It’s been a year since nearly 5 million people in 600 cities marched in protest of cultural issues across gender, race, socioeconomics, an the political platform of the newly inaugurated Trump administration. And at the start of 2018, activism and protest efforts are holding strong.
This year’s Women’s March—organized by what has become an official grassroots activism initiative—is taking place on January 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theme is “Power To The Polls,” and it’s all about gathering momentum in the movement to ensure historically marginalized populations are getting their voices heard in this crucial midterm election year.
In the instance that you’re not able to head out to Vegas, however, there’s a robust crop of locally organized Women’s March Anniversary events, happening this Saturday, January 20th, across the country.
Whether you’re coming back a year later to celebrate the milestone women and their allies all around the globe created in 2017, or you’re ready to actively join the movement starting in 2018, there are a few nitty gritty details it’s important to note before you take up with the inspiring masses. Behold:
Find your nearest march
Head to the Women’s March map to check out all the locally organized events. The map is interactive, so you can pinpoint the location that is closest to you, and it will direct you to the Facebook event for the local organizer.
Register for the event
Registering on Facebook may seem frivolous, but it’s actually really crucial for event organizers. The local chapters have put in tons of hard work to make sure their event is properly secured and they’re getting as accurate of a headcount as possible, so be sure to click “going” on the event page.
Likewise, if you end up not being able to go, switching your status to “not going” is a super helpful step for organizers.
Wake up early
There may be no better reason to set your Saturday morning alarm for 7 a.m. than helping to dismantle the patriarchy. Make sure cushion in enough time to make it to the event, which starts as early as 8:30 a.m. in cities like Los Angeles.
You’ll almost certainly need more time to get where you’re going than it normally takes, which brings us to our next point…
Get a transportation plan
While the crowds are expected to be somewhat smaller this year, it’s still important to have a plan. Consider whether driving is really the best idea (it probably isn’t), or whether you may be in walking distance of your local march. Other options include bicycles and ride sharing, but your best bet is probably public transportation. Just make sure you know how to get there and back, and with enough time.
Wear comfy shoes
This may sound obvious, but you’re going to be marching. A lot. Whether you’re rocking a sweet graphic tee or are donning a full-on patriarchy-destroying getup, keep the foot aches to a dull roar by wearing what’s commonly referred to as “sensible shoes.”
Find a march buddy and be familiar with your surroundings
Heads up: Based off of last year’s experience, there’s a chance your cellphone probably won’t get service in such a big crowd. And while it might not be that big of a deal that your Snapchats will have to wait for later, it could be a safety issue if you aren’t adequately prepared. Thus, it’s essential to ensure you have a friend with you and either one of both of you knows the area.
The day before, check out the exact meet-up location of your local anniversary event, and make sure you know the exact route to where you’re headed. Also, you can plan for where you’ll end your march, in case you and your friend get separated.
Bring a water bottle. Check out your local organizer’s FAQ on what to bring and what not to. But when it comes to the absolute essentials, this is one.
Whether it’s to keep anxiety about crowds at bay, or to keep from getting too hot, or to nourish your body, water while marching is a must. Take care of yourselves, bbs.
As the momentum of the Women’s March through 2017 has proven, this is effort is not a one-off. All organizer sites have links to register to vote, and again, this year’s initiative centers around getting as many people to vote in this year’s midterm elections as possible.
And of course, there are many other ways to stay engaged; peep these post-march to-do lists for starters.
Words: Eva GrantPhoto: