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Are You Going to the Women’s March?

Women's March on Washington: What to Know

A ton of anticipation is building for the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. Many of our friends and relatives (like Joanna’s awesome mom) are already making plans to go. Are you? If you’re thinking about it or wondering how you can participate without traveling to D.C., we spoke to Breanne Butler, one of the march’s national co-organizers, and found out eight things you might want to know.

The basics. The march begins at Independence Avenue and Third Street SW in Washington, D.C., beginning at 10:00 on Saturday morning, January 21st. The Women’s March on Washington is meant as a show of solidarity for women’s rights and overall human rights. You can officially R.S.V.P. here – more than 500,000 people already have.

The march matters. A huge gathering in the capital will get lots of public attention. If history is any guide, the march could have real impact on issues and help inspire the next generation of Gloria Steinems and Angela Davises. “Thousands of regular Americans have transformed into leaders since the election,” Breanne says. “I’m a chef and I’ve never gotten closer to politics than kitchen politics in my life! But somebody out there is going to see the march and say, ‘I can get involved, too.’ It could be a little girl and it could be the start of her revelation. We have the power to create new and future leaders.”

It’s a march for everyone, not only women. The organizers emphasize that their agenda includes supporting equality for all, including immigrants, religious groups, those who identify as LGBTQIA, people with disabilities and anyone whose rights might be threatened — not just women’s issues. “If you believe in the future of all Americans, then join the march,” says Breanne. “It’s not enough to share a Facebook status message about the change you want to see. This is the people’s first big call to action for the new presidential administration. Come and be a part of history.”

It’s not about the new president. The march is scheduled, symbolically, for the day after the inauguration, but it was fueled long before the election. Breanne says it’s limiting to think of it as a reaction to Donald Trump. “If you’ve ever broken up with someone, you know you’re thinking about it for a long time first. And then they do something and you’re like, ‘Sorry, I’m done.’ It took the election to galvanize this march, for women to stand up and say they’ve had enough of misogyny and inequality. This is much bigger than the election, though. We’re fighting for human rights.”

Your state coordinator can help you get there. Most states have a local Women’s March chapter, and organizers can help answer questions and coordinate travel to D.C. in group buses or car caravans. (Update: buses are now sold out.) They can also point you to lodging, including schools, churches, community centers and local homes. (Airbnbs are still available, too, and here are more lodging ideas.) To find your chapter, google Women’s March and your state, or search on Facebook. Also, MarchMatch can help organize carpools or bus ticket sponsorships.

Safety is a top priority. Many people, understandably, are concerned that the crowd will be rowdy and they’ll feel unsafe, especially if kids are in tow. But Breanne insists that it will be a peaceful march. “It’s not a protest, it’s more of a meeting. We want to start a conversation that becomes an ongoing dialogue over the next four years.” She says the co-organizers have been working closely with security throughout the planning of the event. “It’s normal to have some fear, but we’re ready. I would be sad to hear that that stopped anyone from coming.”

Don’t sweat the (packing) details. It will be cold and busy in Washington, but most of what it takes to prepare for the march is common sense. Dress in layers and comfortable shoes, and bring water and snacks. The museums and public institutions around the Mall will be open if you need to warm up. You don’t need to make a special sign or banner, but if you’d like to carry one, go for it. Breanne says the march has the grassroots, inclusive feel of 1960s and 70s movements. “The other day I was looking at the leaflet created for the 1963 March on Washington, the biggest rally in American history. It’s amazing how straightforward it was. They said to bring two sandwiches, but not ones with mayonnaise in case they spoiled. I would give most of the same simple advice today.”

If you can’t go, you can still participate. Hundreds of “sister” marches and events will be happening all over the country and the world. You can search them here by zip code. Organizers are also hoping to raise $2 million to pay for the march, and you can donate here or buy merchandise here to lend financial support. A few other ideas: give a pair of warm gloves to a friend who’s going, loan your car for the drive to D.C., sponsor someone’s bus ticket, or consider opening your D.C. area home to a march participant.

Women's March on Washington: What to Know

Will you be going? Have you ever marched before? Any other tips you’d give?

P.S. On being a feminist and five ways to get involved.

(Bottom photo from People Magazine.)

  1. Bonnie says...

    I will go to a March in New York City I won’t make it down to Washington D. C I support the cause as it is important from the beginning of this presidential administration to let Mr Trump know that women and people of color and those that aren’t wealthy have rights in this country We won’t be silent or allow them to take away our health care or decide on our rights Bless all those that made it to Washington today and be safe

  2. Neyra gonzalez says...

    Arriba Las Mujeres!!!!!! Showing to the entire world the women power. I will be walking tomorrow here n Santa Ana California just to manifest our point. We are women and we must be respected. Yes.. I believe this gathering is dedicated to El Viejo Horrible, Donald Trump.

  3. Ellen says...

    Going to march in Sacramento with a group 14 which will include three generations, four mother/daughter pairs, three lesbians and one awesome husband!

    • Melody says...

      Yay! We’ll all be there too:)

  4. Kelly says...

    I’m going! I live in DC and feel it’s my responsibility to go and speak my mind! I bought a new feminist shirt to wear for the occasion.

  5. Ane Ceballos says...

    So glad I read this article! Checked a little bit and found out there would be a march in my city too… Barcelona! There I´ll be with my family and friends, and I´ve created this little illustration to support the march https://www.instagram.com/p/BPYRY5Rj_yK/?taken-by=ane.ceballos
    ¡Sí se puede! :-)

  6. This IS about Trump and nothing can change this for me. We wouldn’t be doing this if he was not the President. He deserves no respect and will get none from me. He will change nothing as a result of this march; watch him make denigrating comments on Twitter. But I am in solidarity anyway because it’s a rare opportunity to join with my fellow travelers in an en masse show of DISrespect. No pink hat for me, just a raised fist, silence, and as John Lewis says, the sound of marching feet.

    • Carla says...

      I agree with the person that said it IS about Trump. So much of this is about Trump and the hate filled campaign he led. I find Breanne’s comments comparing the situation to a long break up disappointing and sort of distracting from the issues.

    • Ross says...

      Our sign in Seattle will say
      Trump may be grabbing power now and Putin on the Ritz but the Pussy Riot is coming

    • Melody says...

      I love it girls!!!! No pussy grabbing here!!! :(

  7. So excited for the march it’ll actually be my first time in D.C. ! i even bought the Pantsuit Pink lipstick from BeautifulRights.com so I feel all set. Hoping to really be a part of history saturday

  8. TerriJ says...

    So thrilled and excited to see my fellow feminists (female, male and other) coming out of the woodwork to send this very important message. Bringing my 12 year old daughter, maybe our future president. Girls rule the world! Carry on. See you in D.C. my peeps.

  9. Yes!! I am walking with a bunch of friends. We are having a poster-making party the night before. I am trying to find a friend to knit me a hat… I am pretty crafty but I can’t knit for the life of me!
    XX
    https://www.instagram.com/pret_a_teacher/

    • *walking in NYC :)

  10. Helena says...

    I’m going to the sister march in London

    • Me too!

  11. sylv coad says...

    My daughter and granddaughter are going to D.C. from Orange County, CA.
    A bunch of friends and neighbors will meet and participate here in San Diego, CA. i just sent out a simple email invitation to meet at a friend’s condo near the march route and got a great response Sometimes individuals just need a personal invite to take action.

    • Amanda says...

      I am in OC and looking for marchers to take my #Pussyhats to DC to wear and share with other marchers. Do you think you duaghter would want to take them? I would love to have someone from my area be the one to wear and share them.

  12. May says...

    Hi, sorry, a bit confused here…I’m not American and I don’t live in the US. This seems to me like a total anti-Trump march. I’m sure it’s also about other things (women rights, human rights, etc, all good things), but isn’t this really a big F* Y* to Trump?.

    • Sheila says...

      I am flying to DC for the march, and I can tell you that I would not be going if Trump had not been elected. I know it’s not advertised as an anti-Trump march, but it will be for me.

    • Susan says...

      For me, this march is a big, in-your-face message to the man who thinks it’s okay to grab women by the pussy. It’s not.

      It’s also a message to our elected officials that they can keep their legislative hands off our bodies, our healthcare choices and our right to be heard.

    • Carolyn Foust says...

      YOU ARE 100 PER CENT RIGHT!!!

  13. Brenda says...

    My wife and I are marching in solidarity January 21 in Toronto Ontario. Other friends are also marching here, as well as some friends are busing from Toronto to the March on Washington. “We Shall Overcome”.

  14. Hello everyone! I’m very exited to say I will be attending the largest sister march nearest to me. (Portland,OR) I am trying to sell my buttons to people attending a march on the 21st. Please visit my Etsy page for some awesome buttons. Thanks! 😊 https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheExpressiveButton

  15. Just an update to the 1963 note on carrying sandwiches to eat on the march: it’s going to be cold in DC on Jan. 21; you don’t need to worry about those mayonnaise sandwiches spoiling! Thanks for the advice above.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good point!

    • Amy says...

      not that warm, it’s supposed to be 57!

  16. I’m going to the “solidarity” march in London on the same day!

  17. Susan says...

    Hello, from BC Canada! Does anyone know if merchandise will be available to purchase at the March? I know we can order online and the proceeds go towards the March, but they arrive after the March, The other site has Tshirts made in China, I believe, and proceeds do not go to the March.
    Thanks.

  18. Deborah says...

    Can’t afford to do this, but am grateful for those who can afford to take time off work and spend money on travel and accomodations for something like this! I know you might be doing this instead of a short winter vaca to Bahamas or ski trip to VT – THANK YOU!

    While your there – remember those of us who can’t be with you but who so need you to be there for us. We’ll be thinking of you, praying for you, rooting for you!

    I know you’ll be uncomfortable in the weather, probably won’t be bathroom access, you’ll be tired and hungry – YOU ARE MY HERO!!

    • Lisa says...

      Just a note on bathroom access – all of the Smithsonian museums on the mall are open to the public and have restrooms. I’d expect them to busier than usual, but there will be access! Just remember that there are some restrictions on items you can bring into the museums (ex. some will make you pour out your water bottle, no weapons, etc.).

      Other notes from a local: Expect public transportation to be very busy – leave early to arrive on time and buy/load your metro card ahead.

    • Bonnie says...

      I respect your comments I used to go to many marches down in Washington D.C with several different groups The ticket prices wasnt very expensive and there was some sliding scale ticket or some tickets payed for and those that wanted to go was able to get a ticket I only found out this week about the March I would of liked to go I didnt want to pay two hundred dollars to get on a bus N.O.W had a waiting list to see if any seats opened up I will still support in New York City I know that there will be other marches that I will be able to attend I hope tickets are affordable Many of us are living pay check to pay check Others are getting social security We aren’t wealthy as Donald Trump and have stock in the market I don’t like wealthy wall Street

  19. ‘We won’t give up, we won’t give in’

    Many of that live by this everyday :)

    Shruthi
    http://nyambura.co

  20. AMS says...

    I bought us tickets so two east coast family could attend. There are lots of charter buses leaving from the New York area :-)

  21. Tom says...

    How are you viewing “men” at this march?

    • Susan says...

      My 67 year old Canadian husband is going!

    • Paula says...

      As partners and cohabitators of the world we live in and want to create going forward. My partner, my father and my son will be there with me!
      We go because we are concerned about social justices and human rights, Tom. For all people.
      We hope you’ll join us!

    • Kelbel says...

      My husband, daughter, and son-in-law are all marching in NYC!

  22. Cathy says...

    My 14 year old daughter and myself are going,,,very very concerned with the president elect and his racist attitude and our rights as a woman under his time in office. We will not go backwards in our rights as human beings…..