The rain didn’t deter 100,000 people, including Redwood students, from peacefully marching through San Francisco on Saturday to show unification following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
The marchers were demonstrating for issues such as LGBTQ rights, civil rights, treatment of disabled people, immigration, climate change and women’s rights. This march was one of thousands that occurred worldwide.
Colorful signs dotted the view for as far as the eye could see, and there was an energy in the air that was unparalleled: a mixture of hope, frustration and passion.
The rain didn’t deter more than 100,000 people from peacefully marching through San Francisco on Saturday to show unification following the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
The marchers demonstrated their support for issues such as LGBTQ rights, civil rights, treatment of disabled people, immigration, climate change and women’s rights. The San Francisco march was one of three in the Bay Area and one of hundreds that occurred worldwide.
The goal of the march was to unify communities and create change in a peaceful manner. Many Redwood students attended the march. Junior Talia Klein, who attended the San Francisco march, described the environment as hopeful and uplifting.
“Seeing that activism inspired me to do more. It makes you feel less alone, to be with a large group of people like that. It makes you feel like the things that you are fighting have a bigger meaning,” Klein said. “You can see the effect it has on other people. It was a really beautiful experience.”
Protesters gathered at the San Francisco Civic Center at 3 p.m. for the rally, although many arrived hours earlier. The rally featured speakers and performers such as Joan Baez, Ameena Jandali (Director of Content for Islamic Network Group) and Jane Kim (San Francisco Supervisor for District 6). The march started at 5 p.m. and by that time, the rain was pouring down.
The goal of the march was to unify communities and create change in a peaceful manner. Junior Ali Janku described it as an extremely powerful experience.
“We have really come a long way with abortion rights, and having things like Planned Parenthood, the affordable care act and gay rights,” Janku said. “It is so important to me that those things are maintained and not undone by Trump’s and Pence’s policy.”
While some people were protesting against Trump’s inauguration, many were there just to express their concerns for issues they are passionate about.
“I don’t agree with Trump, but I know he is my president and I’m not trying to change that. I wasn’t there to hate Trump, I was there to show him, and the world, that love is stronger than hate. When there is a lot of hatred and divisiveness, the only thing we can do is come together,” Janku said.
According to Janku, this event inspired her to get more involved and continue her activism through the coming years.
Senior Shauna Ewry said, “I think it’s really important through [Trump’s presidency] to find a community that supports you and believes in your rights. I think that for women, and everybody at the march, if you find a group that believes what you believe, even though your leader may not agree with you, you still have people to support you.”
According to Ewry, activism is extremely important, especially in the next four years.
“I am about to turn 18 and go into adulthood with this person in power who doesn’t believe I should be a strong, powerful, adult,” said Ewry. “I think it is very important to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your rights.”
The event took collaboration from many people to be successful in terms of turnout. Laura Talmus, the mother of a Redwood graduate, organized six buses that brought Bay Area residents to the march in San Francisco.
“These buses have become symbolic for people to express their gratitude and their need to get out together and be part of this Women’s March,” Talmus said.
Talmus said the buses transported a variety of people coming from all walks of life and all corners of Marin. Talmus’ idea originated as a way for just her and friends to get to the march, but it quickly escalated when they realized it could help the entire community.
“Before I knew it, the idea to fill one bus went viral and it ended up where people were just emailing me everyday. One hundred emails were coming in asking if they could get on the bus,” Talmus said.
The large turnout demonstrated that when individuals band together they can create powerful change. A common sign at the march read, ‘Respect existence, or expect resistance.’
A chant heard frequently throughout the event was, ‘Tell me what democracy looks like,’ followed by, ‘This is what democracy looks like.’
“It just was great to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Janku said. “To be another person, in the millions and millions of people, who came together around the world and to be part of that will go down in history. To be out there physically fighting for what I care about made me really want to go to more marches. I feel like I talk so much about what I believe in, so it’s cool to actually take action.”