The Top 10 Places To Protest In DC

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It has been said that Washington, DC is now the capital of political dissent. There have been scores of marches and political demonstrations since ‘45 was inaugurated. If you are organizing a political event, you may be asking yourself: where do I stage my event?

Of course, the where should be influenced by what it is you are protesting. A DC Middle School might be a dull place on most days, but if Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is heading there, then it becomes the ideal place to protest her cabinet position. Context is always key, but for those of you that are having “activist’s block,” here is a list of go-to locations for your peaceful protests:

 

Source: CNN; 410 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Source: CNN; 410 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

10. The National Rifle Association DC Lobbying Office

410 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

You would be hard-pressed to find a lobbying group that has had more of an impact on the political discourse than the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA has donated millions to both Republican and Democratic candidates. It gave over $20 million to political candidates in 2016 alone to build a wall, if you will, against the passage and implementation of any gun control legislation.

Whether you want to protest the latest act of gun violence or the culture of intense political partisanship this organization helped build on the right, the NRA’s Capitol Hill lobbying office offers the perfect place to stage it (pro tip: the entrance is under the green awning in the alleyway, under the number "410" -- not in the office building next door).  

 

Source: USA Today; 210 A St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Source: USA Today; 210 A St NE, Washington, DC 20002

9. The Breitbart “Embassy”

210 A St NE, Washington, DC 20002

The far-right propaganda outlet Breitbart “news” has had a profound impact on our political discourse. The former executive chair of the organization, Steve Bannon, had a large amount of input on Donald Trump’s messaging during his 2016 campaign, and has since been appointed 45’s Chief Strategist.

Located in Capitol Hill, Breitbart’s DC headquarters have been nicknamed “The Breitbart Embassy” because they are a constant hotbed for conservative gatherings, including a lavish after-party for the Conservative Political Action Committee’s annual conference.

 

Source: Cleveland Business; 310 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Source: Cleveland Business; 310 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

8. Republican National Committee

310 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is the political organization that provides national leadership for the Republican Party. This organization sets the GOP’s platform - i.e. the stuff it purports to care about - and also provides electoral and fundraising support to republican candidates running for office. They are as close as you are going to get to the symbolic head of the Republican party.

 

Source: WERK for Peace; 217 C St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Source: WERK for Peace; 217 C St NE, Washington, DC 20002

7. Mitch McConnell's House

217 C St NE, Washington, DC 20002

He’s the Senate Majority leader, and he lives a stone’s throw from the Senate Office Buildings (and the Capitol building itself). With a solid majority in both houses of Congress, chances are this guy is going to be trying to pass some legislation you do not agree with.

His wife, Elaine Chao, is also Secretary of Transportation, so plenty to protest all around.

Why not tell them how you really feel in person? Protest outside their million dollar home and stuff their mailbox with angry protest letters and glitter. Because you can never have enough glitter.

 

Source: The Atlantic; 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Source: The Atlantic; 1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

6. Trump International Hotel

1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

The Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC has already been mired in controversy. Were ambassadors attempting to curry favor by staying there? Did Sean Hannity really spend $42,000 on food service at one of its restaurants?

Located in downtown DC, the Trump International Hotel is a symbol of ‘45’s presidency. It epitomizes his brand as well as his refusal to create a firm separation between his business interests and his privileged position as President.

 

CNN: 1 Observatory Cir NW, Washington, DC 20008

CNN: 1 Observatory Cir NW, Washington, DC 20008

5. Mike Pence’s House

1 Observatory Cir NW, Washington, DC 20008

Mike Pence is a whole ‘nother type of awful. While Donald Trump is how Ayn Rand’s Francisco d'Anconia would actually behave if given enough power, Mike Pence is more in the realm of Commander Fred in the Handmaid’s Tale. He embodies the worst aspects of Christian Fundamentalism. He won’t talk to any other women 1:1 besides his wife, unless she, herself, is present, and hates the LGBTQ+ community with an ignorant passion.

If you want to take a stand against the Future Commander in Chief of Gilead (that’s the country in Handmaid’s tale -- why have you not read the book?), then might I suggest staging a protest outside his lovely residence located near the Naval Observatory. It’s a hike, but the view of fire and brimstone is to die for...literally.

 

Source: The Washingtonian; 2449 Tracy Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008

Source: The Washingtonian; 2449 Tracy Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008

4.  Ivanka Trump’s House

2449 Tracy Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008

Ivanka Trump is like that person you went to high school with, who says she’s going to stop her crazy, maniacal father from dismantling the country, but really just wants to promote her clothing line. She has been labeled by many outlets as a moderating influence on her father, despite there being no evidence to suggest this.

Ivanka has chosen to live in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood. Send a signal that her complicitness is not okay by protesting outside her fancy townhouse.

 

Source: The NY Times; 1233 Longworth Hob, Washington, DC 20515

Source: The NY Times; 1233 Longworth Hob, Washington, DC 20515

3.  Paul Ryan’s Office

1233 Longworth Hob, Washington, DC 20515

House Speaker Paul Ryan has been portrayed as the wonkish numbers guru of the GOP establishment. Despite no significant legislation passing during his tenure as Speaker, and the nonsensicality of the legislation he’s tried to pass, this image has more or less persisted.

His office is the perfect place to stage a sit-in or a human blockade. In the early days of his career, he slept there, and is rumored to still do so from time to time.

 

Source: NPR; East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

Source: NPR; East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

2. The Steps of The Capitol

East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004

The image of assembling outside the Capitol steps is meme-worthy in of itself. Whether you are launching a weeklong protest against the Republican Party's attempt to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or fighting to preserve social security, a protest here tells legislators that you are watching them.

 

Source: MY Daily News; 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

Source: MY Daily News; 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

1. In Front of The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500

You can’t beat a classic. The White House is currently the symbol of Trump’s Presidency. If you manage to stuff Lafayette Square with protesters, the optics can be awe-inspiring -- just mind the barricades. They seem to take their time taking them down nowadays. Wonder why.

 

Note that if your protest will include 25 or more people, and especially if it’s anywhere near the National Mall, or any land operated by the National Park Service, you may want to consider getting a permit for you protest -- it’s not as hard as you might think, and helps you with things like closing roads if you’re planning a particularly large protest, like the Women’s March and the Climate March (both of which were permitted). Check out this guide from the Washington Peace Center for more info: http://www.washingtonpeacecenter.org/permitprocess

If you are still searching for a place to protest, check out our ever-evolving list of potential protest sites using our specially-curated ConSpot DC Protest Site Map, below. And, as always: give a damn and get sh*t done!