This Saturday, March 24, kids, families, and supporters of March For Our Lives will take to the streets in communities across the country to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in schools.
As many of you are already aware, the event was organized by student survivors of the mass shooting that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, FL — just five weeks ago. If that in itself isn’t incredible, impressive, and inspiring, I don’t know what is.
As I noted in this post, the courage and tenacity of these teenagers has galvanized me to get more involved. Not just personally, but through KFDC, too. So, as I get ready to march this weekend, I’m also sharing as much information as I can to help you prepare for the event as well. Details are still coming out, so I’ll keep updating this as I learn more. You can also view the DC March FAQ page for further information.
March for Our Lives – Logistics
Where: Pennsylvania Avenue, 3rd-12th Streets NW
When: Saturday, March 24, 12pm
Entrances will be at Pennsylvania Avenue & 12th Street NW, Constitution Avenue & 7th Street, NW, and Indiana Avenue & 7th Street NW.
Per the Destination DC website: According to a permit filed with the National Park Service, the march will include “student speakers, musical performers, guest speakers and video tributes,” and up to 500,000 people are expected to attend. If you are planning to go, RSVP here.
* There is a March for Our Lives app with some information, too.
* It has been confirmed that Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt will be performing together at the March. And if the artist list on the app is any indication of the entertainment line-up, then Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Common, Andra Day, and Vic Mensa will be there, too.
Rally for DC Lives
Before the March, join DC elected leaders, Moms Demand Action – DC, students from across the District, gun safety advocates, and concerned families in rallying against gun violence and calling on Congress to enact stronger laws to save lives. Meet up at Folger Park on Capitol Hill (401 3rd Street SE – Capitol South is closest Metro station) at 9am to hear from students and public officials about taking action to end gun violence before taking to the streets at 10am and marching together to the March for Our Lives main stage at 3rd and Pennsylvania, NW.
If you’re coming into DC for the March, your best mode of transport is Metro. And that will likely be crowded, so plan accordingly and give yourself enough time. I recommend buying a Metro or SmarTrip card in advance in case there are lines that day. The closest Metro stations to the March main area are Archives-Navy Memorial (Yellow/Green) and Judiciary Square (Red) and Federal Center (Blue/Orange Line). You could also ride to Union Station (Red), Gallery Place (Red/Yellow/Green), L-Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Yellow/Green), or Smithsonian (Blue/Orange) and walk a bit further. See more Metro advice here.
Lyft is offering free rides to the march. I imagine it will be hard to get one, but worth trying!
If you’re driving, consider using Parking Panda to reserve a space in advance. Even if it’s not in a nearby garage, you can always walk or Metro from there.
Street Closures & Parking Restrictions
Beginning at 7pm on March 22, Emergency No Parking will start being enforced on at least one road within the March area. Most other parking restrictions will go into effect at 3am on March 24. And from 3am – 6pm, traffic will not be allowed to travel along many roads. This WTOP article has details on all of the restrictions and closures.
While this march is organized by kids and is all about kids, there are some things to consider before bringing yours, especially very little ones. There will be a LOT of people and a LOT of standing. And there will be a focus on gun violence and recounts of scary moments, which could be heavy for young children. My kids, ages 9 and 12, will be joining me, but each parent knows their child best to judge what’s suitable for them.
*This Washington Post On Parenting article has some really good advice if you’re trying to decide if your children should attend.
*March for Our Lives has shared these great tips for parents and families attending the DC March.
Something to keep in mind: The National Mall and museums will be close by, so if you bring your kids, and it’s not going well, you can always escape to a place they enjoy.
Want to help out at the March? There are still volunteer opportunities available. Here are some organizations to check out:
* DC Ambassadors – Register and they will contact you about ways to help out. You must be able to attend volunteer training on March 22.
* March for Our Lives Lodging – Sign up to host marchers from outside the DC Metro area in your home.
* Moms Demand Action – DC – See their list of ways to support the March.
* William Penn House – Help out at the Comfort Station on East Capitol SE that will serve marchers as they walk to and from the event.
* Brady Campaign – No specific opportunities listed, but you can sign up to find out what you can do to help reduce gun violence.
Places nearby the March and the walking route between the event and RFK, where charter busses park, will serve as rest stops and welcome people in to warm up with coffee, refresh with water and snacks, use the bathroom, and give folks a break from the crowds. Here are some of them:
* St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill: 301 A Street SE
* William Penn House: 515 East Capitol Street SE
* DC Councilmember Offices, Wilson Building: 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
* Sixth & I ($5 Open House): 600 I Street NW
In a loud crowd of thousands of people, the best way to make your “voice” heard is with a sign. Banners and signs must be smaller than 20’ x 3’, and foldable or rollable banners and signs are encouraged.
You can make your own and come up with clever or simple ways of expressing your views. There are also websites offering free or cheap printables — if you want to go that route, check out some on Etsy, Refinery29, and AdAge.
* Shake Shack in Union Station is hosting a poster-making session on Friday, March 23, 3-5pm. Free poster supplies and Shackburgers(!) will be available during the event.
* At 10:30am on March 24, East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill will serve as a kids sign-making and meet-up base for those planning to join March For Our Lives in DC.
There is a list of items that you are NOT allowed to bring to the march, including items you might think would be allowed like bikes, balloons, and coolers. Be sure to check the list of prohibited items in this March For Our Lives FAQ section.
Along with your voices and signs, express your views through what you wear! T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and totes are available here on the March website.
You can also find merchandise on Amazon (and if you have Prime, there’s a good chance you’ll receive it in time without having to pay extra shipping costs).
If you want to get gear locally, there is a March for Our Lives Pop-Up Shop at 2349 18th Street NW in DC. Open daily 10am – 8pm. Proceeds benefit the March!
Panel Discussion with Student Journalists
On Friday, March 23, the Newseum is hosting a special program with student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. In the lead-up to the March for Our Lives on Saturday, the teens will recount their experiences witnessing and reporting on the February 14, 2018, shooting that killed 17 of their fellow students and teachers. Margaret Brennan, moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” will lead the discussion.
Want to support March for Our Lives and the movement to end gun violence? Contribute here.