A Student’s Guide to Attending Women’s March 2019
Five million people around the world attended a Women’s March in 2016. Three years later, the movement is only getting stronger and encouraging young women to show up and let their voices be heard once again. The Women’s March is a great opportunity for direct action, and organizers are working hard to make the event accessible to as many people as possible. Remember, part of protesting is taking care of yourself, and with so many people descending on D.C., it’s important to plan ahead. From renting a bus to the Women’s March in Washington D.C. to convincing your parents to let you go, our guide provides advice for teens and young women, individuals, groups, and community organizers.
- The date and time: January 19th, 2019. 10 a.m.
- Location: Right outside the White House
Where to Stay
It’s important for youth voices to be heard, but in some ways it is more difficult for teens to get to the March. There are restrictions on where you can stay and special considerations to be made. Many hostels and hotels require an adult to make a reservation and some don’t accept teens at all. Before you book your rooms, make sure you call ahead to inquire about the establishment’s policies regarding minors. You might simply require a parent/guardian to make the reservation, or you may need to be accompanied by someone who accepts responsibility for you. In the latter case, you will require a document from your guardian that gives your chaperone responsibility and another document from your chaperone that accepts responsibility. Note that in Washington, D.C., minors may not stay in hostel shared dorms. They must stay in private rooms. Again, check the establishment’s policies when booking. A platform like Hostel World can help you find beds for your entire group and connect you to hostel managers.
How to Get There
There are two ways to get to the March in Washington, D.C.: by yourself or in a group. Use a charter bus booking service to organize your group or to buy a ticket for yourself. Bus.com offers both options. Depending on the size of your group and the distance you will travel, Bus.com can supply either a school bus, minibus, mini coach bus or coach bus rental. For every bus chartered to Washington, D.C. for the March, Bus.com will donate $100 to Women’s March National. For every ticket sold, they will donate 15% of its sale. Bus.com is currently organizing buses to the women’s march from Baltimore, Boston, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia and Richmond. If your city is not on this list, organize a group of 20-55 people, and charter a bus. If you’re chartering a bus, select a group captain to collect everyone’s share, send out reminders and compile a folder of permission slips and emergency contacts.
Convincing your Parents to Let you Go
Remember your parents love you and that any resistance to you going to D.C. is likely coming from a place of worry. To convince them to let you go, it’s best to give them as much peace of mind as possible. The way to do that is to communicate and keep communicating. It sounds like a pain, but there are a lot of ways to keep in touch without distracting yourself from your mission. Start by telling your parents to follow you on your social media accounts. Through Instagram and Twitter, they can see pictures of you that will not only assure them of your safety but make them proud. You can also ask a parent in your community to chaperone. And of course, you could always invite your parents along. Nothing says mother-daughter bonding like fighting against the patriarchy.
What to Pack
Start by getting yourself a good, solid, waterproof backpack, then fill it with warm socks, an extra sweater, gloves and a hat. January in .D.C is chilly, and depending where you’re coming from the climate may be a shocker. Bring water and shareable snacks to keep you going throughout the bus trip and the March. Don’t forget your phone charger! If you get separated from your group, your phone is your lifeline. Finally, bring along a protest sign. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to express yourself.
Getting Back Home
There are going to be a lot of buses and even more people, so it’s important to remember what your bus looks like and where it is parked. Take a picture of it with your phone for future reference. If you are the bus captain, make sure that you have a list of all your passengers and their phone numbers. You can even create a shareable document with Google Sheets that your passengers can access and update with their whereabouts. If you’re a passenger and not the captain, get the phone number of a few others on the bus. Better yet, befriend your seatmate and support each other throughout the event.