CLEVELAND (AP) — Six-year-old Mia Tardivo joined her parents and thousands of other people Saturday in downtown Cleveland for the city's Woman's March while holding a sign that proclaimed: "I can be president."
Her mother, 44-year-old Karen Tardivo, said she wanted to expose her daughter to the importance of women's rights, especially during the "Me Too" movement surrounding sexual harassment.
The march in Cleveland on an unseasonably warm and sunny winter day appeared largely united in opposition to President Donald Trump and the policies he's pursued during his first year in the White House.
Fifty-one-year-old Kim Bell, of Cleveland, says she finds it discouraging that so many Americans accept Trump's "actions and his words."
One year after women took to the streets in droves to protest President Donald Trump's inauguration, marchers are gathering again in cities across the country and around the world in sharp rebuke to Trump's presidency and in continuation of a still-growing international movement.
This second year of the Women's March also comes in the middle of the #MeToo movement, which has shed light on sexual misconduct and ushered in social change in a wide bevy of industries. It also comes months ahead of the midterm elections in the United States, in which progressive women hope to turn their activism into victories at the ballot box.
In Washington, where one year ago hundreds of thousands of women clad in pink hats took to the streets and vowed to resist Trump's presidency, Heather Tucci said she didn't want to stay on the sidelines.
"Before Trump, I was content to sit back and watch the government just go by me, now I'm not," Tucci, from Harford County, Maryland, told CNN. "It is dire that we do something because it is just ridiculous what is happening to this country, what people think about us around the world and just undermining the basic fundamentals of humanity and the constitution and what democracy should stand for."
Marchers gathered across the country hours after much of the federal government shut down after members of Congress failed to reach an agreement on a spending measure, casting uncertainty over much of the nation. Marchers, however, stayed the course.
Kathleen Whitehead and her 13-year-old daughter, Casey Feldman arrived early to the Los Angeles women's march. Feldman carried a green sign that said, "Respect Existence or Expect Resistance."
"The battle against women and health care is killing us," Whitehead told CNN. "It is 2018. I am 46 years old. My mother had to do this battle. Why do I, why? We have gone the wrong way"
In New York, Maura O'Meara, 47, of New Paltz, organized a group of women from the Hudson Valley area to travel to New York City together to participate in the March. She said her motivations for marching are largely the same as last year, when she traveled to DC, but have gained new urgency.
"We haven't been quiet since last year. We've been up and out trying to fight for the rights of women and the vulnerable," she said. "I actually have more hope now."