The Women’s March on Washington finally has a starting location, putting to rest some fears that a lack of planning or official permitting would stand in the way of an event that could draw tens of thousands of visitors to Washington, D.C. on the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The event will begin with a 10 a.m. rally at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the U.S. Capitol. Attendees will march toward the Washington Monument on Independence, separated from the National Mall by the southernmost row of Smithsonian museums.
According to the Washington Post, the march’s organizers are working with D.C.’s police department to determine a final, workable route for the march, while taking into account the federal land and public spaces already put on hold by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
The bipartisan committee has been accused by some of maneuvering to keep the Women’s March from holding its rally at the Lincoln Memorial, as organizers initially desired. In reality, the National Park Service holds a large swath of desirable land for the weeks around inauguration until the committee decides what it’s doing, which might not be for another few weeks. On top of that, the organizers of the Women’s March submitted their permit application for the Lincoln Memorial after several other protest permits were already in the queue.
“Ultimately we want to have the attention focused on Congress and lifting up our concerns to them,” the march’s logistics organizer, Janaye Ingram, told the Post. This echoes previous assertions by march leaders that the demonstration is not meant to be a specifically anti–Donald Trump event, though his election surely spurred the initial Facebook event.
Instead, the Women’s March on Washington is billing itself as a broad platform for people who support women’s rights and human rights in the most general sense. That’s great for boosting attendance, but it’s led many prospective attendees to wonder what exactly they’ll be marching for. The demonstration’s Facebook page has housed many debates over racial appropriation, intersectional feminism, and gender inclusivity in the comments. Many of the 374,000 people who’ve marked that they’re “going” or “interested” in the event have also peppered the comments section with posts fretting that their already-purchased airfare or hotel bookings would go to waste if the hastily-posted event didn’t come to fruition. Now those concerns, at least, can be put to rest.