Personal experiences remembered as marches get closer to DC

Seven days ago, they started on their 110-mile journey from Charlottesville, Virginia to Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Seven days ago, they started on their 110-mile journey from Charlottesville, Virginia to Washington D.C. 

They're fighting for what they believe in, a group of activists and volunteers who are walking with a purpose. Their march is called the "March to Confront White Supremacy."

It started in Charlottesville, but it goes even further back for some of those participating.

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"Literally on my way to high school every day I passed a trailer home that had black dolls hanging ...  and when the city told the person they had to take the dolls down, they put a sign out front that said they're inside," said Stephanie Llanes. She works as a lawyer for the New York-based activist group, the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Llanes said her experiences as a teenager and seeing what happened in Charlottesville are why she's in Gainesville, Virginia Sunday night. The group is resting there and plans to set-out at 10 a.m. on Monday on the next leg of their march. They've gone around 70 miles so far. 

"I don't even call it a march because a pilgrimage has a certain sense spirituality," said Melini Stamp. She's a political organizer who tells us it's her first time participating in something this extensive.

'Challenging White Supremacy' to Llanes means, "... taking Donald Trump out of office. I mean taking anyone, particularly in positions of power in our government that perpetuate white supremacy or anti-blackness," she said.

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Both said the 70 miles they've gone so far had been both physically and mentally challenging. 

"My foot right now, I gotta get some rest," laughed Stamp, who then seriously continued, "challenging in that, we had a person that was armed waiting for us at our end stop, and we had to end early one day."

Do you think what you're doing is going to make a difference?

WUSA 9 asked. Stamp answered, "I only hope so, and I do think I'm going to make a difference because people make a difference."

The group said they went from 15-people to 50-people  traveling over night and have reached upwards of 100-marchers during the day.

They're expecting to arrive in D.C. on Wednesday afternoon.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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