Tens of thousands of people joined the Women's March in San Jose. (Photo by Jennifer Wadsworth)
On Saturday, San Jose joined a pro-women, anti-President Trump protest that spanned all seven continents. Men and women of all cultural origins and orientations flooded the streets in a crowd that numbered in the tens of thousands here in Silicon Valley alone. San Jose Inside asked a number of people what brought them out to the demonstration, what causes they represent and what they hope to accomplish. You can read some of their stories in the photo gallery below.
Daughters of immigrants marching for their families. Saya (left), who’s from Iraq, says one of her uncles was killed during the conflict in Syria. Mandee Banga (second from left) and sister Saranjit Banga (right) said their father wears a turban and they fear for his safety under a president who incites violence and xenophobia. Tina, a teacher at a school in Gilroy, says the migrant worker families she works with have been plagued by a rash of suicides because of their despair over Trump’s election.
“We are ppl of color with various gender identities and we deserve to be protected,” says Amy Mullenex, who marched with classmates from Notre Dame High School. “Si se puede,” Jasmine Canjura adds.
“I’m scared for the next four years,” Sylvia, 13, says. “I myself am gay, and my rights are in danger. I’m also a woman, and that also puts me in danger.”
Three generations of activists. Miiko Mentz (left) used to take her daughter, Morgan Melendres (behind stroller) to pro choice rallies as a youngster. Today, Morgan is out here with her son (in stroller). “As a mom, I’m having my son here to continue this legacy of having a passion for justice. Even though he’ll grow up a man, I want him to know that it’s important to be an ally.”
“I’m going to let the sign speak for itself,” says the sign-holder, who asked to remain anonymous.
Maya Schaeffer, teen journalist for #DailyKos, on her plan of action under the Trump administration: “I’m going to keep writing, stay focused, do well in school and keep going to marches.”
“It’s 2017, not 1917,” says Rebecca Harris (center).
Lifelong Democrat Jacquie Heffner on what’s going through her mind looking out at the crowd of tens of thousands at Cesar Chavez Park: “This reminds me that we are stronger when we come together. And this is the first step. We need to turn this into political action. That’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to take this out on the ballot box.”
April Oliver on Trump’s inauguration speech: “It was very divisive. He made it seem like the world is falling apart, and that’s not the America I see.”
“We could do better than Trump. We deserve better than this,” says Julie Guillen.
Lifelong San Jose resident Cynthia Montiel throws up what another protester described as the “ovary gang sign” in solidarity with other women. “I marched for all the women and girls who do not have a voice, yet alone, access to healthcare services,” she says. “For all the women in rural areas that lack knowledge of the importance of health screenings simply because their government does not provide them with such services. This march is representation of how women, children and men can uprise harmoniously, yet loud enough, to fight for the women’s rights, human rights.”
Christopher “Make America Skate Again” Rodriguez on the inauguration: “I couldn’t watch it. I didn’t think it would come to this point. I didn’t think he’d make it.” And what brings him out to the march? “I’m here for my grandma and what she represents, women’s rights, healthcare, all that stuff.”
“I’m here to support women’s rights, #BlackLivesMatter and just to be present,” says Jasmine Pursley, an Oakland resident marching with her mom, Michele Cabania.
“People are banding together and I’m here today because we realize that something has gone terribly wrong,” says Desiree Reich.
Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell (left) on what brought her to the march: “I’m about the business that John L. Lewis, the congressman from Georgia talked about when he did his civil rights work. He said it is our responsibility to make necessary trouble. This is our start, day one, of necessary trouble for the Trump regime. I hope that this continues for the next four years, and I hope that will be the end of it. But it’s clear to me that democracy is not a spectator sport—it is participatory and it’s important that we not be complacent.”
“No mass deportations.”
Ron and Barbara Hansen have devoted a lifetime to community service and advocating for civil rights. They managed to divide up their day between the Women’s March and a community forum on police accountability. “My reason for attending was to show support for the women in my life,” says Ron, “as well as for all of my neighbors who are afraid based on the rhetoric and proposed policies of the Trump administration and the GOP-led Congress.” Says Barbara: “I marched because I am afraid and the only way to fight my fear is to stand with others.”
Susanna Beouchan, a local homeless resident, says she marched for Route22, a local nonprofit that supports homeless women.
“Science is not a liberal conspiracy.”
“I march for America.”
“We are the resistance!” a masked protester shouts.
That dog poop sign elicited a lot of giggles.
Moments before the marchers began making their way toward Cesar Chavez Park.
“It’s my America.”
The other side read, “Bitches get shit done.”
“We are nasty women. Hear us roar.”
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change.”
Translation for that sign on the left: “I love equal pay.”
“Get your tiny hands off my country.”
Lots of young activists participated in the march.
Also, here is video of the day’s sights and sounds shot by Michael Cabaña.
Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.