Sacramento Women’s March promotes equality for all


Representatives speak about equality after the marchers arrive at the California State Capitol. Photo by Rachel Marquardt

On a straight path towards the Capitol, thousands of people protest in the Sacramento Women’s March Jan. 21 to raise awareness to current gender and racial inequality concerns since the election of president Donald Trump.

By 10 a.m. the marchers had reached up to 20,000, beginning their march at Southside Park. Leaders led the group down Sixth St. chanting phrases such as “Love not hate makes America great” and “Women’s rights are under attack; stand up, fight back.” After a 1.2 mile walk, the group arrived at the California State Capitol.

As protesters gathered they were welcomed with not only more supporters of equal rights but performances and guest speakers. These performances included a trumpetist, an El Corazon Dance Studio performance, a singing of the National Anthem by Sacramento Women’s Choir and a Takio Dan japanese drumming ensemble. Each performance connected to the ideals of women’s rights and equality.

After the performances, speakers such as Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and activist, former Mrs. California, international speaker and MC Tracie Stafford addressed the issues with the pattern of disrespect towards all people since Trump was elected in November.

“This is a cry for all ethnicities, all genders, all from any backgrounds. This is about equality. We have reached for this opportunity, and what we do with it is critical. The bottom line is that our circumstances do not define us. We define us,” Stafford said.

California State Controller Betty Yee also empowered the crowd to take action and support efforts to raise awareness to inequality.

“We need to build a bright future for our daughters and granddaughters of the United States,” California State Controller Betty Yee said.

Overall there were 24 speakers, each empowering the crowd to push for equality for all.

Women were not the only ones in support, but men such as Stefano Sabido enforce the idea that everyone should march and be in support of women’s and equal rights.

“Would you want any of the women in your life to feel safe, equal and protected? Yes, of course. So when I feel that women’s rights are going to be taken away, or threatened, I do what I can to protect them,” Sabido said.

Students also marched for equal rights, creating banners such as Andrea Estrada’s which stated, “Women’s rights, civil liberties, social justice; common sense.” She attended the march to support equality for all with students Noah Lopez Koen, Amir Chadha, Kourtney Nham and Kris Basta.

“I just feel that with this presidency a lot of women’s rights aren’t necessarily being taken with as much importance as they should. I feel like this march is not necessarily ‘Anti-Trump’, but it was used to bring to light these issues that need to be spoken about,” Estrada said.

Not only did students march on Saturday, but students such as Laura Daniels dressed in all black on Jan. 23 in support of former president Barack Obama and to display discontent with the new president.

“To me, Trump’s presidency is going to be the death of our democracy. His entire campaign was run on hate and discrimination. It disgusts me that people can overlook his prejudice so easily, because to me our nation is a symbol of freedom. I am a first generation Mexican American and growing up I was raised to believe that this country will give me the opportunities to succeed no matter what, but now I am truly scared. With Trump as president I feel as though all the advances we have made are all going in reverse, but I will not let him divide us,” Daniels said.

Not only were protesters concerned about Trump’s disrespectful treatment of women, but also about protecting the environment. Since his inauguration Jan. 20, President Trump has removed the government funded site which raised awareness to global warming.

“It has been scientifically proven that global warming is an issue, and that we have a very limited amount of time to address those environmental concerns, and I think it’s really important to have a president that wants to address those instead of ignoring them to temporarily boost the economy,” environmentalist and women’s march attendee Aurora Gardner-Murfin said.

The march and events lasted until 4 p.m, ending with a speech calling all protesters to action and to not let this women’s march be the last.
Stafford said, “Don’t let this be something you go out and do on a Saturday. Let this be the start of something larger. Do something with this passion.”