The Women’s March of 2016 began as a response to the election of President Donald Trump, but their organizing efforts continued far beyond that first wave of protest. The third annual march will take place this month; here’s what you need to know to join.
Controversies and Cancellations
To start with, the Women’s March has not been without controversy, including accusations of anti-Semitism towards leaders of the movement, and was cancelled in Chicago. Plans for the march were also cancelled in Eureka, California, after organizers recognized a lack of racial diversity in the core group of protestors, according to NBC News.
The leaders of the march have their own complicated politics and histories which require research and nuance to understand, in particular Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory’s association with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. You can read more about that here:
Additionally, the march seeks to mobilize an enormous number of people, and many have expressed frustration with a lack of representation and the seeming emphasis on white, cis womanhood within the march, and so have declined to participate. We recommend doing your own research into the local march you may be attending.
Dates and Access
It’s especially important to look into where your local march is, because though the main event is January 19, there are sister marches on other dates. To figure out where and when the closest one to you is, you can check out this map.
Starting times also vary widely from city to city, so make sure you’re there when it’s actually happening. If you are going to Washington on the 19th, here are the important locations from the organizing website:
Gathering Location: We will be gathering on the National Mall between 12th and 3rd Street
Rally Location: The Rally will take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
Main Support Station: Constitution Gardens located just north of the reflecting pool at 21st and Constitution Ave NW. The area will have porta-potties, water stations, heating tents, medic stations, and a lost person tent.
Organizers are working to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, according to Broadly, so if you have a particular accommodation request, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What To Wear
It’s January! Dress warm and in layers, and bring an easily consumed snack and water. Even if you don’t intend to stay long, getting into and out of large crowds can often take much more time than you’d anticipate. If you’ve got a protest sign, make sure it’s easy to transport.
In terms of what those signs should say, that’s up to you; however, 2017’s march was dedicated to getting people to the polls for midterms, and this year the hashtag for the event is #WomensWave. Expect a lot of water imagery. Maybe Trump caught in a tsunami or a thousand hands about to slap the GOP right out of Congress. Let your imagination run wild—2020 is just around the corner.