Things You Should Know: Women’s March on Washington

WomensMarch

The Women’s March on Washington is happening this Saturday in Washington DC. I feel like you might be living under rock if you haven’t heard of it or don’t know at least one person going. The expected attendance is over 200,000 and as of earlier this week more than 1,000 additional buses registered. The response from men, women, and children across the nation has been incredible.  

 President Elect Donald Trump will be President Donald Trump at the time of the march so many are questioning what the purpose of the Women’s March on Washington really is? The Women’s March organizers released a document explaining in detail but among the reasons are gender equality, racial equality, LGBTQIA equality, economic justice and reproductive freedom; for equal pay, paid family leave, labor protections, clean water and air and access to public lands; and for an end to violence against women, police brutality and racial profiling.  

The document in full can be found HERE

With so many people gathering in one place at one time comes concern and questions. I’m guilty of it. I am not a huge fan of crowds, but instead of shying away from an incredible opportunity and a moment in history. I’ve learned that the key to easing my concerns is to be informed and knowledgeable about a topic. Que the research! I’ve been digging online to learn more about the march and figured if I was curious others must be too! 

 Here’s what I’ve learned so far: 

 What Should I Do In Advance? 

Register with The Women’s March on Washington HERE. They ask for your email and phone number ONLY to give out information prior to the march and on the actual event day. I recommend doing this to stay up to date with event information. There’s nothing worse than being at an event and not knowing about changes as they happen.  

How Should I Get There? 

Traffic is going to be intense. There’s no way around it. Buses and cars are going to be flocking to Washington DC. Amtrak tickets are sold out prior to the March time and MARC trains are going to be packed. It’s not going to be pretty, but at least for Baltimoreans its only a 45 min-1 hour commute.  

My suggestion is to over plan this part of the day. If you are driving, map out multiple parking garages even the ones on the outskirts of the city. If you are taking public transportation, make a back up plan in case your primary plan falls through or is too crowded. Having a plan in advance helps lessen the chance of being flustered and starting the day on the wrong foot.  

What is the Pep Rally? 

The Pep Rally is a program happening prior to the March that features nationally recognized advocates, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, thought leaders. 

The program: 

  • 8 a.m.— activities start with images and video on display. 
  • 9 a.m. — pre-rally with speakers, music and public service announcements. 
  • 10 a.m. — the official rally starts, featuring celebrities including Katy Perry, Cher, America Ferrera and Uzo Aduba 
  • 1 p.m. — participants start marching toward The Ellipse where the program will end. 

When and Where is the March? 

 After the Pep Rally the March will kick off at 1:15pm at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street (near the U.S. Capitol).  There is no finish time for the March and I also haven’t been able to find a route listed anywhere. 

 What Should/Shouldn’t I Bring?  

  • Do bring a small bag no bigger than 8”x6”x4”. 
  • Don’t bring a backpack unless it’s clear 
  • Do bring extra backup chargers for your cell phone 
  • Don’t bring anything valuable 
  • Do bring ID- some warm up spots require ID to enter the building and it’s good to have on you at all times. Others are suggesting to also write your name, phone number and an emergency contact number on your arm. You never know what will happen and its better to be safe than sorry!
  • Do bring warm layers 
  • Do bring small snacks in case restaurants are overcrowded
  • Do wear comfortable walking shoes- it’s a march! 

What Else Should I Know? 

The biggest piece of information that I worry may be overlooked is that cell phone service will be minimal. It’s easy to tell family or friends you’ll text them to meet up, or call to figure out where they are, but with so many people in a confined space cell phone service is going to be spotty at best. Many people are getting radios, but the best advice I can give you is to over communicate and don’t leave your people. I’m going with one of my best friends and I plan to be attached at the hip to her all day. If one goes to the bathroom so does the other. The buddy system is also helpful for safety reasons.  

Also, bathrooms! I like to always know where to find a restroom (having a bladder the size of a pea is no fun). A kind soul made THIS map to help attendees find bathrooms and places to warm up on Saturday.  I recommend viewing the printable map and printing it before heading out. Again, with cell phone service being unpredictable it will help to have printouts of important information.  

Above all, I hope everyone attending recognizes how special it is to stand amongst 200,000 people fighting for what is right in our country. Please share your photos online using the hashtags- #IMarch #WhyIMarch #WomensMarch 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Kaycie Goddard

    Great advice, Megan! There are parking apps/websites that you can use to reserve a parking spot at a garage if driving- I don’t remember the names off hand, but that would be one worry taken care of! I’ll be metro-ing in from New Carrollton so luckily there’s a TON of parking there.

  • Jen

    This is definitely great advice!