If your inauguration Day plans include visiting the nation's capital to protest Donald Trump, there's a very good chance you might be out of luck. That's because the National Park Service -- which issues permits on federal property in Washington -- has not yet authorized any permits for demonstrations.

While some may be inclined to believe that the lack of permits is an attempt to squash the First Amendment rights of protest groups, the NPS claims that it is standard procedure. According to the Washington Post, the NPS doesn't approve permit requests until after the Presidential Inaugural Committee finalizes plans for the parade route and other inauguration-related events and activities.

Federal regulations set aside key locations, such as the entire National Mall and land surrounding the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, for use by the inaugural committee.

It is standard procedure for the National Park Service to apply for permits on behalf of the committee a year in advance. Unfortunately, if you happen to be a protest organizer, you may already be too late to do anything about it.

How the process works

Mike Litterst, an NPS spokesperson, explained to the Washington Post that the Park Service obtains the bulk of available permits on behalf of the inaugural committee, and then it is up to the committee to decide the number of permits that will be relinquished to the public.

This is the only way a demonstrator can obtain a permit, and since Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee is a private entity, it is solely up to Team Trump to determine the number of permits -- if any -- they wish to give out.

This traditional protocol has ruffled the feathers of several protest groups, whose members are still waiting to learn about the status of the permits for which they applied. People's Action applied November 14 for a permit to demonstrate on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

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The Women's March on Washington, planned for the day after the inauguration, has seen their social media accounts blow up with concerns from anti-Trump demonstrators, many of whom are planning to travel long distances in order to attend.

“What’s happening with the permit? Can you please update us! Will the date remain the same? Non-refundable airline tickets and hotels have us a bit nervous,” one potential protester posted to the group's Facebook page. Several others have voiced similar concerns.

Travel at your own risk

However, at least one of the event's organizers, Bob Bland, seemingly has no qualms about telling demonstrators to make their travel arrangements, book expensive hotel rooms, and purchase non-refundable airline tickets before a single permit has been handed out. “The march is happening,” said Bland, who urged supporters to "confidently" make travel arrangements now.

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