What to Expect When You're Expecting a Revolution: The Women's March on Washington


From the Women's March on Washington's 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.



What: A grassroots level, mass demonstration to promote women's rights and a broad range of human rights and social justice issues. 

When: January 21, 2017 10 A.M.-5 P.M.

Where: Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, Washington D.C.

Who: Anyone, regardless of gender identity, who believes women's rights are human rights. 

Official Website: womensmarch.com

Estimated Attendance Numbers: No official headcount has been released, but some sources estimate that approximately 200,000 people will be participating. Some recent reports have stated as many as 400,00 may be expected.

All proceeds will go to logistics and expenses to put on the Women's March on Washington


If you are participating in the Women's March on Washington it is crucial  for planning and security purposes that you REGISTER on the website and let the organizers know that you are attending!

If you can't make it to Washington, but still want to participate, there are currently 281 Local Sister Marches scheduled around the country and internationally. Find one near you! You can also donate to the march here. 

The intention of this post is to both promote the march as an official partner with the Women's March on Washington and provide basic information as well as some advice. For complete information about the Women's March on Washington, please visit their website womensmarch.com to explore the extensive and updated information and many resources they have listed. Below we have posted: 

  • Resources, information and tips
  • Transportation to Washington D.C.
  • Transportation within the D.C. Metro area
  • Links to resources for overnight accommodations
  • Links to Facebook pages for individual state's marches and chapters


01/17/17 11AM:

01/17/17 7pm:

  • Washington Post guide to spots where you can take a break, get some complimentary beverages from local businesses and real, flushing toilets! Especially important for mothers with young children and infants, there are multiple indoor locations around the march and rally site which will be designated for breastfeeding and baby care, there will also be warming stations and press areas with desks for journalists. Explore more info on the Post's site with an interactive map: Where to Use the Bathroom and Charge Your Phone During the Women’s March

  • From the march organizers, for groups attending, please designate your before/after/in case of emergency meeting spots outside of the black outline on the map below:

Resources and Information:

VERY IMPORTANT: Read the Women's March FAQ  for a comprehensive and up-to-date list of information on what to expect on the day of the march, what you can and can not bring, transportation, volunteering opportunities, available services along the route, security and accessibility. 

You can connect and stay up to date with the Women's March on their site where you can sign up for their newsletter, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

On social media you can connect with the organizers and other participants using the hashtags #WomensMarch, #WhyIMarch and #IMarchFor, you can also tag @womensmarch.

Some important things to note: 

There will be programming and speakers for the first part of the day, yet to be announced, starting at 10am at the Independence and 3rd SW starting point. Later on, we will march a 1.5 mile long route. 

Cell service may be overwhelmed by the number of people in the area. Your phone and other devices may not be able to connect to the cell or data network while you are at the march. If you are attending the march with a group, make a plan on where and when to convene should you get separated in case you're not able to contact each other by phone or text, or in case of emergency. Print out a map of your meeting location, including the march location in case you are not able to access map services on your mobile devices. 


Backpacks and other large bags are not allowed. There are bag size restrictions for security purposes. From the Women's March FAQ:


"All backpacks and bags may be subject to search at the March, and those not conforming to the standards set here may be confiscated or asked to be left behind. Backpacks are not permitted unless they are clear and no larger than 17"x12"x6" (colored transparent bags are not permitted).

  • Bags/totes/purses for small personal items should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.  

  • Specifically for people who would like to bring meals, each marcher is permitted one additional 12”x12”x6” plastic or gallon bag.  

  • For marchers who have medical needs or for mothers who need baby bags or breast pumps, please ensure that your supplies fit into the above clear backpack. You can have one backpack per individual in your group, as long as they abide by the above guidelines.

  • If you are a member of the press, covering the event officially, and have equipment that will not fit into bags of the above dimensions: please contact the National Communications Team to get press credentials in advance in order for your equipment to be allowed into the rally site.

  • If you require disability accommodations or related equipment, that will not fit into the above bags, please enter via the ADA Accessible route: 4th St. SW from C St. to Independence Ave.  For anyone using Metro, please get off at Federal Center SW and use 4th St. to enter the rally area.

  • Canes, walking sticks, walkers, and portable seats are allowed for individuals who require them for mobility and accessibility on a regular basis.

  • Do not bring anything that can be construed as a weapon, including signage with any kind of handle (e.g. a sharpened wooden stick). We recommend also checking with your bus company if your bus will be secured during the march and if you can leave larger belongings in the bus, rather than carrying them all day.

This is the policy of the Women's March team of organizers, security, and logistics. We ask all marchers to please cooperate with these policies and guidelines in order to ensure that this event is safe and comfortable for all attendees. We understand the environmental implications of using plastic bags and backpacks, but in this case, we believe the safety and security of the hundreds of thousands of marchers supersedes other concerns."

If your bags do not meet the security requirements and you must have them with you in D.C., leave them elsewhere. If you are taking a bus, ask the bus organizer if you'll be able to leave oversize bags on the bus during the march. If you are staying in a hotel you can leave them in your room or if you are checking-in later in the day contact the hotel to ask if you can leave them with the hotel's luggage storage at the front desk. If you're staying with an airbnb host, but won't be checking-in until later, ask if you can drop off your bags prior to the march. If none of these are an option for you, Tiburon Lockers runs a baggage storage facility within Union Station located at Gate A, check their website for pricing details, but keep in mind that there may be overwhelming demand and space is not unlimited. If you need to bring a larger bag for any reason and cannot make arrangements to store them somewhere during the march, consider purchasing bags which will meet the security requirements for the march. Examples of acceptable bags can be found here on Amazon, or you may search for "clear stadium bags" elsewhere. Make sure that the dimensions meet the size requirements listed above.


Feel free to bring your flags, banners and signs, but only signs without posts or posts made of cardboard are allowed! No wooden, metal or plastic sign posts. If you need ideas for for signs, want printable posters or would like to purchase posters some resources are listed below: 


Do your homework! Know your rights! The Women's March organizers have been planning security and march details with local and federal law enforcement, do not intend in engaging in civil disobedience and there will be trained marshal's as well as legal observers thus the march will be safe and arrests are not expected. However, it's still important to know your rights for the marches on the 21st and beyond. If  you do run into issues with law enforcement during the march in Washington call the march's legal hotline at 202-670-6866. Below are some information resources put together by the ACLU: 


Additional Tips: 

  • Wear comfortable shoes, wear comfortable shoes, wear comfortable shoes! 
  • Bring a portable external battery phone charger 
  • There will be portable bathrooms in the rally area and along the route, but pro-tip when it comes to enormous crowds and port-a-potties: bring your own tissues or toilet paper! 
  • It's the height of winter, pay attention to the weather forecast leading up to the day of the march. Weather in the Northeast/Mid Atlantic states can fluctuate from below freezing to mid 50's day to day. Wear warm layers, bring hand warmers, wear warm socks, be prepared to face both extreme cold or unusually mild weather and possible inclement weather. 
  • Speaking of toilets: maybe invest in a pee cone

Transportation to Washington D.C.: 

Travel by Bus and Train

There are many chartered buses reserved from locations all over the country to Washington D.C., although many are sold out by now, it may be worth checking to see if any seats are still available on your local bus. Also be sure to check-in with your local chapter's Facebook page to see if they have made additional transportation accommodations:

  • http://rallybus.net/womens-march-on-washington
  • https://www.womensmarch.com/transportation 

If you plan to charter a bus for your own group or region, you must register the bus with the march organizers. There will be no designated bus parking or drop-off near the march, the bus company will be responsible for their own parking.

Your best bet will be public transportation. Many bus companies still have tickets available, often when there is a route in high demand they will make sure to have multiple buses to accommodate all ticketed passengers. Amtrak is mostly sold out and the prices are high due to demand, but it may be possible to still purchase tickets from your location. 


Travel by Car and Commuter Rail

Consider renting a car or driving your personal car and carpooling with friends or other people in your community looking for a ride. Renting a car through a discount site like Cheaptickets can make the process more affordable. Utilize park&ride lots outside of DC and riding the MTA or a commuter rail the rest of the way into central DC. You can also reserve parking ahead of time at a garage in DC. Be aware though, if you plan to drive directly into the city that traffic and street closures may be hard to navigate and expect possible grid lock. It's been widely advised to take public transit from outside of central DC if possible. If you are staying overnight in DC, check with your hotel or host if they provide parking services, or ask for recommendations for nearby parking. 

If you have open seats in your car and/or extra space in your overnight accommodations/home, check March Match to offer them up to people looking for help: marchmatch.org


Traveling within the DC Metro Area

No matter if you are arriving by car or public transit here are few articles detailing public transit schedules, station closures, monument and street closures in the area, some of  which will be in effect from January 19th until the 23rd:

 Interactive Metro train, bus maps and trip planner

If you you are arriving in DC by train or bus at Union Station, the starting point for the march is just a 15-20 minute walk from there. There is no need to enter the Metro, as walking will be your fastest and most direct route to the starting point. If you need accommodations due to a handicap or injury or any other reason please refer to the accessibility resource page put together by Women's March on Washington. 

The following Metro stations have been recommended as exit points near the march's starting point: 

  • Gallery Place (Red / Yellow / Green)
  • L'enfant Plaza (Yellow / Green / Blue / Silver / Orange)
  • Federal Center SW (Blue / Silver / Orange)
  • Capitol South (Blue / Silver / Orange)
  • Eastern Market (Blue / Silver / Orange)
  • Union Station (Red) 

Download a Metro map here. 



You are responsible for your own overnight accommodations. Be aware that January 20th is the Presidential Inauguration, hotels are almost entirely sold out or have extremely high prices on Friday night due to high demand during the Inauguration. More rooms are available at better prices on Saturday night within D.C.  You may be able to find better prices and availability by searching areas outside of D.C. in locations accessible by commuter rail or the MTA. Be sure to check with your local march chapter and network to see if you can join other attendees from your area, or on the national march page.