The fourth annual Women’s March on Washington will take to the streets Saturday amid near-freezing temperatures and a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain that could put a damper on the protest’s turnout.
Instead of a single sleekly produced rally, the Women’s March launched a week-long program that includes a story slam, brunch with drag queens and civil disobedience training for activists.
Saturday’s march will be the largest event of the week, although a permit issued by the National Park Service last week indicated that organizers are expecting 3,000 to 10,000 participants — a marked decline from recent years.
As of Wednesday, about 5,400 people had indicated on Facebook they will attend.
D.C. police will close streets around the White House, the Ellipse and Lafayette Square beginning about 9:30 a.m. Saturday until roughly 4 p.m., officials said.
Roads inside the perimeter of 14th to 18th streets and I Street and Constitution Avenue in Northwest Washington will be closed to vehicles. The closures down 17th Street NW and 15th Street NW will extend to Independence Avenue SW and Madison Drive NW, respectively.
Parking access will be suspended in that area and along Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from the White House to 12th Street, on 13th Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street, and on E Street NW between 14th and 13th streets.
The march, which is scheduled to begin assembling at Freedom Plaza about 10 a.m., will begin its procession toward the White House about 11:30 a.m., according to the group’s Park Service permit.
There will be no stage or formalized rally, but the demonstration will begin with a video featuring several Women’s March board members reading the articles of impeachment against President Trump that House Democrats delivered Wednesday to the Senate.
“If what brings you to the march is being antiwar or the desire for impeachment or a really deep belief that women should have control of their bodies, that’s all what we’re mobilizing around,” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, chief operating officer of the Women’s March.
Organizers also will review a dance routine that participants will perform in front of the White House while singing along to the international protest anthem “Un violador en tu camino” (“A Rapist in Your Path”).
The Women’s March will be joined by Chilean collective Las Tesis, which created and popularized the song as a means to denounce gender-based violence. It has been performed by groups of women around the world — most recently in front of the courthouse where film producer Harvey Weinstein is being tried on charges of sexual assault.