Women's March on Washington could have more attendees than Donald Trump's inauguration


As the country awaits President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, thousands are preparing to converge at the nation's capital for the Women's March on Washington -- a rally shaping up to be one of the more historic events in recent U.S. history.

The rally's mission is one of unity, bound by the principles of ending violence, reproductive rights, worker's rights, civil rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice.

"The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights," the march's mission statement reads. "This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up."

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The Women's March is slated to take place one day after Trump's inauguration, on Saturday, Jan. 21. Marchers will gather at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Independence Avenue and 3rd Street SW in Washington D.C., and the day's events will include nationally recognized advocates, artists and entertainers.

In addition to honorary co-chairs Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte, America Ferrera, Chelsea Handler, Cher and Katy Perry are among those who have announced their participation in the march.

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A press release from the Women's March notes "hundreds of thousands of women and their families are expected join the march." As of Wednesday, 1,200 buses had applied for Jan. 21 parking permits at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. This figure is six times that for Inauguration Day requests, for which some 200 buses have requested permits.

The march's identity -- and that of its national committee -- is one of evolution and inclusion. New York fashion designer Bob Bland reportedly posted on Facebook about the idea of a march one day after Trump's election victory. When she noticed Hawaii retiree Teresa Shook had created a similar event, they joined forces.

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From there, though, Facebook comments on the event's page called for an inclusion of minority women on the march's leadership team. The national committee now includes Carmen Perez, Tamika D. Mallory and Linda Sarsour -- each a learned activist in her own right who brings a diverse perspective to the march.

As event day nears, reports have emerged of tension among march volunteers and participants -- fueled by contentious dialogues about race. One woman decided to cancel her trip to Washington for the March when a black activist from Brooklyn posted in the Facebook group encouraging "white allies" to "listen more and talk less."

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Interested participants who find themselves unable to hop a bus, train or plane down to Washington are not out of luck. The march's website lists 281 "sister marches" happening locally around the world.

Planned Parenthood, EMILY's List, Amnesty International, OXFAM, Girls Who Code and the Natural Resources Defense Council are among the extensive list of Women's March partners.