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Charm City marches with Washington

Following the inauguration of President Trump, the streets of cities across the nation and the world were flooded by pink knitted hats, posters and signs. Though the epicenter of these demonstrations was in Washington D.C., over 5,000 people participated in a march in Baltimore.

The Women’s March on Washington spawned a movement that transcended all kinds of borders (even those President Trump aims to reinforce). The protests called for action and justice concerning women’s rights, immigration, racism, disability rights, medical care, LGBTQIA rights and much more.

Almost as soon as the march at the nation’s capital began to take form over social media, sister marches entered their own planning stages, from New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago to many more. London, Berlin, Edinburgh, Mexico City and other cities broadened the protests to a global scale.

In the end, over 500,000 people were estimated to be present in Washington, D.C. However, hundreds of thousands joined in on the demonstrations from over 600 cities across the world, in what many are calling the largest collaborative demonstration in history.

Because of the city’s proximity to Washington, throngs of Baltimoreans flocked to the capital, crowding into buses and trains in unprecedented numbers. According to the Maryland Transit Association, MARC Train more than doubled in capacity in preparation, with additional cars and a reserve train set.

The way back from Washington was also quite crowded– by the evening of Jan. 21, MTA estimated that over 11,000 passengers had been transported from Union Station back to Baltimore.

Though many Marylanders made their way to D.C., some made their voices heard right at home, whether by choice or otherwise. Some found that trains and buses had sold out, while others preferred to represent their hometown.

“I just couldn’t get to D.C., there was no way. It was too crazy. But I couldn’t sit at home twiddling my thumbs either, so if I have to shout, I can shout just as loud right here at home,” said Rose DeWitt, a waitress and Baltimore native.

The sister march in Baltimore was expected to be a much more subdued affair compared to the massive showing estimated in DC. Organizers expected around 200 people to show up for a rally outside Johns Hopkins University. However, as Jan. 21 approached, numbers seemed to jump.

“I noticed that the RSVP numbers were going way up Wednesday. It was like 200 people. [Then] there were 900 people on Facebook that said they were going” said Kennifer Bergantz in a statement to WBAL TV.

In the end, an estimated 5,000 people flocked to the Johns Hopkins statue to protest. The event counted with Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby and former state Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell as speakers, as well as several others.

“I’m here for me. I’m here for my daughter. I’m here for her wife. I’m here for my granddaughter; I’m here for all of us” said Shanice Williams, a rainbow flag draped over her shoulders.

Protesters also gathered in large numbers elsewhere in Maryland. About 5,000 people marched in Charles Village; in Frederick, over 1,000 demonstrators marched the historic downtown; hundreds more marched in Ocean City and Annapolis.

In total, over three million people participated in the Women’s March and its sister marches across the country.