San Jose Women’s March Draws 25,000-Plus in ‘United’ Protest

Stacy Brobst stood against a green barricade that blocked incoming foot traffic, and from the other side of the fence all that was visible was her face, the tears she wiped away—and the pink ears of her hat.

“I watched [Donald Trump’s inauguration] speech, but I didn’t watch anything else,” said Brobst, a San Jose resident. “And I only watched that because my son has taught me that we need to listen. We need to listen so that we know what we’re fighting against.”

In one of the largest political demonstrations in San Jose’s history, Brobst joined more than 25,000 people Saturday for a nationwide day of protest known as the the Women’s March. People wore pink hats, also referred to as “pussy hats,” in support of women and carried signs that read: “Love Not Hate Makes America Great” and “Stop the War on Women.” The march began at San Jose City Hall and shut down streets and paseos on the way to Plaza de Cesar Chavez, where music played and speakers railed against President Donald Trump, who took office just a day prior.

The Women’s March, according to organizers, was designed to bring people together to support and inspire one another while celebrating and protecting the diversity of the U.S. The march in Washington D.C. brought out an estimated 676,000 people—far more than the number of people who attended Trump’s swearing-in ceremony Friday—and other marches drew crowds well exceeding expectations.

“I’ve seen signs that say ‘I’m here for’ whatever the reason is, one sign is not enough,” San Jose resident Esther Ynzunza said. “We need all of these people that are here to take action, and I’m here to start.”

Men, women and children of all ages gathered at San Jose City Hall at 10am and made their way to San Fernando and Fourth Street, where they began to march an hour later. The crowd shouted “No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here,” sang the national anthem and “This Land is Your Land,” as well as a rendition of “This Little Light of Mine,” changing the lyrics to say: “Don’t let it Trump, I’m gonna let it shine.”

At Plaza de Cesar Chavez, guest speakers, live music and food trucks awaited. City Council members, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, State Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) and a host of community organizers and activists spoke to the crowd, sharing pride over the turnout and hope for the future. Kalra noted that it was the largest demonstration in the city’s history, but others noted that the 2006 immigration rally drew close to six figures.

In his comments, Mayor Liccardo thanked the man who made Saturday possible: President Trump. Followed by booing from the crowd, the mayor reminded everyone of the reason they gathered.

“We are united,” Liccardo said. “Here in San Jose, we are united.”

Beyond women’s rights, participants and speakers rallied for the LGBTQ, Muslim and Immigrant communities, amongst others.

The march was a family affair for many, as husbands and children accompanied wives and mothers. Women held signs that read “Nasty Women Unite” and men wore shirts that read “Bad Hombres.”

“I stand here as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a brother, as an uncle. I stand here for the women in my life, for every woman,” said Ignacio Cortes, of Milpitas. “Now more than ever we need to support each other and stand united.”

Standing next to his wife and three children, one boy and two girls, Cortes added, “It is an honor for me to take part in something so moving and so important.”

It took more than an hour for people to march from City Hall to Plaza de Cesar Chavez, where they were met with a celebratory mood. In one of the more joyous moments of the event, people across the park broke into dance and song as Whitney Houston’s song “I'm Every Woman” played from loud speakers.

“It’s funny, because we marched last weekend in the march for immigrant rights down here, which was lovely and very small,” said Jennifer Myhre, a member of the Sacred Heart Community Service chapter Showing Up For Racial Justice. “I was shocked at how many folks are here.”

Rally participants encouraged people to continue to stay united, confront discrimination and join organizations to mobilize their efforts.

“I feel like I’ve sat on the sidelines for too long, and so I feel like this horrible thing happened and I didn’t do enough,” Brobst said. “So, I needed to get out and do something. We all needed to.”

For Ynzunza, participating in the Women’s March meant more than walking a few blocks for the purpose of change. She hopes this day will bring true actions and change across the country.

“I vote, but what else can I do?” Ynzunza said. “I can show up. I can be a voice. I can be a name. I can be a face and if it didn’t start before, it starts now. It’s time for women to stand up, we’ve roared but it’s time for us to get louder, show up in masses and show what we can do.”

The story has been updated. 

45 Comments

  1. Hi. My name is Jennifer Myhre and I am quoted in this piece. I have one small correction to make. The group I was marching with yesterday was the Sacred Heart chapter of Showing Up for *Racial* Justice (not Social Justice). Thanks! :)

  2. Great turnout. It just goes to show, when it comes to getting the word out near and far, nothing beats a confidential email message to Hillary’s personal server.

    I trust Julian Assange explained why he couldn’t make it.

  3. Oh no!
    The last photo is of a woman holding sign saying “All Lives Matter” at the bottom, six months ago this crowd would have beaten that poor woman in San Jose for saying something so racist.

    I guess Trump really is having a positive effect across the country.

  4. > The Women’s March, according to organizers, was designed to bring people together to support and inspire one another while celebrating and protecting the diversity of the U.S.

    “Celebrating and protecting diversity”? You’re kidding.

    How does a “Women’s March” celebrate gender diversity? How does a movement of predominantly white liberal women celebrate racial diversity? How does a movement that voted 95 percent for Democrat candidates celebrate political diversity?

    Pure Orwellian “newspeak”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

    • Had you gone, had you spoken to anyone there you would know. You may chose not to understand or to understand but disagree, but at minimum you would have had your answer,,women’s rights are human rights.

      • > but at minimum you would have had your answer,,women’s rights are human rights.

        No. This does no answer my comment.

        My question was about “diversity”. A defining trait of progressives is that they simple DO NOT LISTEN.

        They only have one communication mode: TRANSMIT.

          • > Yes, you are such a shining beacon of someone that listens.

            You give me too much credit. I actually don’t listen to just anyone. Dumb people, for example.

    • Because the event was called The Women’s March doesn’t mean nothing else can be celebrated. Gender and racial diversity were also celebrated. A lot of things were celebrated. People who are joined in solidarity like to get together. So, of course, the crowd wasn’t “predominately white liberal women”, as you would have noticed if you were there. This is San Jose and, if you also haven’t noticed, we are extremely diverse. There were no rules about who could or couldn’t attend, so you were welcome to come with a “How does this celebrate diversity!?!?” sign if you wanted. But it’s ridiculously simplistic to say that the event shouldn’t have happened because it wasn’t categorically defined as being inclusive of every aspect of diversity and didn’t include exactly equal parts of every type of person. You can tell me that’s not what you were saying if you want. But then what the hell is your point? That this article is government propaganda written by Big Brother?

      • > But then what the hell is your point?

        Social commentary.

        And the fact that “the left” are fundamentally “hypocrites”, except for the fact that hypocrisy requires belief in “moral standards” which the left does NOT have.

        Paul Craig Roberts make larger points that I would endorse:

        “What became of the left? Today I answer my question.

        The answer is that the European and American left, which traditionally stood for the working class and peace (bread and peace) no longer exists. The cause championed by those who pretend to be the “left” of today is identity politics. The “left” no longer champions the working class, which the “left” dismisses as “Trump deplorables,” consisting of “racist, misogynist, homophobic, gun nuts.” Instead,the “left” champions alleged victimized and marginalized groups—blacks, homosexuals, women and the transgendered. Tranny bathrooms, a cause unlikely to mobilize many Americans, are more important to the “left” than the working class

        All white-skinned peoples except leftists, including apparently victimized women, are racist by definition. Racism and victimization are the explanations of everything, all of history, all institutions, even the US Constitution. This program of the left cuts the left off from the working class, who have been abandoned by both political parties, and has terminated the left’s connection to the people.”

      • If 25,000 white men showed up in San Jose wearing penis, dildo, and vibrater hats these same women would be calling for their arrest and prosecution as sextual preditors, perverts and masaginests. They would be condemned
        for yelling obscenities and being a bad influence on their children.

        When women do this it’s condoned, applauded and celebrated for bringing people together.

        Perhaps the best definition of hypocrisy so far this year. Stop the war on men!

        • Mr. E.G.

          Please, before it’s too late, stop making sense. Every time I see the ridiculous sign or slogan regarding some mythical “war on women’, I wonder if these shrill little ignoramuses realizes that when it comes to actual war, men are still the only ones who must register for the draft and therefore potential death or maiming.

          These women just don’t seem to get it. The only reason they have free speech is because men have fought and died to protect their rights to make hysterical idiots of themselves.

          As well, judging from the size of many of the women depicted, maybe they should stop marching and start jogging.

          • > As well, judging from the size of many of the women depicted, maybe they should stop marching and start jogging.

            First degree snarkiness, with an enhancement for fat shaming.

            Write a letter of apology to the Board of Supervisors and the City Council, and then perform 100 hours of community service removing Trump graffiti.

  5. We should be wary of this whole trendy notion of judging the legitimacy of a movement based on the number of people who show up to publicly demonstrate. If we allow this criteria to drive public policy (and we do) then we are giving disproportionate representation to that type of person while ignoring the interests of those tens of millions of Americans who simply do not have the type of personality that inclines them toward joining in rallies, marches, yelling, chanting, and sign waving.

  6. Of course there was a great turnout. How many groups were marching? The Pu**y grabbing brigade, All Lives matter, Black lives matter, the Jobs groups, the various immigration groups, environmental groups, etc etc. So it wasn’t one march – it was really dozens of marches. They should do this more often to have a way for people to let off steam.

  7. I’m stunned at the negative comments. I was there and it was amazing. It’d be great to hear from people who actually attended vs the snark factory trolls.

    • Eileen,
      Try to wrap your head around the idea that not all those with whom you disagree are “snark factory trolls”.
      Consider the possibility that their contrary opinions might be founded on a genuine, long considered political philosophy that differs from yours and not on some deep seeded hatred of women, minorities, immigrants, gays, etc. and isn’t so superficial as to be abandoned simply because of a firsthand witnessing of a political rally.

      • Yes, Eileen, try to wrap your head around the possibility that some of the people with whom you disagree are… are what, exactly? Are people who start off their rebuttals with the childish and dismissive “try to wrap your head around…”? Or maybe that they’re people who are threatened by the fact that they and their troll leader are actually a minority of the country? Or how about that they are people of such intellectual capacity that they habitually twist arguments around to suit their needs (e.g. trying to make a march about diversity into a march about gender diversity)

        • > (e.g. trying to make a march about diversity into a march about gender diversity)

          “Diversity” and “gender diversity” are different? Who knew.

          I think you should ask for a refund for your public school education. In your next iife go to a charter school or something.

        • Now you are sounding even more like a card carrying liberal know it all. As far as us being in the minority, we voted once in all the right places and WON. You need to get over it and move on. We have a country to make great again.

  8. “I was there and it was amazing.” — Eileen

    That one sentence says it all. Today’s women lust to be somewhere, with someone, be considered, and feel themselves, amazing. Not amazing as defined in the dictionary, but amazing as in the lexicon of feminist affirmation, where emotional support, encouragement, and social conformity always trump reason, common sense, and reality.

    The only thing amazing about the post-inauguration demonstrations was their stupidity. Have these women no calendars? The contest which lasted over a year and produced the result they now reject ended two months ago. The time for making their collective voices heard has past; the value of their political momentum is negligible; the time and money spent demonstrating were wasted.

    Where, it deserves to be asked, were these amazing women when Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the nomination? Didn’t they realize that accepting so divisive and despised a candidate could cost them the White House, could jeopardize their precious “right” to abortion, and ultimately produce a president they found offensive? Had they the collective wisdom they’ve deluded themselves into believing they possess they’d have made sure the voting majority they enjoyed as Democrats would not be squandered by the selection of an unfit candidate. But instead of behaving as responsible, mature, and intelligent voters, they instead demonstrated all the wisdom and political savvy of cheerleaders thrown into a frenzy by the prospects of a victory for their team. But no amount of cheering, especially the obnoxious chants about it being time for a woman in the White House, had a chance at making their chosen candidate any less obnoxious or vulnerable to defeat. The proof of this is in the pudding served on November 8th.

    If the issues had really been that important to these women they’d have treated Hillary to the same mean girls treatment they’d mastered in middle school and made sure the nomination did not go to the democrat most capable of squandering their party’s advantage. But given a choice between standing firm on the issues or being seduced by their emotions, women have traditionally succumbed to the latter, and this election proved no different. Now, in reaction to the scorning of their political emotions by an electorate they all but owned a year ago, we have women by the millions demonstrating what?… or yeah, their emotions.

    Nothing amazing about that.

  9. > Beyond women’s rights, participants and speakers rallied for the LGBTQ, Muslim and Immigrant communities, amongst others.

    I’m wondering if Diana San Juan could be a bit more specific about what Muslim women’s rights she was rallying for.

    Abolish limits on polygamy? Equal sex for multiple wives? Equal heavenly reward for female jihadists? What’s a female suicide bomber supposed to do with 72 virgins anyway?

    • 》What’s a female suicide bomber supposed to do with 72 virgins

      That’s prob’ly where the LGBTQ part comes in, Bubbly. You never know. As the defender of Christian religious expression and protector of non-leftist white wimmenfolk, tell me — why the heck would Eve be expelled for eating an apple? It’s not like filet mignon was available as an alternative. Unless you count Adam’s raging hardon.

      • > That’s prob’ly where the LGBTQ part comes in, Bubbly.

        Kind of insensitive, Downer.

        Heavenly rewards for beheading and tossing people from tall buildings are not really that amusing to L’s and G’s.

        • So now you’re into sensitivity? I thought you were cutting jokes about female Muslim suicide bombers. Can you not move the goalposts so quickly? You’re confusing me.

          Some would say it’s insensitive to stereotype all Muslims as polygamists or jihadists. Like the family of Humayun Khan. They might say that. Before you spin this off into some joke, remember — the watchword of the moment is sensitivity. I always knew you had a feminine side, Bubbly.

          Some might say it’s insensitive to label the female protesters as “downers.” Or to say things like — “Asians know how to get to the front of the line” (it’s on your blog site, see here — http://sanjoseotb.blogspot.com/). Have you ever sided with Joe Arpaio or questioned the citizenship of the first African-American president? See, some call that insensitive. But ok, that was in the past. Today, the watchword is s-e-n-s-i-t-i-v-i-t-y. What a brave new world that hath such people in it!

          See — I could stereotype all Christians as snake handlers if I focused on a few churches in Appalachia. I could label all of San Jose insensitive if I focused on you. But I won’t do that any more. From now on, I’ve turned over a new leaf. Sensitivity. I will feel everyone’s pain. Including your decade-long case of the hemorrhoids. Poor Bubbly. Have you tried suppositories?

  10. I was there with Muslims, blacks hispanics, asians, jews, children, my boys…..I was there to send a message of solidarity and optimism . All this other hyperbole is just that. Thank you to all that attended.

    • Hey I saw all those same kind of people at a Trump rally, all sending a message of solidarity and optimism,
      and then they were beaten up by a mob Mexican flag waving intolerant liberals.
      We got your message and we voted to send the B!7<# back to Chappaqua.

      I also heard your disgusting rants and threats in Washington DC televised for all the world to hear.
      Now if you don't like the tax on tampons I suggest you boycott them and stop yelling at us, we told you not to vote for tax and spend democrats.

  11. No doubt Zuckerberg would have had the head of the protester with the All Lives Matter sign. Hope you recall when that appeared in the foyer of Facebook, he had it taken down. Guess when he makes his run for Prez, he’ll not get the Deplorables voting for him. Of course, being Prez of the US won’t be enough for him, his ego needs to be Prez of the World.

    • Zuckerburg is a lemming. His claim to fame is he sells ads on the Internet. His 15 seconds of fame is waning. People who voluntarily devulge personal information online to strangers on the internet will soon become obtuse and pure nonsense.

  12. As a nihilist I could care less. At least the current top political administrator appears to have done what the past administration could not accomplish in eight long years, a united America. Folks no longer sit hopelessly watching and listening while government officials spew out nonsense and wring their hands in disappointment. Welcome to the Revolution! God Bless America!

  13. I presume that this “march”, which undoubtedly was planned for months, was intended to be a triumphal Hillary Victory Parade, like Julius Caesar returning to Rome after the conquest of Gaul. Unfortunately for Hillary, Gaul won.

    Without Hillary and the scripting of the Hillary campaign, “the march” just turned into a leaderless gripefest of all of the Democrats’ ragtag malcontents.

    Cheer up, Democrats. There’s always another election. It’s not too early to start planning for the Elizabeth Warren Victory Parade in 2020. You can even re-use all your “Woman for President” signs.

  14. Did I read, it was designed to bring people together. Why did it Xclude the extremely large number of pro life woman. all lives matter….why didn’t they protest OBombya for the 20,000 bombs on 7 countries last year alone….San Jose and proud here, but a little embarrassed that we can’t feed or house the homeless.

    • Killing people doesn’t count against any Democrat/Communist in office as it is alway necessary.
      We never worry about the collateral damage when Obama smart bombs a town.

      Ever notice the body count immediately went away when Obama took office and the crosses for dead soldiers were
      taken away at the Orinda BART station.

      Ever notice that the atheist’s never protested those crosses even though they were located on public land.

      I wonder what will happen if Sarah Palin and Nikki Haley make a run in 2024?
      Will these same women mob the streets?

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