Important Information for Everyone Attending WMW

womens-march-branding_final_typeonlyDue to Security Considerations – D.C. Area Law Enforcement has enacted the Following Policy for the Women’s March on Washington

Please note all bags may be subject to search.

Backpacks are not permitted.

Bags should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.

Specifically for people who would like to bring meals, each marcher is permitted one additional 12”x12”x6” plastic or gallon bag.

For marchers who have medical needs or for mothers who need baby bags or breast pumps, one clear bag or backpack no larger than 17″x12″x6″ will be permitted and subject to search (colored transparent bags are not permitted).

Click here for an example of a clear backpack that can be purchased online.

Click here for an example of a clear tote bag that can be purchased online.

Do not bring anything that can be construed as a weapon, including signage with any kind of handle (e.g. a sharpened wooden stick).

We recommend also checking with your bus company if your bus will be secured during the march and if you can leave larger belongings in the bus, rather than carrying them all day.

We will continue to post updates as they become available. We look forward to marching with you in D.C.!

96 thoughts on “Important Information for Everyone Attending WMW

  1. Where is the source for this release? I am tring to confirm it before releasing it in my area but cannot find it any where. Your gelp would be appreciated. Thanks

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    • Jennifer, The policy was taken word for word from a message in writing from our national organizers this week. They asked the state organizers to disseminate it to marchers to their respective states.

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    • Margaret, canes and other equipment is permitted for those who depend on them to walk, etc. Able bodied people are strongly discouraged from using walking sticks. Anything that can be construed as a weapon by law enforcement may be confiscated.

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    • The policy was taken word for word from a message in writing from our national organizers this week. They asked the state organizers to disseminate it to marchers to their respective states.

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  2. Does anyone know if you can bring a cane seat – looks like an umbrella but has a place to sit. As a mature marcher, I was hoping to bring mine for the time at the rally.

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    • Hi Jeannette, What was listed is what was sent out word for word from our national logistics team. As a mature marcher, I understand your concerns. It is your choice to bring that, but we can’t promise it won’t be confiscated.

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      • New updates yesterday allow for cane seats but not chairs. YAY!! The FAQ page on the official website is being updated daily and might be a good idea to check everyday until the day of the march. See you there!!! http://www.womensmarch.com

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      • Thank you for the info. We are getting into daily. As we all work FT, have families, and volunteering for this march is like a second FT job – please understand we’re working as best we can with the information provided to us. We will update the site. Thanks again

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  3. So, do we know where/when searches might happen? I mean, people who are just IN Washington that day will have their normal bags and/or opaque backpacks. Previous marches I’ve been to have tended to bleed off the route an onto sidewalks/side streets, the line between protester and random person sort of blurring. How is this at all enforceable?

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    • Hi Deana, I understand your concerns and you bring up great points. This is the directive word for word from our national office that we are asked to disseminate to marchers in PA. At this point, no mention of official security check points, but law enforcement is requesting marchers be mindful of the policy. What happens to your bag is up to law enforcement.

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      • This ridiculous. I’ve lived in DC for 20 years and have been to countless protests or marches. I’ve never heard of such restrictions. This nation of cowards truly is afraid of women.

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    • Hi Mary Jo,
      For marchers who have medical needs or for mothers who need baby bags or breast pumps, one clear bag or backpack no larger than 17″x12″x6″ will be permitted and subject to search (colored transparent bags are not permitted). The backpack example in the link fits this size. The tote bag was another example we were given. I didn’t measure the dimensions.
      For everyone else: Bags should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.
      all bags must be clear no matter what category you fit and they are subject to search.

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      • Hi Chrissy, Your question is valid and understandable. This is word for word the directive we received from the national logistics team and we were asked to disseminate it to PA marchers. Essentially – you are welcome to take whatever you want, but it all is subject to search and may be confiscated if it doesn’t fit into the specs provided. We will provide more clarifications if possible when additional information is made available to us.

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      • I received clarity today that the small bags can be something like a purse and do not have to be clear but must fit the dimensions. No word of security check points but everything is subject to search by law enforcement.

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  4. I have 4 buses of people traveling to the March and need to get information to all of them. I just heard (this is the echo chamber…no way of verifying and can’t find a source to validate) that every Marcher must register online otherwise they will not be allowed to march. Is this true?

    While it seems absolutely ridiculous and an unheard o provision for any marches I have witnessed, the fact that one cannot carry a small dayback, or the suggestion that the only bag one may wear, MUST be transparent??? This is beyond normal restrictions. It almost feels like they are rounding us up and getting us ready for the kill. It is very scary.

    Additionally – no march route has been determined? no rally point?

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    • I would say the backpack or bag precaution is due to the terrorist threat out there everyday in the US..somewhat sad but understandable

      John

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    • Hi Carol! Maybe I can help a bit. The rally point in D.C. is at the start of the march – Independence Ave. and SW 3rd Ave. For security reasons, the exact route is being kept under wraps until a day or two before the march. Rumor has it that it will go down Indepence Ave. to 15th, ending near the Ellipse. Around 2 miles. You are allowed to carry a 8″x6″x4″ bag – like a small purse. You can also carry up to a 12″x12″x6″ clear bag. There are many options on Amazon and on the Walmart website.(often called “stadium bags”). They are inexpensive. I feel that the best response is to be as cooperative as possible and to trust the DC police, Homeland Security and everyone who is looking out for our safety.

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    • It says you can carry one bag 8x6x4 and then one plastic bag for food and drink. I would assume the 8x6x4 doesn’t have to be transparent, but all bags are subject to search.

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      • I did get clarity on the same bags this morning. the 8x6x4 bag would be a purse or something of that sort. Yes all bags subject to search. No word right now of any official security checking points

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    • Don’t be a doom sayer. It’s perfectly reasonable in this day and age to have to reduce any potential for threat to both marchers and enforcement officers. Clear bags have been required on airplanes for years.

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    • Carol, the online registration is encouraged out of courtesy to the national organizers so they can plan effectively with resources such as porta potties. If your people don’t register online – so be it. They don’t need a ticket to attend.
      The small bag referenced in the restrictions above may be something like a purse and doesn’t have to be transparent – according to the clarification I received this morning. However, we are still being told that clear backpacks are only permitted for those who need equipment that is medically necessary or mothers with children. Essentially you can bring whatever you want. There is no security checkpoint. That being said – everything is subject to search and confiscation. It is your call. But if you don’t follow the policy, don’t be surprised if it gets taken away.

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      • What is the situation regarding porta potties? I haven’t seen any information about bathrooms, and judging by my calendar, my monthly cycle may coincide with this and I will absolutely need to be able to get to a bathroom every few hours or I won’t be able to attend. What do we know about bathroom availability?

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  5. So….is it looking like ALL bags even within the size requirement still need to be clear plastic see-thru? and how EXACT do the mesurements need to be? like if a clear bag is 8.75×8.75×4 – will that pass or will the bag police be there with their measuring tapes!!?? I just don’t want to get there and not pass because of my bag or be left with having to toss bag and everything in order to get on with the march!? Thanks, Maria

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    • Hi Maria – thanks for asking. I received clarification that the small bags can be something like a purse or cross body bag and do not have to be transparent. However it must fit the dimensions. All bags are subject to be searched. However, there are no security checkpoints that we are aware of.

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    • I received clarification that the small bags can be something like a purse or cross body bag and do not have to be transparent. However it must fit the dimensions. All bags are subject to be searched. However, there are no security checkpoints that we are aware of.

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  6. Can we bring a backpack if it fits the 12x12x6 and is clear? I’m concerned about being on my feet all day and the weight distribution of a cross-body.

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    • HI Kathleen, The small bag referenced in the restrictions above may be something like a purse or cross body bag and doesn’t have to be transparent – according to the clarification I received this morning. However, we are still being told that clear backpacks are only permitted for those who need equipment that is medically necessary or mothers with children. Essentially you can bring whatever you want. There is no security checkpoint. That being said – everything is subject to search and confiscation. It is your call. But if you don’t follow the policy, don’t be surprised if it gets taken away.

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    • Anything that can be construed as a weapon is subject to confiscation. Essentially you can bring whatever you want. There are no security check points. But if it does not fit into the policy listed above, don’t be surprised if law enforcement takes it away.

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  7. I agree that these restrictions seem to be really outlandish. So if someone is just walking down the street that the march is on, their possessions might be confiscated?? What have we become?? I am not purchasing a clear backpack!!!

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  8. I’ve participated in other D.C. marches and not encountered this type of requirement. I’ll definitely comply, but am wondering if anyone is looking into the legality of these demands.

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  9. I had assumed by the instructions above that an 8x6x4 bag was a small purse. Why does something so tiny have to be transparent? This is very confusing. I was at the 2013 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and there were no restrictions at all on what we could carry. Everyone had backpacks and/or purses. Donna

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    • Yes you are correct. The small bag is a purse or cross body bag but it must fit the dimensions. We received clarity on that this morning. The PA chapter didn’t make the rules. The national organizers received this policy from law enforcement and asked us to pass it on. It is word for word what was given to us this week. Your points are valid – but please also keep in mind that we live in a much different world that 1963.

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      • If they are slightly larger than the dimensions, I don’t know if anyone will be bringing out a measuring tape. There are no security checkpoints that we are aware of currently. Just be aware of the policy that was handed down by national to us in writing and directed by law enforcement.

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  10. One more thing; all this info is available on the official women’s march website. Go to the website, use the pull down menu in the upper right corner of the home page, click on FAQ (near the bottom of the menu); when you bring up the FAQ page, scroll down to “restrictions” – after that, scroll down more (quite a bit more) to “what to bring”. With that, you will have it “straight from the horse’S mouth”. As far as registering, they really need a head count for security and facilities needs (like portapotties). You can still attend if you don’t register but it is to our benefit to register. There is a link (big box) on the homepage of the website. Safe travels! See you there!

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    • Hi – registering is encouraged to help the organizers know how to plan effectively with resources. It is not necessary in that you would need a ticket. They are asking for registration out of a courtesy. Thanks

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  11. Please find clarification regarding the bag issue. Is the “clear” “Transparent ” requirement for the smaller bag as well? I see others are expressing this concern. We need to keep our phones, chargers, water, power bars, Kleenex, wipes, hand warmers SOMEWHERE!!

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    • Hi Jessie, we got clarification this morning that the small bag does not have to be clear – but all bags are subject to search. PA Chapter didn’t make the policy. Passing along the message from our national organizers who asked us to disseminate to PA marchers.

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  12. “At this point, no mention of official security check points, but law enforcement is requesting marchers be mindful of the policy. What happens to your bag is up to law enforcement.” I’m confused: this is not a sporting or other event held in a private arena, this is an open, public march which will take place in the streets. How can there be security checkpoints of any kind? Or demands for “registration?” I can’t imagine any way of enforcing any of these restrictions, which don’t seem legal. I find no information about security restrictions on the official website. Anyone know more? Thank you.

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  13. Here’s the list of not-permitted items from the official Women’s March Site https://www.womensmarch.com/faq. Note there is no mention of see-through bags.
    Aerosols, Ammunition, Animals other than helper/guide dogs, Backpacks, Bags exceeding size restrictions (8″x6″x4″), Bicycles (restricted in the rally and march areas), Balloons, Coolers, Explosives, Firearms, Glass or thermal containers, Laser pointers, Mace / Pepper spray, Packages, Structures (tents, chairs other than wheelchairs or mobility supports, etc.), Wooden supports for signs and placards, Weapons of any kind, Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards

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    • No sticks. If you can injure someone with what is attached to the sign – it may be deemed a weapon. PA Chapter didn’t make the policy. Passing along the message from our national organizers who asked us to disseminate to PA marchers.

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  14. Ridiculous restrictions! I have been to more than a dozen marches in the past 50 years, and there has never been restrictions on the type of bag we carry. Protest marches are historically peaceful protests – anti-war – anti-racism – etc. Suddenly we might be killers?

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      • How many more rights are you willing to let go of? We have a right to peacefully assemble. We have a right to use umbrellas in the rain and carry our every day bags. We should not cower to even this kind of nonsense, a.k.a. tyranny.

        We are here. We are peaceful. In DC, they have always been used to that. Do not give away our basic rights please, organizers, please. Please!

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      • Thank you so much. You’ve been wonderful and informative. I have sent my concerns to the organizers.

        Onwards! Eve

        >

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  15. If I use cardboard fabric tubing for sign handles, would this be okay, as cardboard cannot be construed as a weapon – or does ‘including signage with any kind of handle’ mean that any signage with a handle is not allowed rather than signage with a handle that can be construed as a weapon?

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    • I think the cardboard fabric tubing or wrapping paper tube is a great compromise.
      However, keep in mind, the world being what it is, that it could be viewed as weapon-y. So, rig it to disassemble easily so you can retain your sign

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  16. I attended a march on Washington against the Vietnam War. Nixon had buses all around the White House to protect himself. On the return to NYC when our bus stopped at a gas station in NJ they refused to give us gas.

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  17. The linked tote bag is 1) unavailable and 2) not the correct dimensions – it is 12 x 12 x 6. I have never seen a tote bag as small as 8 x 6 x 4. These guidelines are overly restrictive and ridiculous.

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  18. It seems more and more like a police state & the powers that be want us all to be shaken in our boots & stay home. I will try to follow the guidelines provided but refuse to be intimidated.

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      • How many more rights are you willing to let go of? We have a right to peacefully assemble. We have a right to use umbrellas in the rain and carry our every day bags. We should not cower to even this kind of nonsense, a.k.a. tyranny.

        We are here. We are peaceful. In DC, they have always been used to that. Do not give away our basic rights please, organizers, please. Please!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. May I suggest wearing coats or parkas with lots of pockets and pouches? Pockets inside the coat for your wallet and car keys. We can get around their rules which are BS as far as I’m concerned. My camera is larger than the measurements and no on is taking that away from me.

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  20. Thank you for all the information. I’m a videograper. I have a small, hand held camcorder I’d like to use to record at the march. Will that be okay to bring? I figure I’d at least have to bring it without the camera bag – for certain.

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  21. Just want to thank whoever is responding on behalf of WomensMarch. You are being very clear, and very patient, with all of our questions and concerns ;->.

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  22. Maybe I missed it- are reusable bottles allowed? I think it’s important for everyone to be hydrated on their feet for several hours but what a waste if everyone has to carry plastic water bottles.

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      • I’m going to carry my stainless Kanteen. If a security person sees me take it from the clear bag and drink from it, I think that would reduce any suspicion of how dangerous the fluid may be. If it were taken, I figure I can get a new one for what a handful of purchased bottles of water will cost. Hard for me to believe they will make beverage containers and issue.

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  23. I will be there in dual capacity — both in solidarity with the marchers, and as a freelance photographer documenting the event. I travel with several camera lenses — will a modest size camera bag be allowed? approx. 18″x12″x12″

    If not, is it possible to obtain press credentials at this point?

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  24. Wow! Kudos for the clear and concise information! It’s clear to me, unfortunately we live in these times where these measures are deemed necessary! I think I can survive with my small cross body purse and pockets! Stay focused on the bigger agenda and purpose! I’m 62 and know it’s going to be a challenging day, I have herniated discs in my back and severe osteoarthritis in my knee, but it’s well worth the discomfort!!

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    • We have no information either way about cameras, just the bags. Use your best judgement as far as hydration belt/fanny pack. The policy is laid out. We didn’t make the rules. Passing it along as directed by law enforcement. Proceed with that information.

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