The Women’s March movement was born in 2016, as a reaction to the November election. The first ever female major party presidential candidate had been defeated by a blatant misogynist. To make it worse, Hillary Clinton soundly won the popular vote, but lost the election in the Electoral College. Women all over the country felt the need to express their pain and fear and DO SOMETHING!
The day after Trump was inaugurated millions of women (and their male allies) marched all over the world. It was an event that made people who felt devastated know that they weren’t alone. On that day, the Resistance was born.
During the years that followed the Women’s March movement weathered controversy, and the constantly increasing list of priorities created by the Trump Administration’s quest for power and profit. There were marches to protest the president’s immigration policy and family separations, the rollback of environmental protections, the increase in bigotry and prejudice, and the inconsistent and dangerous foreign policy. Despite all of this, the Women’s March movement persevered.
On January 18, 2020, thousands of women and their allies once again marched all over the nation. In San Diego, CA, an estimated 12,000 women and men gathered in a beautiful, sunny spot along the Pacific, less than 20 miles from the border with Mexico. There was hope in the air, as the long-awaited Presidential election year, and a chance to turn our country around, had finally arrived.
The day started with music from the San Diego Women’s Chorus and other performers. Since the marchers walk on the ancestral land of the Kumeyaay people, there was a blessing from the Kumeyaay, and a performance by native dancers and singers. Amaya Grace Hill, Miss Kumeyaay Nation spoke about unity and strength.
Instead of politicians and celebrities, the speakers were people whose life experiences represented the Unity Principles of the Women’s March. They included speakers on Civil Rights, Disability Rights, Ending Violence, Environmental Justice, Immigrant Rights, LGBTQIA Rights, Reproductive Rights and Workers Rights. The list of speakers included people of every race, religion, gender identification and sexual orientation. It was a powerful reminder of why the participants came to March. Everyone I spoke with expressed the understanding that there was still much to be done, and their willingness to do what it takes to bring victory in 2020.
Reflections from the marchers:
Monica is the president of Women’s March San Diego. She first became active when a college friend came out as gay and was treated as an outcast and assaulted. After the 2016 election she realized too many things were at risk. She felt a need to be with likeminded people, and when the Women’s March put out a call for volunteers Monica answered. At the first March she realized she needed to stay associated with this committed group of women.
This was Kathy’s third Women’s March. She was raised in a military family and enlisted in the Army as the Vietnam War was winding down. She said she was marching because women needed to be represented, and “change has got to happen.”
Roohi was participating in her fourth Women’s March. She’s sad that we are still dealing with this stuff but believes “we’ve got to keep on fighting and make our voices heard.”
Rebecca is just getting started in progressive campaigns. She is canvassing for her preferred candidate but will vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination.
Karen’s great, great grandmother was a suffragist, so activism was ingrained in her from when she was very young. She’s participated in all four Women’s Marches. She said, “even though things may be bleak, there is always a silver lining, and hope will rise.”
The March itself was a peaceful example of public protest and patriotism. It was a coming together of all the diverse people who make up this area. Everyone who took part shared the fervent hope that next year there will be thousands marching to celebrate an election victory and the opportunity to turn our country back to the values that made it great.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.