On January 20th 2017, people marched through the streets of Sacramento in protest of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States. One group formed in the quad of Sacramento City College and marched down Freeport Boulevard before convening with a larger group in front of the State Capital, where people chanted, played music, performed spoken-word poetry and gave speeches on behalf of groups and causes they felt were threatened after the inauguration.
The Sacramento’s Women’s March, which began at Southside Park and ended at the State Capitol, was held on January 22nd. The march started at 10:00 AM, and ended at 3:00 PM. Marchers were told to wear rain gear, however, the skies showed no rain until around 2:00, when there was a light drizzle. There were many speakers at the event, including Tracie Stafford, Shauna Heckert, Kathy Kneer, Jessica Bartholow, Alejandra Valles, Sheryl Evans Davis, Emily Bender, and many more.
“I have never been afraid that we would go backward in women’s rights,” said Stafford, in reference to the Presidential Inauguration days before, “…but this, this scares me.”
An estimated 20,000 people marched to the capitol on Saturday, not just to protest the inauguration of President Trump, but also to show their support for human rights. Protesters wore rainbow flags, Mexican flags, and other flags that were indicative of the human rights protesters were supporting.
“We cannot let our eyes adjust to the darkness,” Davis told the crowd. “The light of truth must stay on.”
“I came because… I don’t want to be silent,” said Joan Bartosik, a protester who traveled to Sacramento from New Cassa. “I don’t want my silence to show support for what’s going on.”
The protests stayed peaceful throughout the event, despite the very controversial topics that were being discussed. There were little tensions between police and protesters, and many of the protesters were friendly. Some handed out bottled waters and cookies to other people attending the event. There were even school buses that had pulled up to the Capitol so that students could see the protests.
“I think the turnout’s great. Very enthusiastic,” Bartosik said about the Women’s March. “There’s been no problems that I see. It feels comfortable. There’s kids, there’s dogs; very peaceful.”
Despite many protesters being geared up for rain, it only sprinkled towards the end of the rally. However, Stafford did have this to say in relation to the weather and inauguration, “I just got news that a storm is coming in, but the storm has already come.”