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Carroll CAN bringing Women's March to Westminster

Carroll CAN bringing Women's March to Westminster
Anne Stoner of Hampstead holds up her "Educators need Training" sign during the Women's March on Washington in 2017. One year later, Carroll CAN has organized a Women’s March set for Sunday, Jan. 21 in Westminster. (Nick Thomas/For the Carroll County Times)

One year after about 500,000 people marched on the nation’s capital, with sister marches held throughout the country in more than 600 cities, Carroll countians will take to the streets for the first Carroll County Women’s March.

The event, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, will begin at 42 W. Main St. in Westminster, continue to 233 E. Main St., and return to 42 W. Main St. It was organized by the local grassroots, progressive organization Carroll Community Action Network, or Carroll CAN.

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Raquel Walsh, the leader of Carroll CAN, said although a number of people from Carroll CAN attended the Women’s March on Washington, they felt like it was important to hold a local march this year.

“[A local march can] bring a progressive voice and a voice for women’s rights and equals rights to our community,” she said.

Walsh said Carroll CAN meets monthly, rotating to different libraries throughout the county. They talk about local, statewide and national issues such as health care, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

When there are important issues, she added, the group works to call or write letters to representatives. It also has brought in candidates for public office to talk at their meetings, she said.

A local march is a chance for the organization and its goals to be more visible, Walsh said, especially in a county like Carroll, which generally votes Republican and is considered to be conservative.

“We want people to know there is a progressive voice in Carroll County,” she added.

Walsh said this march lets people who feel like they’ve been discriminated against, be it for gender, race, religion or any other reason, that they’re supported and have allies in the county.

The event will just be a short march, she said, and won’t have any speakers. It will be easy and comfortable, so people can bring their families, she said. They plan to have signs so they are visible during the march up and down Main Street.

Walsh said she isn’t sure how many people will attend — they’re hoping to see somewhere around 30 people. The event was planned recently, after some members expressed interest in doing a march locally, she said. Others, she added, will be attending other marches in the area, such as The Baltimore Women’s March-March Forward!, which was held Saturday, beginning at War Memorial Plaza downtown.

These types of events, and political activism, is important, Walsh said. When people see things happening with which they don’t feel comfortable, be it locally or at a larger level, it’s important to go out and run or support those who are running for office to stand up for what is right, she said.

“[This year’s march is] almost more important now than it was almost a year ago,” Walsh added.

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