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Crosscurrents

Scenes from the Women's Marches—in Washington and at home

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Photo courtesy of Pui Ling Tam
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On Saturday, officials in Washington D.C. estimate half-a-million people took part in the Women’s March. Among those who traveled to the nation’s capitol for the event were 16 young women of color from the San Francisco Unified School District. Among them were Briana Boteo, a senior from Mission High School, Aglow Longvoii, a senior from Burton High School, and Marianna Baines, a senior at June Jordan School for Equity. Here’s some of what they recorded in Washington.

Logovii: Everyone is feeling proud to be here. I know I am. I am happy to be part of history.
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Credit Lisa Morehouse

Here in the Bay Area, around 200,000 demonstrators flooded the streets of San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco along with many other cities on Saturday.

In Oakland, a marching band played Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” and Oakley resident Arnold Fitzpatrick was reminded of earlier times.
 

“I think this is great. This is wonderful. This is probably the greatest thing what’s happened to us since 1969 when there was the anti-war protests going on,” he said. “This is for justice, freedom and peace for every human being.”

Another marcher was Alanya Snyder from Oakland. “One reason I’m here is to keep reminding us all, white and privileged people, to take direction from people of color who’ve been aware of these types of oppressions for a long time,” she said. “We need to work together and listen to their leadership.”

That evening in San Francisco, as Loco Bloco drummers played on the sidewalk, marchers danced and chanted, “Not my president.” Brenda Chapman came from Santa Rosa to be here.

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Credit Lisa Morehouse

 

“It feels great that so many people are together” she said. “I’m a woman, I’m a black woman, and it’s just a scary time for me.”

She says she’s concerned about friends who are undocumented, and while she knows racism has always existed, “Now it feels the hate is just out there for everyone to see. I think if we all stand together we could hopefully make the next four years not as scary as they seem.”

Twenty-year-old Samantha Zarate came to this, her first protest, from Menlo Park. She held a sign which read, “A woman’s place is in the resistance.”

“I love Star Wars, I love being a woman and I’m really excited to be here today,” Zarate said. She’s thinking ahead to other actions she and like-minded people should take. “I think what’s next is people resisting the normalization of what Trump is saying what the administration is saying, and doing our best by protest voting in local elections, participating in our local government, donating to Planned Parenthood. I’ve already set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood. I think that’s what next.”

Also channelling the Star Wars theme was six-year-old Miles Simon from San Francisco, carrying a sign with an image of Darth Vader. “My sign says ‘Join the sreen side’ because you want to take care of the earth,” he explained.

Brother and sister Dominic and Angie Barragan got a lot of attention for their displays. Angie’s sign read “P**sy Power” on one side, “You can’t comb over racism” on the other, and her brother carried the American flag.

“We think they both go together,” said Dominic. “This combination of our rights and the flag, this is patriotism.”

Angie said, she’s never been so shaken by an election. “It scares me to know that my rights as a woman can be taken away. Having someone else make the choice of what I can do with my body is unfathomable,” she said.

That’s why she joined the march, after never attending a protest before. “I’ve never really put a whole lot of energy into fighting for something like this, “ she said. “I told myself it can’t be just about coming here today. I promised that to myself.”

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Credit Lisa Morehouse

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