January 27, 2017

Why We March

Staff share stories and photos from the Oakland Women’s March

By Lindsay Wright, Communications Manager

Last Saturday, the people of Oakland, California made history. Part of the coordinated national and international Women’s Marches, the Oakland March took place at 11 am on January 21, the day after the presidential inauguration. In San Francisco and Oakland, both events had estimated crowds of 100,000 people who marched in the cold and rain to show their solidarity with women and other marginalized communities. The two-mile parade route took marchers from Madison Park, past Lake Merritt, and then down Broadway to Frank Ogawa Plaza for a rally. The march passed by the Oakland Museum of California, and many of the photographs feature OMCA’s iconic logo and building in the background. Many of OMCA’s own staff participated—check out some of their photos, reflections, and reasons for marching
“The March was a way for me to stand together with our community and show our belief that love is stronger than hate. I was inspired to see such a range of age from tiny babies to senior citizens and everyone in between. After feeling down in the dumps about the election for these last few months it really felt good to get out there and see that we are not alone. My sister marched in San Jose and my mom marched in Raleigh, NC. The signs were hilarious, too! One of my favorites was ‘Less Trump, more dumplings.’" —Emily Winslow

“Participating in the March and voicing opposition to policies and rhetoric that undermine women meant a lot to me personally, but it was even more incredible to learn of the millions of women who marched in solidarity around the world. Remembering that U.S. policy doesn't just affect me and other U.S. residents, but women and people around the globe was a great reminder and motivator to get involved.” —Tricia Patterson

“I marched because I want to show resistance to a hateful and frankly dangerous regime. When I got out there I felt very grateful. I felt solidarity with my community and I felt like I wasn't alone. It meant everything to know how many strong, brave, loving people are out there ready to stand up and fight.” —Rachael Aguirre

“My sign is the Michele Obama quote, and my friend Centa’s is Jenny Holzer’s. All of the people I marched with were artists or work in the arts so the Jenny Holzer truism was pretty fitting. That sign sort of captured the sobering reality we have all been coming to terms with since the election in November. I know I personally have been in a state of shock since November and have been processing most of my anger and fear on my own. I have certainly felt prepared to resist the ignorance, misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. that the Trump administration is already acting upon, but it was just incredibly energizing to come together with my community to collectively express our dissent. I left feeling hopeful and ready to fight because I and tens and thousands of my community made it perfectly clear that we simply won't tolerate the abuse of power that President Trump is bringing to the White House.”—Lauren Etchells

“I'm going to sound like a total dad saying this, but it was inspiring and comforting to see such a large group of people so well behaved and so diverse yet united under such a positive message supporting the preservation and expansion of civil rights.”—Zoli Novak

“The Women's March represents the bedrock of our democracy, the open exchange of ideas and right of every individual to use their voice, even (and maybe more importantly) in dissent. On a more personal note, I feel the marches were a form of release, healing, empowerment, and inspiration to the many who feel discouraged and disgusted by the rising tide—as they have always existed in varying forms and degrees—of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and general oppression/repression of all sorts of groups and opinions in this country. Whereas some may not understand the point of protest or view it as ‘unpatriotic,’ I would argue the response I saw was an expression of unity and resilience on the part of an active citizenry, vital elements to our success as an increasingly diverse nation.”—Brittin Romero

Did you attend the Women’s March in Oakland or another city? What did participating in the day mean to you? Tell us in the comments below.