Baltimore Women’s March pushes message of ‘dissent’ ahead of presidential election

In the final days of a historic election season, young women linked arms Saturday with their mothers and matriarchs for the 2020 Women’s March through downtown Baltimore.



a couple of people that are standing in front of a sign: Kori Christian, left, and Arrion carry a sign together outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Kori Christian, left, and Arrion carry a sign together outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

About 200 people gathered outside the federal courthouse in the 100 block of W. Lombard St. for the event, which has been held annually for about three years. Conceived during the presidency of Republican Donald J. Trump, the progressive grassroots movement has transitioned its battle cry of “resist” in 2017 to “dissent” in 2020 — emphasizing the role of women voters in the Nov. 3 election.



a group of people holding a sign posing for the camera: Morgan Stankiewicz and Karla Rivas hold signs and listen to the speakers outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Morgan Stankiewicz and Karla Rivas hold signs and listen to the speakers outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

Organizers of the Baltimore event included representatives of Baltimore Women United, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland and Planned Parenthood.

Women United co-chair Odette Ramos said organizers had three messages for the community Saturday: make a plan to vote, tell U.S. senators to delay any confirmations to the U.S. Supreme Court until after the January presidential inauguration, and volunteer to place phone calls to swing states leading up to the general election.



a man holding a microphone: Giuliana Valencia-Banks, of Baltimore Women United, speaks to the crowd outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Giuliana Valencia-Banks, of Baltimore Women United, speaks to the crowd outside of City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

Other women’s marches were held Saturday in dozens of U.S. cities, including Washington, New York and San Francisco.

The Baltimore event attracted dozens of women spanning multiple generations, some of who said they marched for their mothers or daughters. Some wore pink, knit hats and held homemade signs stating “Make America better” and “Not voting is not a protest, it’s surrender.”

Ramos wore a black mask with a white fringe — an homage to the signature lace collars worn by the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — that she said her mother made for her.

Young women, in particular, represented a significant portion of those in attendance.

Elizabeth Polydefkis spent her 18th birthday Saturday marching alongside her mom to City Hall. The act of protest was “empowering,” she said.

“I’m scared for our democracy with Trump,” Polydefkis said. “Women have worked really hard for their rights. I’ve seen a lot of that work eroded in the past four years.”



a person sitting on a bench reading a book: A woman with a sign sits and listens to the speakers. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
A woman with a sign sits and listens to the speakers. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

As the trail of activists wound through downtown, drivers honked horns in support. One driver, who was stopped at a red light, rolled down her car window and joined in the chants to “vote him out.”



a person wearing a costume: Ateira Griffin, with Building Our Nation's Daughters, speaks to the crowd after they arrived at City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Ateira Griffin, with Building Our Nation’s Daughters, speaks to the crowd after they arrived at City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

Kori Christian, a Pikesville resident, had never attended a protest before this weekend. When a friend invited the 25-year-old to the march, she said to herself, “It’s time.”

Christian hoped the march Saturday would serve as foreshadowing of women turning out to the polls to vote Trump out of office, she said.



a group of people walking in front of a crowd: Ateira Griffin, with Building Our Nation's Daughters, speaks to the crowd after they arrived at City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Ateira Griffin, with Building Our Nation’s Daughters, speaks to the crowd after they arrived at City Hall. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

“I’m honestly nervous,” she said of the election. “So many people are blinded. That’s why I’m out there today. He’s really unfit to be president … again.”

The crowd arrived at City Hall and listened to speakers such as 17-year-old Noureen Badwi of Baltimore County Youth Speaks. The teen called on her peers to consider how the rights of women will be affected by outcome of the election.

“It is my hope that my generation of young people … continue to build on the momentum of social justice movements that we grew up with,” she said.



text: Many protesters brought signs and posters with them for the march. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Many protesters brought signs and posters with them for the march. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

“Until then, it will take all of us joined together marching, dissenting and voting. We will not be patient and we will keep fighting.”



a group of people walking down the street: Protesters with handcrafted signs chanted as they moved through the streets. The 2020 Baltimore Women's March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020


© Ulysses Muu00f1oz/The Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Protesters with handcrafted signs chanted as they moved through the streets. The 2020 Baltimore Women’s March began outside of the U.S. District Courthouse and moved through downtown to City Hall. 10-17-2020

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