On Saturday, New York City will host its offshoot of the national March For Our Lives rally demanding gun law reform. It's expected to be huge — with possibly tens of thousands of attendees — so you'll want to be prepared. Here's what you need to know, including where the NYC March For Our Lives route starts, what to bring, and what else to expect.
The march will begin about a dozen blocks above Columbus Circle on the border of Central Park, where West 72nd Street meets Central Park West (the lower blue marker on the map below). The 72nd Street stop on the B/C subway line will take you right there, but the 72nd Street 1/2/3 stop will also get you close.
If you arrive late, the New York Police Department (NYPD) may have moved the entrance further north to accommodate the crowds. The backup entrance will be at West 79th Street (the higher blue marker on the map). The 81st Street B/C stop will be your best bet in this case, or else the 79th Street 1 station.
From there, the march will move south along the park and into Midtown. It will follow Central Park West, then move onto Central Park South and head south on 6th Avenue. When it reaches 43rd Street, the march will finish and disperse. The event organizers posted these route details, which they designed with the help of the NYPD, on their Facebook event page. As of Thursday afternoon, the event had 14,000 "yes" RSVPs and another 26,000 who are "interested."
The march begins at 12 p.m. EST, but you'll want to arrive much earlier than that. Beforehand there will be an 11 a.m. rally featuring an array of speakers, including a Parkland shooting survivor. You'll likely miss parts of that if you try to arrive on the dot: Moving around the area will be difficult with the massive crowd. The march organizers recommend that you aim to arrive at 10 a.m., which is when the gates will open at West 72nd Street and Central Park West.
"School safety is not a political issue," the organizers wrote on Facebook.
There cannot be two sides to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and growing. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues.
The march "expects to draw thousands," amNewYork reports. If it draws a fraction of the number of people who walked out of school on March 14, it will still be impressive. An estimated 100,000 New York City students left school that day; some of them formed impromptu marches as well, shouting things like "We need more social workers and counselors in all schools!" and holding signs with inscriptions like, "How many more?"
Everytown recommends that you bring water and sunscreen to the event (and reminds you that you can get sunburns in the winter, too). The march organizers note that certain items will not be allowed for safety reasons, including large bags and signs that are made of metal or wood. If you bring any plastic bags, they should be transparent.
You won't be able to leave and come back into the rally space once you've entered. That means that you should definitely use the bathroom first, because there won't be any restroom facilities. The Weather Channel does not predict precipitation for Saturday and expects the temperature to be in the high 40s.