side, and they recognize that they limited the count to a specific area of D.C. when the truth is that Saturday’s rally took over a larger portion of the nation’s capital. Organizers at first had sought a permit for 200,000 people but quickly said the number was closer to half a million, and others said it was likely even larger.
That’s without counting the “sister marches.” According to a review of rough estimates, at least 3 million people took to the streets in marches across the country. Organizers of the Los Angeles march claimed their numbers rivaled those of the National Mall, saying as many as 750,000 people attended, although that wasn’t officially confirmed, and police put the number closer to 500,000. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said some 400,000 people took to the streets of New York while in Chicago, organizers said as many as 250,000 joined the protest. In Boston, officials estimated some 175,000 people attended and organizers said around 100,000 people attended marches in Seattle, Denver, and Portland, Oregon. And that’s of course without counting smaller marches across the United States and gatherings around the world that pushed participation to an estimated 5 million, according to organizers.