The Women’s March on Washington (and many affiliated city marches) is quickly approaching and we are puuuuuumped. It’s refreshing a-f to see so many men, women, gnc, and transfolks standing up for each other, standing up for themselves, and calling on our country to stand up for ALL us.
So you’ve got your posse. You’ve got your sign. You’ve got your determination to let The Man know that you won’t take injustice for an answer. Now you’ve got to get prepared. Whether you’re marching in DC or your hometown, here are some important tips to keep in mind.
#2 Write down important information. Should you find yourself in a danger, in need of a ride, or in confrontation with police, it’s important to have critical info on hand. Think: emergency telephone numbers, local police department (not 911), your immigration number, and your home address.
#3 Stake out a rendezvous. Think about your last Bonnaroo adventure. Remember how your phone almost never worked, and it took ages to find Sally, and Daniel kept running away from the group? A concentrated crowd wreaks havoc on cell phone towers. Don’t expect that text to go through any time soon. If you’re going with a group, decide on a specific meeting place to reconnect if you get separated.
#4 Know your rights—and the right way to activate them. Refer to the ACLU’s guide to learn important resistance phrases like “I wish to remain silent” and “I do not consent to this search.” They’ll also tell you what you should not do. (Hint: touching a police officer’s clothes or equipment are big no-nos.)
#5 Pee before you get there. And take care of any bodily functions that may arise. (Super leak-proof tampons anyone?) Like any major gathering, port-a-potties will be crowded (and likely, disgusting). Cut down on caffeine the day before, pee before you leave...and memorize the padlocks on all the nearby Starbucks locations.
#6 Develop a transportation plan...or two. Road closures. Parking tetris. Crowded busses. Swamped metro cars. It’s going to be one giant (progressive, radical) mess out there. Give yourself the flexibility of a plan B, both to and from the event.
#7 Dress for the weather. Unless you’re marching in SoFla or a similar spring break destination, it’s winter. Like, January winter. Cold, dreary, windy, winter. You’ll likely be outside for hours, and you may spend long periods of time not moving or moving slowly. Consider wearing a thermal base layer and wool socks (in addition to your coat, hat, leggings, and gloves).