Women’s March on Washington organizers: Don’t change your travel plans

WASHINGTON — Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington who applied to rally near the National Mall after Inauguration Day are asking participants not to change their travel plans — even though they may have to congregate elsewhere in D.C.

As WTOP first reported, organizers are firming up a new plan for the march and rally in part because of a late permit application. Seven other groups, who submitted their paperwork earlier, have also requested space on the National Mall in the days before and after the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

But the event will go on, said Janaye Ingram, with the organizing group The Gathering for Justice. However, the organization has not yet announced an alternative location.

“No one needs to change their flights,” Ingram told WTOP in an interview. “The march and rally are happening on” Jan. 21.

Ingram said there are also extra steps in planning the rally and march given the security concerns around the Capital that week. Organizers are working with the Department of Homeland Security, D.C. Police and other entities to cement a plan.

“We have a location that we believe will be the actual site for the rally,” she said. “We’re waiting for the Presidential Inaugural Committee to see what events they may have that may, for whatever reason, make us change our plans.”

Ingram was unable to say where the new location will be, but said it will be communicated to participants once plans are final. She said organizers expect more than 100,000 marchers, but planned for as many as 200,000 in their applications to accommodate all participants.

At the time this article was published, the Women’s March on Washington Facebook page still had the Lincoln Memorial listed as the site for the event. Confusion over the change in location concerned some participants.

The National Park Service received dozens of calls from participants, who also posted online after learning the location for the Women’s March on Washington might not be at the National Mall as they thought, said park service spokesman Mike Litterst.

Ingram said some aspects of the planning are still up in the air given the red tape that comes with planning an event around the presidential inauguration.

Among the seven First Amendment permit applications submitted to the park service for the same location for events during the same period of time are the Answer Coalition and the Progressive Independent Party, Litterst said.

Other organizations include: Reform America, DC Action Lab, Exodus Foundation, People’s Action and Real Progressives.

The March for Life Education and Defense Fund had previously applied for the same date range, but organizers have since moved the march to another date.

Editor’s Note: This article has been changed to reflect the March for Life Education and Defense Fund change in dates.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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