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Everything you need to know about the Women’s March on Washington

Posters for the Women's March can be seen around the District, including at this bus stop on Massachusetts Avenue, NW. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON — Just one day after hundreds of thousands of people are expected to crowd the National Mall for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, a similarly large crowd is expected to descend on D.C. for a day of protest.

The Women’s March on Washington will rally near the U.S. Capitol Saturday morning and then march along the National Mall that afternoon. Organizers have a permit for 200,000 participants and D.C. officials are planning for as many as 500,000.

The event will close several streets in downtown D.C. and could lead to crowds on Metro. From the weather forecast and road closures to who’s performing at the rally, here’s everything you need to know about the women’s march.

Follow WTOP’s liveblog on the women’s march for updates on the day of the march.

What is the Women’s March on Washington?

Organizers say the march is an effort to “send a bold message” to the incoming Trump administration that women’s rights are human rights.

The event kicks off at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW on Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. with a rally near the U.S. Capitol featuring speakers and performances. At 1:15 p.m., participants plan to march down Independence Avenue along the National Mall.

Organizers of the march are encouraging attendees to register ahead of time so they can get a head count, but you don’t need a ticket to attend.

Weather

If you’re planning to join the crowds for the march Saturday, the weather is likely to cooperate. After some fog in the morning, the forecast is calling for dry weather with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 40s in the morning rising to the 50s later in the day, Storm Team4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts says.

Skies will be mostly cloudy with maybe a peek of sun at times.

Follow the latest weather updates on WTOP’s Weather page.

Road closures

There will be a handful of street closures to accommodate the march.

The following streets will be closed starting at 3 a.m. Jan. 21 and will reopen at 6 p.m. or when safe to do so.

  • 3rd Street, NW, from Constitution Avenue, NW, to C Street SW
  • Independence Avenue, SW, from First Street, SW, to 6th Street, SW
  • Maryland Avenue, SW, from First Street, SW, to Independence Avenue, SW
  • 4th Street, NW, from Constitution Avenue, NW, to C Street, SW

Also, starting at about approximately 1 p.m., there will be rolling street closures along the march route:

  • Rolling closures starting at 1 p.m. along parade route:
  • West on Independence Avenue, SW, from 3rd Street, SW, to 14th Street, SW
  • North on 14th Street, SW, to Constitution Avenue, NW,
  • West on Constitution Avenue, NW, to 17th Street, NW, where the group will disband.

The map below details street closures for the Women’s March. The blue lines indicate the roads closed from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the red lines indicate the rolling closures for the march route.

While street closures around the White House and the National Mall from the inauguration will be lifted by Saturday, parking restrictions will remain in effect until early Monday morning.

Metro

The Federal Triangle Station will be closed Saturday “due to security and logistical considerations,” Metro announced Friday. Customers should use Metro Center instead, Metro said.

Federal Center SW is the closest station to the march gathering station.

The Metro system will open two hours earlier than normal — at 5 a.m. — and will provide expanded Saturday service to accommodate the expected crowds. Metro says trains will leave stations at the end of each line every 12 minutes, which means trains should service downtown stations every four to six minutes.

Metro plans to add more than a dozen trains on the Red and Orange lines to accommodate expected high ridership traveling to the march, although you should still be prepared for crowds. Metro also plans to run extra Yellow Line “Rush-Plus” trains like it would on a weekday between Franconia-Springfield and Greenbelt from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 1 p. to 5 p.m.

The closest station to the march gathering is Federal Center SW (accessible on Blue, Orange and Silver lines). However, Metro says riders should consider using L’Enfant Plaza station (accessible on Blue, Orange, Silver, Green and Yellow lines) or the Capitol South station (accessible on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines) to avoid crowding.

Refer to this map of the Metro system

A map of the Metro system.
A map of the Metro system.

What you can and cannot bring to the march

Here is a list of guidelines put out by the organizers of the march:

  • Backpacks are not permitted unless they are clear and no larger than 17″x12″x6″ (colored transparent bags are not permitted).
  • 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 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.
  • Canes, walking sticks, walkers, and portable seats are allowed for individuals who require them for mobility and accessibility on a regular basis.
  • Strollers are permitted at the march, but we recommend smaller strollers if possible.
  • Do not bring anything that can be construed as a weapon, including signage with any kind of handle (e.g. a sharpened wooden stick).
  • Flags are allowed, but not on a pole. Posters and signs are allowed, but not with the use of wooden sign posts. Instead, we encourage people to use cardboard sign posts.
  • Folding chairs are not permitted. If there are specific medical needs that you cannot have met with regular accommodation, we will have a limited seated section for people who need seating.

Speakers and performers

Organizers of the march announced this week a list of entertainers who are set to perform at the rally. They include:

  • Janelle Monae
  • Maxwell
  • Angelique Kidjo
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • The Indigo Girls
  • MC Lyte
  • Samantha Ronson
  • Toshi Reagon
  • Emily Wells

Other celebrities and dignitaries who will speak include: Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd, Michael Moore and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Warm up or charge your cellphone

A number of downtown D.C. businesses are opening their doors to marchers to provide bathrooms, meeting areas, cellphone charging and warming up if needed.

The map below showing “welcome stations” was put together by attendees of the march. For the full list, click here.


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