Well, we are just four days away from the march. I recently attended the “Always Forward, Never Back” informational meeting on the march. The ACLU, many security personnel, and veteran protesters were there to share insight on what to expect. I wanted to forward some pertinent information from that session, as well as some logistics on the day.
First let me say, that I think this is going to be a very big deal. They are expecting over 400,000 marchers in Washington, + 273 sister marches in US cities and sister marches in 64 cities around the world. This is going to be a historic event and I am thrilled and very proud to be taking part. I am sure you all feel the same way.
THE WMW MISSION STATEMENT
The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us - immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault - and our communities are hurting and scared. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.
In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.
Hear our voice.
LOGISTICS (SEE MAPS BELOW)
· Hagey Coach will be picking us up at my home at 819 Montrose Street Philadelphia (click here for map), just before 6:00AM on January 21. The bus is a 54-passenger bus with a bathroom. Here is information on the bus. Please arrive between 5:15 and 5:45 in order for us to get everyone on the bus and settled in time. We would like to pull out and be on the road absolutely no later than 6:15. We have a schedule to keep!
Keep in mind that parking may be an issue at my house. There is street parking, but it may be difficult at 6AM to find a spot.
· Depending on traffic, we should arrive in the DC area around 9AM. The bus will drop us off at the New Carrollton stop on the orange line. The train leaves every 11 minutes (I recently heard that they are going to be adding trains, because of the influx of people they are expecting that day, so the trains may be more often than that.)
The bus dispatcher and I chose the New Carrollton stop because out of all metro stops, we think this will be the least crowded and parking for the bus is available.
· The march starts at the intersection of Independence Ave and Third Ave SW, near the U.S. Capitol. The ride to the Federal Center stop is 25 minutes. The cost is $3.15. I have secured pre-paid Smartrip metro cards for all of us in advanced so that we don’t have to wait to buy tickets, as there may be a line.
· If we take the 9:29 train, we will arrive at the capital at 9:53am, just in time for the start. With 300,000 participants. This is why it’s critical for us to be on the road by around 6:15.
· Leaving Washington will be a lot more complicated. Everyone will be trying to get on the metro at the same time, so that makes it a lot tougher.
· They have not yet said the exact route of the march for security purposes, but I heard that we march to the White House. If that is the case, we will have to walk to the metro station at Farragut West or McPherson Square, whichever one we think is easier at the time. We take the orange line back to the New Carrolton station. The cost of this trip is $3.45. We will have our pre-paid Smartrip metro cards.
· If we don’t end up at the White House, we will have to determine the best station to get on the orange line.
· We will have to be very patient here. There may be quite a wait for trains!
· We absolutely have to be back at the New Carrolton station and on the bus by NO LATER THAN 7:00PM. This is critical because of Federal laws on the number of hours a bus driver can be on duty.
· We should be back in Philly by 10PMish.
I have registered our bus for the march. For the bus ride, I am asking for a donation of $20 or more.
For your pre-paid Smartrip metro fare card, the price is $10.00. They come as a minimum $8 card and each has a $2 service charge. (Highway robbery for sure!) If you opt to not use the pre-paid cards, that is no problem. I can return them for money back minus the $2 service charge. Just keep in mind that they are expecting the lines to purchase tickets the day of to be very long!
Several folks have asked about leaving things on the bus. This is fine. The bus will be locked up. They do however caution against leaving anything a great value on the bus because anyone can break a window or try some other way to break in.
· Your cell phone won’t work! We are pretty much guaranteed that our cell phones won’t work the day of the march. With so many people in one place, it will be nearly impossible to get cell service. Add to that, that the ACLU said that the government will most likely turn off cell service. One person even said that they can even incapacitate your phone completely if necessary, meaning you won’t even be able to take pictures. I don’t know about that, but I thought I’d pass that along. (If photos are something you really want, consider bringing a separate camera.)
· From Homeland Security via march national advisors:
o Backpacks are not permitted.
o Bags should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.
o Specifically for people who would like to bring meals, each marcher is permitted one additional 12”x12”x6” plastic or gallon bag.
o For marchers who have medical needs or for mothers who need baby bags or breast pumps, one clear bag or backpack no larger than 17″x12″x6″ will be permitted and subject to search.
o Do not bring anything that can be construed as a weapon, including signage with any kind of handle (e.g. a sharpened wooden stick).
o Please note that all bags will be subject to search.
· Counter protesters will be there. They will want you to lose focus, and will try to disrupt and make marchers look foolish. You have a right to protest. Do not respond to their baiting.
· Just so we are all clear on our rights. Under the 1st Amendment, profanity and insults are protected; accusations of criminality are not. (Bummer!)
· There will be trained marshals and legal observers the whole route, so don’t worry, we are safe!
· I absolutely do not foresee any problems whatsoever, but the legal hotline for the march is 202.670.6866.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
· Try to eat a large carb breakfast before getting on the bus. We will be on our feet and walking a lot of the day. You will need the energy!
· On the bus: In addition to your $20 donation, I’d like for everyone to bring something to share with the group. Please let me know what you can bring!
· For the march, you should definitely bring something to eat. Remember that there will probably not be a lot of food available on the walk. In addition, we will be moving the whole time. If you bring a sandwich, make it easy to just grab and keep moving. Even better are easy snacks like trail mix, powerbars, nuts, etc. Anything you bring needs to fit in pockets or bags like the one described above.
HOW TO DRESS
· Current Forecast: Partly cloudy and about 58°
· Beth has kindly offered to bring hand and foot warmers! Thank you Beth!!!
· It’s may still be cold and wet. There may be slush and muddy grass. A waterproof hiking boot is your best choice for footwear, as it will provide some arch support, warmth, a high profile to protect from splashes or puddles, and a fabric that will keep you dry even if you’re in two inches of mud and slush. Keeping your feet warm, dry, and comfortable will be your best defense in surviving the day. You may consider adding a wool or shearling insole to your boots to add more comfort as well as warmth between you and the cold sidewalks.
· For clothing, I recommend layers!! The morning will be about 48° and the afternoon will be about 58°. I would bring a thin windbreaker / raincoat that has a hood. Do not bring an umbrella, as that will most likely be confiscated by law enforcement.
A FEW MORE EXTRA THINGS TO CONSIDER BRINGING:
Bring ID (for sure)
Phone charger cord
Phone number (in case you need a one phone call person)
Food for the walk
· If you would like to bring a sign, by all means, do!! The only rules are no accusations of criminality (as appealing as that is because we all know this probably applies!), and no stick handles that can be viewed as a weapon. (It will probably be removed from the sign)
· If you’d like an official sign for the walk, here is a link to the PDF’s of official march signs. The images are ideal for 11 x 17, or a 12 x 18 yard sign and can be printed at your local office supply store.
· In addition, I will bring a bunch of poster board and markers for all you creative people out there, so bring your great ideas on what you want to say!
FROM THE NATIONAL ORGANIZERS:
We continue to work closely with the National Park Service, Metropolitan Police Department, Homeland Security, Capitol Police, and other agencies to ensure a safe march with all logistics in place to accommodate the number of people we anticipate convening. For security reasons, they will not release any further details about march logistics until a later date.
The Women’s March on Washington is a grassroots effort comprised of dozens of independent coordinators at the state level. The effort is helmed by four national co-chairs and a national coordinating committee who are working around the clock to pull it all together.
A program featuring nationally recognized artists, entertainers, advocates, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and others will be announced in the coming weeks.
This is going to be an amazing experience and I’m so glad I get to share it with all of you! Let me know if I left anything out! If you need to reach me, my cell is 919.995.3010. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you all on the 21st. Get ready to kick some butt!
Parity and Justice for all,
Additional information: https://www.womensmarch.com/faq/