Marching Orders

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“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”- Women’s March on Washington

Women’s marches are scheduled to take place across the country this Saturday, in support of human rights. While the main march is taking place in Washington D.C. other marches will take place in New York and Los Angeles, as well as over 300 other locations around the country. And yes, men are also welcome.

If you would like to find a march near you, visit the official website and look for sister marches.

If you choose to attend the D.C. event, there will be some restrictions due to security concerns.

Here are a few tips and things you  should know if you are attending one of the marches.

Security will be extremely high. There are many common items that are banned, including aerosols, balloons, coolers, including glass, thermal or metal containers, selfie sticks, packages of any kinds, and bicycles and strollers.

Signs must be made of cardboard, posterboard or cloth only, and measure less than 3 feet wide, and 20 feet long.

Backpacks are allowed, but must not exceed 18″x 13″x 7″.  Other bags, such as a cross body pouch, must not exceed 8″x6″x4″ in size.

The weather is supposed to be mild, but at this time of year, can be unpredictable. It is best to wear light layers that can be added or removed as the day goes on.  Sunglasses, hats, and gloves are recommended.

It may be winter, but sunscreen is a must when spending the day outside, regardless of the season.

Amenities may be sketchy so be prepared with non-perishable snacks in clear zip-lock bags, and  (it pains me to say this), water that has been purchased in plastic bottles. Due to the ban on containers, your metal or glass water bottle may be confiscated. Restrooms may also be hard to come by, and the liklihood of having to use a filthy porta potty is pretty high. Dress for ease of use, with nothing hard to get in and out of, or anything that might touch the floor, such as overalls, jumpsuits or super wide leg pants.

Carry hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes, as well as tissues. You will need them!

Comfortable footwear is a given, but making sure your shoes or boots and socks don’t rub weh your feet swell is important. A coating of  Vaseline or Aquafor on your feet will help prevent blisters, and leave them suprisingly soft.

Be sure that your money, credit cards, transportation tickets and most importantly identification are safely stowed and close to your body. Placing them in a plastic bag inside a small crossbody pouch will keep them both safe and dry, in the event of rain.

Make sure your phone is fully charged, and bring a backup charger with you, if possible. If you are not using your phone, putting it on airplane mode will save battery.

Pre-purchase a local Metrocard, if applicable, so that you can easily get on public transportation.

Google has posted a map of spots where you can warm up, meet up and use the restrooms here.

Not into crowds, but want to show support? The 1@1 equality action initiative asks that at 1:00p.m. in Washington D.C,( regardless of your time zone), people stop whatever they are doing and stand for one minute of silent solidarity.

1@1 is a small, symbolic act in support of the American ideal of one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. It is one powerful minute to connect, reflect and recommit to making that American ideal a reality.

The only way to make our country great, is to be an active participant in the decisions that shape our lives. Whether is is women’s rights, or healthcare reform, let your voice be heard by those that initiate real change. The future is in our hands.

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