The morning of Jan. 20, more than 150,000 marchers gathered in the Bay Area to peacefully advocate for women’s rights, religious freedom, and other issues of today. Last year on Jan. 21, 2017, a similar Women’s March occurred, letting the new president know that women have a voice. This year, the march focused on promoting people to vote in the 2018 midterm elections and encouraging women to run for office.
Womensmarchbayarea.org says the rally was also intended to “engage and empower all people to support women’s rights, human rights, [and] social and environmental justice….”
“It’s a really great day that showcases the power of women, democracy, and people in general. It’s amazing to see so many families and people of all different colors and creeds coming together to stand against what they know is wrong,” said Nolan Carlen, senior.
In San Jose, people marched from City Hall, down Santa Clara Street to Arena Green East with a rally, food, and tents with different nonprofits for causes like Planned Parenthood, LGBTQ+ rights and racial justice. Voters were able to register in one tent (anyone 16 or older can, to be ready for the first election they are 18).
“There are… too many ‘me toos’ and not enough people doing anything about it. I march because I grew up with Obama’s voice leading the way and the seven year old next to me will grow up with Trump’s and that scares me. I march today and will continue to march so that someday equality will become a reality,” said Michaela Sampas, sophomore.
Though the marchers were mostly female, many men and boys showed their support as well, donning pussy hats and chanting along. Many people were marching for an end to sexual mistreatment, equality in the workplace, universal health care, citizenship for DACA recipients, immigration policy reform, the right to choose, and more. Some signs called for President Donald Trump’s impeachment and referenced his alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
“It was amazing to see so many men and women of all ages out in the cold marching…. I hope the march continues until and after a positive change happens,” said Maya Walborsky, senior.
Some women of racial minorities felt left out because they felt that white women focused only on equality for themselves, and did not work for racial equality; and although the march was described by organizers as “non-partisan,” it cannot be ignored that most of the marchers were Democrats who dislike Trump. Numerous women on the right criticized the movement for this reason, so this year, march organizers tried to be more inclusive of people who felt left out of last year’s marches.
Marches took place in 18 California cities, including Oakland, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco and continued around the world on Jan. 21.
Said Sophia Andary, co-lead of Women’s March San Francisco, “With so much at stake at the polls this year, our mission is clear – let’s show up on ballots and at polls to effect change!”