On January 21, one day after the inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women (and men!) will brave the cold D.C. air to march among the monuments. The Women’s March on Washington grew from a single Facebook post – “What if women marched around Inauguration Day en masse?” – into one of the largest demonstrations associated with the 2017 inauguration and possibly in United States’ history. And for those who can’t make it to D.C. (or simply can’t find a hotel room), the main march has inspired hundreds of sister marches in every single state and a number of countries.
While the march has been touted as an “anti-Trump” protest, the organizers maintain the rally is about women, unity, and equity, not hate. “The march is the first step towards unifying our communities … to create change from the grassroots level up,” reads the official mission statement. “We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society.”
If you’re headed to D.C. or just curious about one of the largest marches in history, here, a breakdown of everything you need to know.
Is the march only in Washington, D.C.?
The official Women’s March on Washington takes place in Washington, D.C., but hundreds of sister marches are anticipated in locations all around the world. To find the location nearest you or to even host your own visit here.
What is the march’s route?
The exact route has yet to be disclosed for security reasons, but it starts at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol, and will likely follow Independence Avenue toward the Washington Monument.
Can I just show up?
You need to register and can do that here.
Is this a women’s-only demonstration?
It’s a common misconception that the march is a strictly female event. Any person, regardless of gender or gender identity, is welcome to participate.
Is it a protest?
No, well not really. While the march will be made up of thousands of women rallying for various causes and against various public policies and government initiatives and changes. The intent of the march is more to incite change and action, not anger. In addition, the founders hold firm that the march is not “anti-Trump,” but rather “pro-women.”
Is it safe?
As the march is such a massive demonstration, we fully understand the concern for safety. A permit that not only secures the location but also ensures all city agencies, including the police, are involved in the planning and organization process, is secured. In addition, the march hired a private security firm and there will be a number of professional security workers woven throughout the march. And, over 1000 trained marshals will also be in place to help maintain order.
What if I get arrested?
While they do not anticipate arrests during the march, the organizers are working with local and federal law enforcement and do not plan to engage in civil disobedience. The march is intended to be peaceful and all participants are expected to behave in accordance with all laws and law enforcement. Legal marshals are also being trained in peaceful de-escalation tactics. That said, the organizers have provided this legal hotline: (202) 670-6866 for anyone detained or arrested.
Can we carry signs/banners/flags?
Flags are allowed, but cannot be raised on a pole. Signs are allowed, but they cannot be attached to wooden posts. The organizers specifically suggest cardboard posts instead.
Are children allowed?
Children are welcome. The organizers are working to ensure all safety protocol is followed, but hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the march in Washington. The decision to bring your children is, of course, a personal one.
Will there be bathrooms?
There will be portable bathrooms located along the march route.
How can people who are unable to attend support the march?
Are their social media hashtags associated with the march?
The hashtags associated with the march are #WomensMarch, #WhyIMarch, and #IMarchFor. Share your unique stories and be sure to tag the handle @womensmarch.
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