>> Follow along here for live updates from the Women’s March on Philadelphia
Despite calls to boycott Saturday’s Women’s March on Philadelphia due to concerns about the police presence, tens of thousands of people are expected to converge on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for the protest to mark the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration.
City officials have released details about parking restrictions, road closures, and entry points where bags are subject to search. That is a sticking point for some activists, who say conducting searches on marchers is “ostensibly stopping and frisking them.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson said that police vehicles will be stationed in the Parkway area beginning Saturday morning to prevent cars from driving toward the crowd and that metal barricades will be put up around the Parkway to help with crowd control — what he classified as standard measures at most large-scale events.
Wilson said rumors that police would have “security checkpoints” or that officers would be “stopping and frisking” attendees were not accurate. He said that officers would keep an eye out for anyone carrying prohibited items, such as weapons or drugs, but that there was no plan to conduct mass screening or searching of attendees.
“We’re not frisking people,” he said. “We’re not infringing on anyone’s First Amendment rights in any way.”
Participants will begin assembling around Logan Square about 8 a.m. Anyone who wants to enter that assembly area can do so at the following locations:
- 18th Street and the Parkway
- 20th and Race Streets
- 20th and Vine Streets
The march will start around 11 a.m. at 20th and the Parkway and proceed to Eakins Oval for a rally with speakers and performers from noon to 3 p.m. Anyone who wants to attend only the rally portion can access Eakins Oval and the Parkway at the following locations:
- 22nd Street and the Parkway (north and south sides)
- Pennsylvania Avenue and Spring Garden Street
- 25th Street and Kelly Drive
- Eakins Oval, south side, near 24th Street
The city says the following items will not be allowed into the march area:
- Weapons and contraband of any kind (regardless of permitting, e.g. right-to-carry permits will not be honored and weapons will be confiscated)
- Fireworks or explosives
- Illegal or illicit substances of any kind
- Skateboards, motorized vehicles, or scooters (excluding motorized wheelchairs or similar equipment)
- Laser pointers
- Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and drones of any kind
Attendees are “strongly discouraged” from carrying bags of any kind, as all bags are subject to search.
The following streets will be closed starting from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday:
- The Parkway between 18th and 20th (including Logan Circle)
- 19th Street between Race and Vine
- Race between 20th and Logan Circle
- 20th between Arch and Callowhill Street
- The Parkway between 20th and Eakins Oval
- 21st Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter Street
- 22nd between Pennsylvania Avenue and Race
- 23rd Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Parkway
- Spring Garden between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Parkway
- 2000 block of Winter
- Kelly Drive outbound from the Parkway to Fairmount Avenue
- Martin Luther King Drive between Eakins Oval and Montgomery Drive
- Spring Garden Street Bridge at 31st Street (local access will be maintained to Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive)
In addition, eastbound traffic on Kelly Drive must exit at Fairmount Avenue starting at 5 a.m. Saturday. Streets will be reopened gradually as the march progresses on the Parkway. It’s expected that portions of Logan Circle and 20th Street will be reopened before 6 p.m.
The following streets will be designated “no parking” zones from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday:
- The Parkway from 16th to 20th
- 20th from Race Street to the Parkway
- 19th from Cherry Street to Vine
- 18th from Arch to Vine
- 17th Street from Race to Arch
- 1600 block of Cherry
- The Parkway from 20th to Eakins Oval
- 21st between Pennsylvania Avenue and Race
- 22nd between Pennsylvania Avenue and Winter
- 2100 and 2200 blocks of Spring Garden (north side)
- 2000 block of Wintert
- 1400 to 1500 blocks of John F. Kennedy Boulevard (north side)
Vehicles parked in these locations during posted hours will be relocated.
SEPTA bus Routes 7, 32, 33, 38, 43 and 48 will be detoured around the Parkway area from about 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Detours will be posted here.