Photos: Nadin and Tom Abbott
Video: Tom Abbott. Editing: Nadin Abbott
Jan 21, 2017 (San Diego) This was a historic march. Early estimates for the crowd that showed downtown were in the 20,000 range, but now those are double, at 40,000. The crowds came to protest President Donald Trump and attacks on many causes. They ranged from reproductive rights to human rights, to women’s rights. They were many issues, and the intersectionality of causes was obvious.
People came to march, elected officials, and regular people. Assembly Member Todd Gloria spoke to this. He said “People are nervous and scared about what is going on in Washington DC.” He emphasized that people should know they “are not alone.”
People of all origins and orientations have a place in this country. Gloria said that while others might be confused about this in other parts of the country. “we are not confused about this in San Diego.”
We must observe that people came to march in the rain, and while most of the storm had passed, we still did get some rain on us during the march. To this Gloria said that San Diegans don’t do well in the rain, yet they came out because this was this important. He added that some might be confused as to the direction the country is going into. “this is a country made for all of us. You will not be excluded,” no matter who you are. “San Diegans understand exactly what this country is about.”
Gloria did go into some of the actions already taken by the State Legislature, including a resolution against the deportation stance of the Federal Government, as well as one supporting reproductive rights. He added that There will be “specific legislative proposals limiting the Federal government’s ability to utilize state resources to deport in a mass way immigrants who might be here undocumented.” He also added that there will be protection and training for those representing those facing deportations, as well as funds to help with this.
He added that California will be a beacon of light, “not just for our citizens, but for people across this country.”
We also spoke with State Senator Toni Atkins who quoted that “30 years later we shouldn’t have to still be doing this,” she went on to tell us what Sacramento intends to do. She hit on similar points as Gloria. “We are preferred to defend the policies and the programs that California has put into place for everyone.” She added, that it did not matter if these were Dreamers, young women, reproductive rights, workers rights, transgender, LGBTQ, “we are prepared to protect our programs and our policies.”
Among the marchers was also San Diego Council President Myrtle Cole.
Reporting San Diego also spoke with Council President Myrtle Cole. She said the council was working on homelessness and other issues of importance to San Diegans. But if any of these more pressing national concerns matter, she said to bring it before Council.
We spoke to several marchers who have no role in government. We spoke with Kim Sontag-Mulder, San Diego Chapter President of the National Organization for Women. We pressed her on the obvious question. We had thousands of people take to the streets. What Now? She urged people to get involved at the grassroots and gave us a shameless plug, join her organization. The important thing is that people remain involved.
We also talked with a few other attendees. Among them Becky Cherlin-Bard. She came with her young daughter. Why was she marching? “To show my daughter that it is important to stand up for what you believe in.” She walked with her daughter though the route charging “be the light.”
Reverend Shane Harris, President of the National Action Network, San Diego-Imperial County had this to say about the reasons to march. “Because our women deserve number one to have their rightful place in the movement and deserve to be honored for their leadership. Women birth us, take care of our homes, and do the best work but get paid lower wages. Something is wrong with that. Today is not only the resistance to Trump but a new day in the movement for women to have a seat at the table and to be acknowledged as our leaders as well.”
One of the last people we spoke with was Ericksen, who was here to advocate for the rights of all females, human and nonhuman. She is a vegetarian and she wants to advocate for all because feminism includes the rights of animals. This means, “not just human females but the animal females.” These animals are used for dairy and meat. In her mind, “the only way you can be a feminist is for all females on this planet.”
The causes were many, and some came for old causes, some came for new causes. The fact is that this was the largest ever march in San Diego history. We know from one of the marchers, that the whole contingent took an hour and a half to get to the county building. This is not a long walk, but when we reached the B Street pier, the end of the line had yet to leave the Civic Center.
When we reached the County Building, the last of the contingent had just left. That means that the line was over a mile long. The route length was 1.6 miles. We can safely say that the march was at least 1.2 miles long.
While there were many causes represented, including organized labor, the janitors, environmentalists, as we posted above vegans, and others, the question is what is next? What is the next step? We would also be remiss if we did not point out that there were some Trump supporters who attended this march.