SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/BCN) — A large crowd has come from all over the Bay Area to San Francisco Saturday afternoon for the Women’s March, a day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
Tens of thousands or more braved the rain to gather and march.
The march was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. with a rally at Civic Center Plaza. People then headed down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza near the Ferry Building Saturday evening.
The San Francisco march is one of many that have taken place around the Bay Area and across the country Saturday. While most took place Saturday morning, San Francisco’s was pushed to 3 p.m. this afternoon by a scheduling conflict with the annual Walk for Life event, an anti-abortion rally that had already booked the Civic Center area.
— Ella Sogomonian (@EllaSogomonian) January 22, 2017
Despite the different political agendas of the events, however, and a pro-choice counter protest planned at Market and Powell streets, the transition from one protest to another at the Civic Center was smooth and peaceful.
Women’s March participants began showing up early, many carrying homemade signs and wearing pink “pussy’ knitted hats.
Many at the various Women’s Marches taking place nationwide have sported similar hats, a reference to a 2005 video released during the presidential campaign in which Trump told an entertainment reporter about grabbing women by their genitals.
While organizers billed the march as nonpolitical, most attending said they were motivated to march by Trump’s election.
Charlotte, a teenage girl from Cupertino, said she came up from the South Bay to participate “for my sister and my mother and myself.”
“It’s important to do this march now because I’m going to be 17 in two days and Trump is going to be the president when I am just becoming an adult,” she said. “I think the older generation still has a voice and should use that voice, but it’s also important for my generation to join in and speak up about what they think is right.”
Kathleen, an older woman from the East Bay, said, “She’s absolutely right, someone needs to pick up the baton and finish the race.”
Kathleen, a long-time activist, wore a women’s rights t-shirt dating back to 1975.
She said Trump’s election had motivated her to come out and protest again.
“I decided I had to get off my rear end and yell and march one more time,” she said.
Kathleen wore a pink “pussy” knitted hat with cat eyes and whiskers on it. Many at the various Women’s Marches taking place nationwide have sported similar hats, a reference to a 2005 video released during the presidential campaign in which Trump told an entertainment reporter about grabbing women by their genitals.
— Mayor Ed Lee (@mayoredlee) January 22, 2017
Julie, a Half Moon Bay resident, said that she and her partner were feeling particularly vulnerable following Trump’s election because they are a gay family with a daughter.
“I’m also horrified and appalled by the assault on our democracy and the hatred and the insanity that’s running Washington at this point,” she said. “I really hope that Congress will see these marches across the county and the world and see that a lot of people are not behind what’s happening right now.”
Sister Merry Peter from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an order of queer nuns, said sisters are marching in 38 cities nationwide Saturday.
“We’re here because women have always been with queer people in their struggles and it’s time to pay that back,” Peter said. “Today is the day our community has said that we have to have a rally to show that this
election, while (Trump) may have won, he did not end the conversation.”
The San Francisco march is one of several that have taken place around the Bay Area Saturday, with others that started Saturday morning in Oakland, San Jose and Walnut Creek.
Kicking off Trump inauguration week w a message: you’re not gonna throw tens of millions of Americans off healthcare w/o a hell of a fight pic.twitter.com/Yp6mS957fF
— Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) January 15, 2017
Kathleen, here from the East Bay for the SF women’s march, is wearing a shirt from 1975. pic.twitter.com/kRXzs7keTu
— Sara Gaiser (@akrazia) January 21, 2017
Speakers included Supervisor Jane Kim, who drew a large crowd with her opening statement: “I’m Jane Kim, and I am a nasty woman.”
Kim said that for many women, the reality is that they are already marching and fighting for recognition on a daily basis.
“We all know what it’s like to be underestimated,” Kim said, describing how she has been mistaken for her own assistant in her own office.
“They’ll minimize and dismiss our march, but I have a feeling they’re in for a big surprise, because here in San Francisco and in California, we have a legacy of being bold,” Kim said.
Joan Baez also serenaded the crowd with a Spanish version of “We shall overcome.”
The crowd remained cheerful and peaceful, with most people staying to listen to the speakers even when raindrops fell. Many fled at the start of the march, however, when heavy rains began to come down.
The group was expected to march down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza and then disperse, according to organizers.
There is love everywhere. pic.twitter.com/qLZmbhiJMf
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) January 22, 2017
— SF Firefighters 798 (@SFFFLocal798) January 22, 2017
KRON4 has acquired the photo of a sign that was hung over the Golden Gate Bridge that said “Impeach Trump.”
The people responsible claim to be the same artists who changed the famous Los Angeles Hollywood sign to Hollyweed earlier this month.