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The Washington Women’s March is too big to actually march

Protesters in Washington, D.C.
Protesters in Washington, D.C. (JOHN TAGGART/EPA)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive turnout at the Women’s March on Washington has forced a change of plans. With the entire planned route filled with hundreds of thousands of protesters, organizers can’t lead a formal march toward the White House.

That’s according to a District of Columbia official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official isn’t authorized to speak for the march.

The official says that shortly before 1 p.m., people were standing along the entire march route.

While there will be no formal march led from the protest stage near the Capitol, the crowd is still expected to move toward the Ellipse, an area of the National Mall in front of the White House.

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Similar size issues are affecting other marches:

So many people have turned out for the Women’s March in Chicago that organizers have cancelled their plans to march through the city’s downtown.

Instead, they'll extend the ongoing rally on the city’s lakefront.

The official says there could be more than half a million people on the Mall, but it’s difficult to estimate because low cloud cover is making aerial photographs impossible.