How To Prepare For The Women's March
There’s been a lot of buzz about the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., but amid all the information about what to expect, it’s easy to skim past some of the essentials. We pulled together the details you’ll want to know, whether you’re heading to D.C. or joining a local march in your city.
If you plan to attend the Washington D.C. March, organizers ask that you register for the event here. This will help organizers plan sufficient security, restrooms, accommodations, and other essentials.
The rally will begin at 10:00am on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street, Washington, D.C. This will also be the starting point for the March. The Women’s March will be releasing more details about planned speakers for the rally in the coming days, but they’ll be nationally recognized activists, artists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.
If you can’t make it to D.C. this weekend but would still like to participate, you can find details about Sister Marches planned for other cities around the country here.
WHAT TO BRING
Saturday’s forecast for D.C. is looking unseasonably warm, but keep in mind that you’ll be outside for many hours, and it may start to feel colder than expected. The Cut published this guide from seasoned protesters on how to prepare, and you can check out our suggestions below -
- Sneakers, or insulted boots if it’s cold, and thick socks – choose shoes that are comfortable and already nicely broken-in, bring extra socks so you can layer up or change pairs if they get wet
Easy-to-remove layers – wear tights under jeans, and if it’s going to be chilly where you march, consider investing in thermal underwear or pieces designed to trap heat, like Uniqlo’s Heattech line
A small bag – the smaller the bag, the better. Totes are okay, as are purses and fanny packs. No backpacks will be permitted unless they are clear and smaller than 17” x 12” x 6”. For more info on these restrictions (which will be strictly enforced), check out these guidelines in the Women’s March FAQs.
A plastic poncho if the forecast calls for rain
A portable charger for your cell phone, especially if you expect to be documenting the March throughout the day
A small first-aid kit – at the very least, it might be wise to pack some Band-Aids for any blisters that may result from being on your feet all day
HOW TO GET THERE
To find a bus from your area to D.C. for the March, check out this resource.
Once in D.C., the best way to get around will be the Metro. You can find maps, information on fares, and a trip finder tool on the WMTA website. The closest Metro stations to the rally meeting point are Federal Center SW, L’Enfant Plaza, Judiciary Square.
You will need to purchase a SmarTrip card at a Metro station. They cost $10 and come preloaded with $8 for fare. Expect long lines to purchase and plan accordingly. Cards ordered online cannot be guaranteed in time for Saturday’s activities. Also know that these cards cannot be shared by multiple people for the same trip, so if you’re traveling with a friend, you’ll both need to purchase your own cards. The Metro will be running on regular weekend service on the 21st, which means trains will run about every 12 minutes and will likely be extremely crowded, so give yourself plenty of extra time to get around. The Metro system opens at 7am and closes at midnight on Saturdays.
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re still looking for a place to stay, there are a couple of options in addition to standard hotel accommodations and Airbnbs.
SIGNS, BANNERS & POSTERS
Earlier this month, the Amplifier Foundation held an open-call for artwork for the Women’s March. Eight submissions were selected to be printed and used at the March. At least 30,000 posters and nine large-scale banners will be printed and handed out to protesters free of charge. Five of those graphics are available for free download on Amplifier’s website for demonstrators to print and use. If you’re planning on bringing your own signs, banners, or flags, keep the following guidelines in mind:
No wooden or metal signposts or flagpoles will be allowed into the rally or March
- Only cardboard posters and signposts will be permitted
Check out this awesome sign-making resource from the New York Chapter of the Women’s March for tips, ideas, and inspiration.
For details about security plans for the Women’s March, check out their FAQ section. Safety is a top priority for organizers and legal conflicts are not anticipated for this peaceful march. That said, to be as informed as possible, check out this ACLU Know Your Rights Guide for Demonstrations and Protests.
To stay up to date on info for Saturday’s rally and march by following the Women’s March on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (their handle is @womensmarch). You can also check out their website for more resources and to sign up for their newsletter.
On social media, you can use the hash tags #WomensMarch, #WhyIMarch, and #IMarchFor to share your stories and experiences.
Words by Kate Palisay