Safety Information

This is my first March, how should I prepare?
Check out this VIDEO and GUIDE from Time Network for Basic Safety and Security Guidlines

What are we allowed to bring into the March?
Anything which can be weaponized should be left at home.  The National FAQ Page has a list of “What to Bring to the March.”  Please note the backpack restrictions on the National page.

The below are suggestions for essentials, but you should exercise your judgement to determine the essentials which fit your needs

Carry or Pack: Pack lightly and bring as little as possible, but also be prepared.

  • Carry essentials (ID, $25-40 cash, credit/debit card, pre-filled metro card) on your person. It is recommended to use a water-resistant pouch, neck wallet, or cross-body purse.
  • Cell phone (if you have a smartphone, download apps beforehand, such as: DC Metro app, flashlight, GPS, first aid, etc.). Consider bringing an external battery pack.
  • Paper map of the DC area
  • Rain poncho with hood (no umbrellas are allowed!)
  • Hand and foot warmers (ex: Hot Hands)
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks (ex: granola bars, energy bars)
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Emergency contact information
  • Medication (enough to last you 24 hours)
  • Travel-sized wet wipes and/or tissues
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Whistle
  • Sunglasses
  • Your business card or small notepad and pen. This is a great way to network with like-minded individuals and meet new friends!

What should we wear?
It will be January, so you can assume it will be cold. Wear warm clothing, but not too many layers to prevent feeling weighed down while walking or possibly overheating from the commotion.

Suggested Clothing: 

  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Turtleneck (or turtleneck insert for your sweater)
  • Thermal or silk long underwear, or leggings
  • Windproof warm hat
  • Scarf (wool or fleece recommended) or pashmina
  • Gloves (thermal-lined, and/or touch-screen gloves that will allow you to use your phone)
  • Warm socks (at least two pairs, and consider waterproof socks)
  • Balaclava (ski mask)
  • Coat that is insulated, comfortable, and waterproof (preferably with a hood)
  • Wear comfortable shoes! We will be walking and standing outside for a long period of time.

The above are suggestions, but you should exercise your best judgement for your comfort level.

What about cell phone service interruption from so much use in one area?
This is a known issue and risk of a large march.  Suggest to use Firechat app.  This app is fueled by bluetooth technology.  You do not need cell phone service or wifi to use.  The more phones on bluetooth, the strong the signal.  You can use this a form of communication to direct message your group or bus captains.

FireChat is an individual and group texting app that works on your phone yet doesn’t need phone data to function. You only need your wifi (even if it says there’s no wifi, keep it on) and Bluetooth turned on, and it uses that to create a mesh network, not a cellular network. FireChat doesn’t need cell service- full stop. It has been used successfully in disasters and protests around the world. The app has private messages and you can make public chatrooms- think of them like Twitter hashtags. It works on iPhone and Android and is free. You don’t need to use your real name to sign up, people don’t see your phone number when they interact with you- they just see the image you choose and your user name. You can make a private group so all the organizers can communicate privately and quickly.

1. Download the app to your phone or tablet. Add something to your username to emphasize that it’s your official account.
2. Encourage people to sign up. 
3. Make a private group message for all your organizers or for your travelling group

Will the National team have march etiquette information on the National site?
There will be specific safety information posted on the National site related to children’s areas, medical stations, etc. Resources for safety, march etiquette, and peaceful demonstrations can be found through other sources, such as ACLU or googling peaceful demonstrations, rights at demonstrations, etc.  Most important – stay positive during the March.  We are unified and making sure our voices are heard for the concerns closest to our hearts!

Will there be training for how to march?
National will have trainings immediately following the New Year and leading up to the march. It’s important to keep in mind that almost all marches are peaceful. The marshals will help keep us orderly and we will be supported by several law enforcement agencies.

Will there be security?
Yes!  There will be plenty of DC police in addition to security the National team is hiring to ensure the marchers are safe.  The security the National team is hiring will not be armed.  They will be observing for any potential missteps.  The lawyers guild will be present as observers as well.

The National Lawyers Guild will also be present and dressed in green berets and vests.  They are trained marchers and have experience with outside agitators and de-escalation.