A year after the inauguration of Donald Trump, millions of people participated in protests across the country against his administration’s policies in the second Women’s March. At least 40,000 thousand people turned up at Lake Merritt in Oakland. The event started with a rally where speakers shared poetry and political strategy, and encouraged women to run for office and get more people registered to vote.
Among the marchers was CVHS junior Katelyn Lance. “I think the Women’s March is important because women are important. We’ve been placed on hold all these years and now we’re making our voices heard…There’s no representation in our current government, we need to step up for those more vulnerable in our society,” said Lance.
“Our power doesn’t come from waiting for the powerful to give us access to power, we have to stand up and show that we have the power ourselves,” said CVHS English teacher Anne Parris. “I think if I expect Trump to do something I’m gonna be sitting at home waiting a long time, so that’s why I’m out here,” she said.
Other Castro Valley residents were in attendance, including CVUSD School Board member Dot Theodore, who felt it was important to show up to sustain the momentum. “There was so much enthusiasm last year, and I knew there wasn’t going to be the same amount of enthusiasm this year, so I felt it was important to personally continue my resistance in whatever way that I could.” Theodore organized a Women’s March Oakland — Castro Valley Contingent on Facebook, which drew nearly 200 marchers, according to the Facebook event page.
The crowd was lively but peaceful, carrying an array of creative signs with slogans such as “Don’t let the patriarchy grind you down,” “At the start of every disaster movie there’s a scientist being ignored,” “Real men fight for women’s rights,” and “This is what democracy looks like.”
Other Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, San Jose, and Walnut Creek held marches. In Los Angeles, more than 500,000 attended. Events in New York City, Chicago, Denver, Austin, Indianapolis and many other cities easily brought the total to over one million marchers. Organizers stated they hoped the sustained resistance will lead to more positive changes and fewer setbacks for women’s rights.