Jan. 20th event marks one year from iconic DC protest

To commemorate last year’s Women’s March on Washington, a Baltimore march and rally is planned for Saturday, January 20th, from 11 am to 2 pm – one of numerous events planned around the world. Subject to city approval, the rally will begin at 11 am at the War Memorial Plaza in front of City Hall, then march down Holiday and Conway Streets, across Pratt Street, and end at McKeldin Park.

On January 21st, 2017, some five million women and allies around the world – with the flagship event in Washington, DC – marched for women’s rights and a panoply of progressive causes: immigration rights, healthcare reform, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. Many of the marchers were motivated by opposition to the election of Donald J. Trump.

This year, an estimated 50 to 250 marches and rallies, depending on the source, are being planned nationwide to celebrate. commemorate, and continue the vision of the 2017 marches.

Baltimore activists generally join in on marches in next-door Washington. Thousands of Baltimoreans went to the DC march in 2017, while a small group of women organized a rally at 33rd Street in Baltimore. Organizers expected perhaps 100 people to attend, but some 5,000 people processed down Charles Street.

Local organizers expected a repeat march in Washington in 2018 and were disappointed when the organizers chose to support a march on the west coast. After initially considering attending the New York City march, they decided Baltimore deserved its own march. The brainstorm of three local women soon attracted a group of some 16 organizers.

The planners are working for a diverse turnout. “We believe in intersectionality and are working hard to reach out to all ethnic, social, religious, and non-religious groups,” said Camille Mihalic, a coordinator.

Some of the specific goals of the march include encouraging women and their allies to vote in the 2018 primary and general elections in Maryland, ensuring high voter turnout; electing progressive candidates.

“Event planning continues to move forward, and permits will be submitted on January 2nd,” said Mihalic. “Eric Costello, city council representative for District 11 has said he’s supportive of the event, and will be inviting Mayor Catherine Pugh to speak. We hope that other local and state politicians, as well as the heads of local groups such as the Baltimore Transgender Alliance, Maryland Working Families, Black Girls Vote, Black Lives Matter, and others will join the rally as speakers as well.”

The organizers expect to need to raise at least $10,000 to cover the events expenses, and are seeking sponsors and donors, and will soon launch a GoFundMe page.

While tickets for the event will be free, organizers need an estimate of the number of attendees, and have created an Eventbrite page to issue tickets at Bit.ly/2CborCJ.

Details of this event are subject to change. For the lastest info, visit Bit.ly/2Cv4ZUU, and follow news on Twitter @WomensMarchBalt. A website will launch soon. For now, coordinator Mihalic can be reached at camille.mihalic@verizon.net for info on volunteering or sponsorship.