Unlike the flagship event in Washington D.C. Saturday the Women’s March in San Jose was met with clear skies and warm weather. Yet, like many of its sister rallies in scores of cities throughout the U.S., the third-annual South Bay march for equality suffered from lower turnout, possibly from fallout over internal power struggles and charges of anti-Semitism roiling the national organization’s leadership
Marchers were assured from the get-go that Women’s March San Jose is independent from the national group, and that the local chapter condemns anti-Semitism.
“In no way, shape or form do we condone any form of hate on our community,” said Karina Dominguez, a member of the San Jose chapter’s advisory committee and vice mayor of Milpitas. “We are working hard as a chapter in San Jose to make sure that everyone who wants to get involved is involved.”
Despite the muted tone of the event, marchers who spoke with San Jose Inside exuded optimism. Fresh off the heels of the largest female delegation ever elected to Congress, attendees stood united in their opposition to President Donald Trump.
New for this year were signs and speeches critical of the president’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Allegations that he sexually assaulted Palo Alto professor Christine Blasey Ford when they were both in high school rocked his confirmation hearings and, though Kavanagh was ultimately confirmed to the high court, it was by only a slim margin.
Saturday’s pro-women march began at San Jose’s City Hall with a small rally. Participants then trekked nearly a mile to convene at Arena Green, across from the SAP Center. The main-stage lineup featured Dominguez, California Treasurer Fiona Ma and Stanford law professor Michele Dauber of the Enough is Enough Voter Project.
Speakers emphasized the importance of getting involved in the community, especially in such a divisive, high-stakes political climate.
“I live right behind City Hall, so there I had no excuse not to go,” said San Jose resident Mary Jacob-Oviatt, who marched with her husband. “I feel like it’s important to be a part of it, be a part of something.”
The event’s advisory committee made a point of making sure that men and women of all backgrounds felt a se se of belonging at the march, Dominguez explained.
“It was really important to us to share to everyone at the beginning of the march that everybody’s welcome,” she said. “We collectively need to stay together and stay organized because this is a strong movement that needs to continue its strength.”
Below are some photos of the South Bay march shared online by attendees.