Organizing a national Women’s March on Washington in Washington DC has been an adventure. First, let us recognize that there is a lot of interest in protesting in DC. Asheville NOW filled a bus in less than a week. Charlotte NOW is filling one now. And there are about 20 buses from North Carolina alone. At first the organizers didn’t realize they absolutely needed permits, where to send the buses, etc. Then, when Alice Cohan, of Feminist Majority (formerly of National Organization for Women/NOW) jumped in to help get permits, they found out many groups tried for permits for that date and those places, and they were working through the process. Then things changed and all protesters were being blocked from using normal rally/protest sites like large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial! Now there is an update from that – we finally have a site. But here is some background on the process. Never discount a bunch of angry women!
- “Many women were horrified that America chose Trump, an alleged sexual predator, over Clinton, who could have been its first woman president, and that an obviously unqualified man beat out an obviously qualified woman,” as written in “The “Women’s March on Washington,” explained,” 12/9/16, Vox.com.
Post election feelings ranged from rage to grief and horror and more, very strong emotions.
- After the election, some hastily made Facebook events attracted the passion of thousands. According to “Getting the Women’s March on Washington on the Road,” 11/23/16, slate.com,
“Eventually, a handful of different actions (one was to be called the Million Pussy March/facebook) collapsed into one: Originally dubbed the Million Woman March, it’s now the Women’s March on Washington/facebook, it’s scheduled for the day after Trump’s inauguration, and, as of this writing, 116,856 people from all over the country have said on Facebook that they are “going.””
According to The Women’s March on Washington, Explained at vox.com, “this could be the biggest mass mobilization that America has seen in response to a presidential inauguration — about 60,000 people protested Richard Nixon’s 1973 inauguration at the height of the Vietnam War, and thousands protested George W. Bush’s 2001 inauguration.”
A permit was finally filed on behalf of the women’s march on Nov 14, 2016, and the women’s march became eighth in line! The National Park Service, in charge of the Lincoln Memorial and other areas where marches would normally be held,
“had already registered seven permit applications from five organizations for the same sites at the same time. All these organizations are ahead of the Women’s March on Washington in line for a permit.”
- It became clear that some changes would be required on the specifics of the march. More at “Overbooked National Mall means changes for Women’s March on Washington,” 11/29/16, wtop.com.
“The permit has not been denied. We will make every effort to accommodate their request though it may be at a different time and location,” [National Park Service spokesman Mike] Litterst said.”
- In early December, something shocking happened. All inauguration protesters were going to be barred from National Mall and other sites. The National Park Service filed documents on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee to secure large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities.
- Feminists were outraged and took to social media with a vengeance!
- In response, the National Park Service has worked things out. Alice Cohan updated New Jersy NOW’s President Deb Huber, who updated the NOW state presidents via email on Saturday, Dec 10, 2016.
“The “Women’s March on Washington” was been approved by an interagency task force on Friday, according to the organizers. People will be able to gather at the intersection of Independence Ave and Third Ave SW, near the U.S. Capitol, at 10:00 am on January 21, 2017.”
- Cities and states are doing events where they live too! A separate source reported,
“As of today, there will be 96 Women’s March On events on January 21st. ”
Look for women’s marches in other cities in North Carolina, including Charlotte and Raleigh.