Weekend of Resistance: Trump inauguration sparks record breaking protests
In the Bay Area, the weekend storm wasn’t the only thing that caused a noisy raucous. Chants rumbled from San Francisco to Oakland and Berkeley as demonstrators marched through high winds and the pounding rain.
An evening demonstration on Friday, Jan. 20, which began at Civic Center with a rally drew around 8,000 demonstrators and proceeded with a march through the city. Organized by the ANSWER Coalition, the two-hour march had a specific route, intended to highlight the communities who will likely be targeted under Trump’s presidency and cabinet.
“Complacency is complicity,” said one demonstrator named Tracey King. “We have to stand up and let people hear that we’re not just going to stand by and let all the progress we made be stripped away from us. We’re Americans, and we’re all here for each other.”
Mya Byrne, a transwoman and a working artist, is hoping the Trump administration won’t impact her in a major way, but is concerned what will happen with her healthcare.
“It is important for me to be visible right now. There are many people who do not have that privilege,” Byrne said. “When you’re trans in America, it’s almost impossible to get healthcare, and when you do get healthcare you have to fight for it. I’ve been denied many essential medical treatments.”
On Saturday, Jan. 21, an estimated 100,000 people flooded San Francisco’s Civic Center, as part of the national Women’s March. The peaceful march in protest of Donald Trump and what his presidency stands for drew an estimated total of three to four million people to cities across the United States (and beyond) in the largest single-day demonstration of its kind in U.S. history.
At the rally before the march, local politicians, educators and advocates voiced their concerns about Trump’s presidency and how his election will likely impact their daily lives.
Various women addressed the large crowd, including San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and activists Malkia Cyril, Ameena Jandali, Angelica Vargas and Julia Serano, among others. Folk singer Joan Baez also sang to the crowd just before the march took place.
“His administration has made it clear that they are about exclusion,” Kim said to the crowd. “They believe that America is a country about some of us and not all of us.”
Jandali, a professor at City College of San Francisco and a muslim woman, says she has witnessed an increase in anti-muslim harassment and hate crimes since Trump’s campaign. She has a son who is hesitant to acknowledge his Muslim identity because of being bullied.
“I think it’s a strong message to Mr. Trump, assuming he cares to look at his Twitter,” Jendali said of the Women’s March. “He could choose to ignore [the message], but if he’s smart he will not, so he’s going to realize that he is the head of the whole country. He can’t exclude those groups that he doesn’t agree with.”
Rain began to fall just as the rally ended and the great mass of people started toward Market Street for the march. As tens of thousands of people filled Market Street, women chanted “my body, my choice,” while the men parroted “your body, your choice.” The march continued peacefully without incident to the Ferry Building, concluding at around 8 p.m.
“I think it’s more for us to collectively realize the power we have, and yes it may be hard for four years, but at the end of it we’re going to be stronger,” Jandali said. “Maybe we’re not going to see the results now, but the movement has begun.”
On Jan. 22, Trump tweeted about the Women’s March: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote?”
Donald Trump lost the popular vote by three million votes, approximately the same as the number of people who participated in the national demonstrations.