Thousands gather at Sacramento Capitol building for women’s rights

BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE
BRIAN LANDRY / AGGIE

More than 600 women’s marches held throughout the world

In response to the recent election and inauguration of President Donald Trump, thousands of women’s rights activists rallied in front of the California State Capitol Building on Jan. 21 to join in the fight to protect equal rights for women and for all.

“Ladies, and those of you that love them, respect them and know that they deserve equal rights, thank you for being here today,” said Angelique Ashby, a City of Sacramento councilmember, at the March on Sacramento.

The Sacramento Police Department estimated that around 20,000 people attended the rally on the west steps of the California State Capitol Building after a one-mile march that began at Southside Park. The March on Sacramento was just one of nearly 600 sister marches that took place around the world in support of women’s rights, with the grassroots march taking place in Washington, D.C.

This march was the first of its kind and welcomed any person, regardless of gender identity, to attend in support of women’s rights. Women, men and individuals of all ages, races, ethnicities and religious and social backgrounds were in attendance.

As countless individuals chanted, “The people united will never be divided” and “We’ve got stamina,” many other people carried posters and banners with slogans reading, “Love not hate makes America great” and “Love is love.”

Nikki Eman, a fourth-year environmental policy and planning major at UC Davis, attended the event to show her support for equal rights and for climate change research, another issue that has been challenged by the current U.S. administration. She was proud to attend the march and felt empowered by all the people present.

“The atmosphere of the crowd is especially inspiring. Just seeing everyone out here trying to show their representatives that they care is amazing,” Eman said.

Numerous organizations set up tables at the march as well. Some of the groups that participated included the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Women’s Empowerment, My Sister’s House and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

NASW works to be a voice for social justice by bringing resources and services such as mental health and professional support to individuals in need. Anthony DiMartino, the chair of the NASW local chapter, said that he is proud to work for the organization and serve as a voice for people who are underrepresented.

“[The organization] is a place to be with other people who are working for social justice and serving people,” DiMartino said. “It’s good to be around other individuals who are serving similar goals and dreams.”

Individuals present at the event showed support for one another through tactics such as banners and safety pins as a message that they stood beside vulnerable, minority groups who may have felt targeted by remarks made by the President Trump.

As the event continued, dance and music groups such as the Sacramento Taiko Dan and Sacramento Women’s Chorus performed, and local politicians spoke in solidarity for the event. Mayor of Sacramento Darrell Steinberg spoke about how proud he was to see the march’s outcome.

“Our values proclaim that all of our population is worthy of equal pay, equal opportunity and basic reproductive rights,” Steinberg said.

Councilmember Ashby stressed that individuals should get involved in the community by joining committees, boards and organizations that promote social activism.

“No one is here by accident today. You are all part of the solution and part of the energy that is going to propel us forward, from this day forward,” Ashby said.
Written By: Anya Rehon — city@theaggie.org