Activists will be limited in where they can demonstrate
Activists planning the “Women’s March on Washington” and those protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump won’t be able to do so near some of DC’s most iconic monuments, a National Park Service official said.
The government agency filed documents on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee to secure large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities.
That means activists who were hoping to hold demonstrations at iconic places like the Lincoln Memorial, where many marches have been held, likely won’t be able to do so.
The National Park Service requests permits for the inauguration a year in advance of the event, said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the agency.
While the agency has not issued any permits yet, Litterst said activists will likely not get permits for the locations that are already under application.
“Rather than denying permits, what we are doing with the women’s march is we’re working with the organizers to find a suitable alternative,” he said.
One of the most high-profile planned events - “Women’s March on Washington” - was not announced until November after Trump was elected. Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in the march on January 21, the day after the inauguration.
“What we are doing with the Women’s March is we’re working with the organizers to find suitable alternatives,” Litterst said.
The “Women’s March on Washington” was been approved by an interagency task force on Friday, according to the organizers. People will be able to gather at the intersection of Independence Ave and Third Ave SW, near the U.S. Capitol, at 10:00 am on January 21, 2017.
Fontaine Pearson, one of the march’s organizers, has previously said that the march is not a protest against Trump but aims to highlight women’s issues, including sexual assault and workplace discrimination.
“We’re strong, but this has been a very difficult election for a lot of women,” Pearson told CNN.
This story has been updated.