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'It's my turn': Carroll countians take on D.C. in post-inauguration Women's March

All in matching green buttons that said "March On," a group of Carroll County residents made their way up the streets of Washington, D.C., energy in the air.

Every so often, they'd pass another group heading in their direction. Cheers of excitement, met with chants of support — "Whose streets? Our streets!" — kept a stable rumble of noise in the air as participants made their way to the Capitol.

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"We're here to stand tall," Kelley Gordon, of Hampstead, said. "This is Carroll County; we are Carroll County."

Just one day after President Donald Trump took office, more than 500,000 people, by city officials' unofficial estimates, took to the streets of D.C. to march for women's — and many other groups' — rights. The Women's March on Washington kicked off at 10 a.m., first with a rally.

The event, which was intended to include a rally and then a march on Washington, grew so large that organizers were prevented from leading a formal walk toward the White House. More than 600 "sister marches" were planned around the world, and organizers estimated 3 million people would march worldwide, according to The Associated Press.

Alli Gordon, of Westminster, came out with her mom, Kelley Gordon, and aunt, Terry Whye, for Saturday's event.

"How could I not?" she said.

Alli Gordon, 26, said it was important for her to be out and supporting the march, especially having a mother and aunt who spent their years fighting for what they believed in.

"They've already done this," she said of her mother and aunt, tears welling in her eyes. "It's my turn."

It's important to stand up for all, Whye added. It hits home with family members who have pre-existing medical conditions. For Whye, marching also meant fighting for science. She doesn't want to see the Environmental Protection Agency dismantled, she said.

It wasn't Whye's first time standing up for what she believed in.

"I didn't think I'd be fighting the battles of the '60s in my 60s," she said.

For a lot of Carroll countians, Saturday's march wasn't their first foray into activism.

Elizabeth van den Berg, a theater arts professor at McDaniel College, knew immediately she had to go to the march.

"I planned to go the minute I heard about it," van den Berg said.

A strong supporter of women's rights, she has concerns about new President Donald Trump, who seems to demean women, she said. And so, she added, they won't sit down like "good little girls."

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Standing up through marches and demonstrations isn't completely new to van den Berg. She said she hasn't done "anything like this in many, many years" — the 1980s, to be exact, during the AIDS crisis when she marched for lesbian and gay rights.

Now, that passion to stand up has been rekindled.

"I think it's important to speak up," she said, and to let the government know that they're concerned.

A sea of pink hats — "pussyhats," complete with pointy cat ears and referencing leaked footage during the election season in which Trump spoke of grabbing women's genitalia — sat atop many participants' heads. Rainbow scarves and pins were also popular.

Among the horizon of pink hats were countless signs, some mocking Trump and others reinforcing participants' views on the rights of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community. Carroll's signs tackled items like the importance of education, too.

For Joy Fisher and Erin Snell, of Westminster, Saturday's march was a chance to bring a voice to the LGBTQ community. It was a chance to stand in solidarity, Fisher said.

She and Snell spent the day side-by-side, each with hand-decorated, cape-like blankets pinned around their shoulders, with rainbows and "Our love matters" displayed on the back.

Simply put, the day was "incredible," Snell said.

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