The Women’s March on Washington has inspired a grassroots movement of tens of thousands who will show their solidarity in sister marches held in cities across the country on January 21, the day after the inauguration of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
All 50 states and Puerto Rico are confirmed to have at least one grassroots-led march on that day, with more than 500,000 people expected to march across the U.S. and in 55 cities around the world.
For volunteer organizers of sister marches, what began with a simple Facebook posting in many cases has grown into a much bigger event for which organizers have taken on not just leadership responsibility, but potential liability consequences too.
Notwithstanding the rights of individuals to come together in peaceful protest, there’s the potential for claims for bodily injury or property damage in the event a march becomes less peaceful than expected.
What this means is that local volunteer organizers may want to explore their insurance options.
For example, many (but not all) municipalities require individuals or groups using public property to purchase liability insurance as part of the application process for a permit to hold an event.
This issue is already a hot topic in Phoenix, Arizona, where under state regulation, organizers of the sister march are required to secure some $2 million in liability insurance, per this AZCentral.com report.
A number of municipalities also offer tenant user liability programs (so-called TULIP programs) that enable organizers of certain public events on city property to more easily obtain event liability insurance.