Just a day after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, more than 180,000 people plan to meet in front of the U.S. Capitol to send a message to the new Commander in Chief.
The Women’s March on Washington began to organize a day after election results were announced, when a retired attorney and grandmother living in Hawaii made a plea on Facebook. Overnight, Teresa Shook’s Facebook event page went from 40 attendees to 10,000.
Now, organizations like Planned Parenthood, Equality Now, and the NAACP have joined the list of attendees, as well as celebrities including Katy Perry and America Ferrera. And as of publication time, 253,000 have marked themselves as ‘interested’ on Facebook.
And whether you Facebook RSVP’d or not, if you consider yourself one of the interested ones, here’s a guide for attending.
Who’s Organizing It
Since ballooning from 10,000 participants to over 180,000, the Women’s March team of organizers has also grown. According to its website, 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.”
As Vogue details, it’s a fluid movement, but there are about 20 organizers in total. The Women’s March has also partnered with over a hundred different charities and nonprofits including GLAAD, Girls Who Code, FREE THE NIPPLE and many more.
There are also at least 60 additional Women’s March groups, organizing travel from other states across the country and even other countries (Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, London, Zurich, and Sydney each have groups). From there, it breaks down to an even more hyper-local level, with county and city groups. Links to state pages are available on the main Women’s March event page.
Why It’s Happening
The Women’s March on Washington is meant to be a demonstration, not a protest. “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us,” the event page said. “In the spirit of democracy … 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 administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”
Where and When
According to the Women’s March on Washington website, marchers should gather at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third St. SW. The intersection is located in front of the U.S. Capitol and though an exact route hasn’t been determined yet, The Washington Post reported that demonstrators will be traveling west down Independence Ave.
The Women’s March will take place on Jan. 21, one day after President-elect Trump’s inauguration, at 10 a.m.
How to Get There
There are a few different ways to get to the Women’s March; it really boils down to where you’re coming from. Many out of state groups are traveling by bus. “We realized for many individuals, especially college and university students, the lodging and flight cost to get to DC would be prohibitive,” Emma Collum, the Women’s March on Washington Florida Chapter Administrator and National State Coordinator, told Teen Vogue. The Florida group, for instance, is chartering 55 buses that will leave on Friday afternoon, arrive Saturday morning, and then leave Saturday night. At least 1,200 bus parking permits have been issued for the day of the march. For context, as of yesterday, NBC4 reported that 393 permits have been issued for the inauguration the day before. You can find out if there’s a bus traveling to the march from your state with this directory.
Driving is being discouraged on the Women’s March FAQ page because parking will likely be impossible. However, if it’s your only option, the page recommends finding parking lots open by Metro or Metrobus stops. If all else fails, request to be placed on a curbside parking reservation list. Due to high demand, the parking reservation list does not have its own separate website, but can be accessed through email on the Women's March FAQ section.
Public transit is also an option for getting to the march. If you take the train, Union Station is about a 20-minute walk from the starting point. For those who choose to take the Metro, the closest stations to the march are Federal Center SW, L’Enfant Plaza, and Judiciary Square. You can even buy your Metro card ahead of time. But be aware that trains and buses are running on normal Saturday schedules and the high volume will likely cause delays.