Attending the Women’s March on Washington? Here’s what you need to know before getting to D.C.
What began with one retiree’s dissatisfaction with the election results has grown into what could very well be the largest presidential inauguration demonstration in American history. Teresa Shook took to Facebook to start an events page for a march on Washington with a few of her friends not expecting it to explode to 10,000 attendees overnight, and then to grow to 200,000 and counting, but it certainly has. With millions of Americans outraged and deeply hurt by the legislations Trump and his team promise to set into law—not to mention the continued hateful, disgusting rhetoric they continue to use—this protest will function as kind of a catch-all for many different leftist causes, and a place for those opposing Trump to rally together en masse to send a powerful political message.
Thinking of going? Here’s a go-to list of everything you need to know.
Are there tickets?
Yes! The event is, of course, completely free of charge for its attendees, however the March’s organizers request that all attendees register on the official March website so they can get an accurate headcount. This is to better enable them to appropriately prepare for an event of this scale and give marchers a safe and memorable experience.
When is it?
The March will take place January 21, 2017—the official first day of the new administration— from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What to wear and bring?
Although official weather forecasts for the weekend of January 21 are subject to change, it will undoubtedly be cold so dress accordingly. This includes footwear that is both warm and comfortable, since it is a march and you will be on your feet for the better part of the day. And if you’re at a loss for warm, festive headwear, there’s still time to buy or make a Pussy Power Hat, which is a bright pink knit hat with cat ears. This project is inspired by the “pussy grabs back” slogan and is another awesome effort to show en masse how we, as women and men who support women, will fight Trump. You can check out the Pussy Hat Project to download a free knitting pattern to make your own, or, if you’re not a knitter, there are several online retailers who have hats for purchase. We also recommend bringing plenty of water, snacks, an extra cell phone battery pack and any other provisions you see fit.
Now, to the best part of any protest preparation: sign making. There has already been an incredible amount of politically influenced art in anticipation of the inauguration you can use as inspiration for your own sign (if you haven’t seen the amazing poster Narya Marcille posted in Pantsuit Nation, check it out!), but if you don’t have time to sit down and make one yourself, The Amplifier Foundation has five beautiful and powerful poster images submitted by artists available for download free of charge! In partnership with the March organizers, the Foundation created an open call for art to arm those gathered with powerful visual messages to help this grassroots movement gain even more momentum.
How to get there from outside states?
If taking a plane or driving solo isn’t your thing, there are several states with organized bus trips making the trek! So far, there are 32 states with at least one planned bus trip. The March’s official website features a list of all participating states—with each trip’s departure time, location, and the organizer’s contact information—and a registration tab to register more trips, if you want to organize one yourself.
Where will it start and how to get there once in D.C.?
After a bit of uncertainty about securing a necessary permit, the March will officially start at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third St SW, near the U.S. Capitol. Given the anticipated crowds, we recommend taking the metro instead of driving to one of these four nearby metro stations: L’Enfant Plaza Station, Capitol South Station, Smithsonian Station or Federal Center SW Station.
From here, the walk will most likely follow Independence Avenue toward the Washington Monument, which is roughly one and a half miles in total.
Where to stay?
While many hotels are fully booked, there are vacancies in Arlington, VA, which is a neighboring county a few miles away. You can try searching on Expedia, Airbnb, or Hotwire to find some reasonably priced listings.
Who will be there?
Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte are honorary co-chairs and will definitely attend, and many celebrities, including Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson, Cher, Chelsea Handler, Hari Nef, Zendaya and Amy Schumer are planning on either attending or staying actively involved in the movement. Additionally, many powerful organizations are partnering with the March, including Planned Parenthood, UniteWomen.org, Amnesty International, Girls Who Code, Sierra Club and many more groups fighting this same fight.
Can’t make it to D.C.?
If you can’t make it, don’t worry! There are many, many marches happening on a local level across the country on the same day for the same cause. Check to see if one is happening in a city close to you.
There are also plenty of other ways you can show your support by donating money or purchasing an official protest T-shirt from the Women’s March website—and all proceeds go directly to logistical expenses for the March. On a broader scale, you can show your support for the causes the March is fighting for by donating to organizations that protect women’s reproductive rights, promote diversity, encourage curiosity to learn and provide much-needed resources to marginalized groups, like Planned Parenthood, the NARAL Pro-Choice America, NAACP, ILGA, The Trevor Project, IRC, National Immigration Law Center, ACLU, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy, to name a few.
As President Obama so eloquently stated in his Farewell Address, “change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it,” and that’s what we will continue to do in Trump’s America. This March is only the beginning.