Thousands of women across the country have signed up to march down the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017
The march will go on.
Despite permit issues, organizers of the Women’s March on Washington tell PEOPLE that the event will go on as planned — with hundreds of women from across the country set to take to the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017 to promote the protection of women’s rights: “our safety, our health and our families.”
The confirmation comes after it was reported by local D.C. news outlet WTOP that the march could not be held at its first-choice starting location, the Lincoln Memorial, due to a permit issue with the National Park Service.
The group now tells PEOPLE in a statement that the march will still be held at a different, yet-to-be confirmed location. “I want to reassure you that we do have a permit application and have met with the permitting agencies,” the statement read. “While our early plans announced that we would be rallying at the Lincoln Memorial, those plans have changed and our updated rally site is another location in the city.”
“We will not be releasing that information at this time because we are still in the permitting process and do not want to create further confusion.”
Mike Litterst, a spokesman with the National Park Service, confirms the situation to PEOPLE, adding that the group’s Lincoln Memorial permit could not be approved “either because applications had previously been submitted from other events for those locations, or the site couldn’t accommodate the number of people they are expecting.”
However, he adds: “We are working with the organizers to find an alternate location that still allows them to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
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“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us,” the group’s Facebook page reads. “In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
Groups from nearly 50 states have started their own, local Facebook pages for the event, with each state organizing transportation to get to the event.