San Diego’s Women’s March: Part of a World-Wide Human Rights Movement

by on January 19, 2017 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, History, Organizing, Politics, Women's Rights

Women's March

Image from Library of Congress

By Doug Porter

In 1913, thousands of women took to the streets of Washington DC on the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration calling for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. More than twenty parade floats, nine bands, and four mounted brigades followed activist Inez Milholland riding on a white horse marching from the U.S. Capitol toward the Treasury Building.

Despite physical attacks by angry spectators hospitalizing more than 100 women, the parade, organized by Alice Paul and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, finished the route.

A decades-old movement for change was galvanized and revitalized by the march. Historians credit the event with creating the political will needed to pass the nineteenth amendment, ratified seven years later on August 18, 1920.

A little more than a century later, women are once again poised to challenge the status quo with a large march in Washington the day following incoming president Donald Trump’s inauguration along with simultaneous events in more than 500 US locations and more than 50 cities worldwide.

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights

There are four dozen Women’s March-related events in California, twenty-six in Canada, fifteen in Mexico, and even one in the Cayman Islands.

Here’s a snip from the Italian edition of The Local:

Speaking to The Local, Elizabeth Farren, one of the organizers of the Rome march, said: “This march is relevant in Italy because Italy is in no way immune to the populist wave that elected Trump.”

Farren said that the march was open to all supporters of civil rights, including men, women, Italians and foreigners. The aim, she said, is “to show the world that those who support progressive values are a force to be reckoned with, and that they will not remain silent if their rights and values are threatened”.

The New York Times provided an overview of what’s in store:

San Diego's Women's MarchMarch organizers have said the event’s primary focus is to promote equal rights for women and to defend marginalized groups. “The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world, that women’s rights are human rights,” the group’s website says.

More than 200 organizations have signed on as partners for the march, including Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, the National Organization for Women and Human Rights Watch. Cher, Katy Perry and Amy Schumer are among the celebrities who have said they will attend.

Participants outside the United States say they are marching in solidarity with American women and standing up for the rights of women in their own countries.

(Link to the Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles of the Women’s March)

Can’t Join a March? No Problem!

For those who are unable to march, there is a global moment of silence complete with accompanying app.

From the Huffington Post:

But for the thousands who cannot attend, there is still a way to take part: by joining legendary feminist, author, and WMW honorary co-chair, Gloria Steinem, in the 1@1 initiative — a global minute of silent solidarity for equality at 1pm Eastern Standard Time.

All who believe in women’s equality are invited; whatever age, race, religion, political affiliation, economic status, gender, ability, or language. A countdown by Gloria Steinem will be streamed on YouTube Live.

The founder of the 1@1 initiative happens to be an old friend, Alyson Palmer, who I got to know in my East Coast days as one-third of the feminist band Betty, quoted in the Huffpo article:

Whether able to attend a rally or not, whether gathered with others or alone, all can join this unifying action on behalf of women, girls and the future of all our nations. Even the time zones asleep can dream of equality.

What You Need to Know About the San Diego Women’s March(s)

There are two local marches: Downtown San Diego (10am) and North County (San Marcos) (11am).
(More info on the North County March can be found here. This article is about the downtown march.)

There are contingents in the San Diego march, i.e. like-minded or geographically linked groups.

I know of groups from the East and South County planning on meeting up.

A contingent of people supporting the former UFCW women who are suing the union for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation are marching together.

A climate contingent with San Diego 350 and Greenpeace will be marching together.

(Let me know –with a link, please– about other groups and I’ll add them as time permits.)

If these women from Poland can march in the rain to protect their rights, so can San Diegans

The bad news: it might be raining. San Diego is predicted to get 4-6 inches of rain over the next few days.

The good news: The rain is predicted to take a break on Saturday morning. It should be windy, with temperatures in the fifties. The march will occur, rain or shine.

This information comes from the website for the San Diego Women’s March.

About the Group:

“We, San Diego Women’s March, are peacefully marching in San Diego in solidarity with the Women’s March in DC. We are dedicated to a free and open society.

Together we stand united in our respect for all people and we resist the marginalization of anyone. As a diverse, inclusive community of compassionate people, we seek to strengthen and continue our commitment to work for the protection of women’s rights.

We stand firm in agreement that women’s rights are human rights.”
“This is not a protest. The Women’s March is a celebration of human rights.”

Location: Participants will gather in front of the Civic Center Plaza (1200 Third Avenue), and along Third Avenue, between A Street and C Street. The program to kick-off the march will start at 10am.

After the program, marchers will be directed to line-up and head towards Broadway and Third Ave. The march will progress west to North Harbor Drive and then north on North Harbor Drive, ending in front of The County Administration Building.

Assorted Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  • The march is open to everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, tolerance of diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity. Yes, men are welcome, as are children. Pets, other than service animals, should stay home.
  • We will be marching rain or shine. Umbrellas are okay. Decorated umbrellas, even better. Backpacks are also okay.
  • Security will be handled by the San Diego Police Department. Signs with sticks are allowed. It will be windy.
  • The San Diego Women’s March has entered into partnerships with: Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, San Diego National Organization for Women, The Center for Community Solutions, Run Women Run, Next Gen, ACLU of San Diego, and Moms Demand Action.
  • As of Wednesday, January 18, over 17,000 people indicated they were attending via Facebook.
  • Donations to the group are accepted here. As of Wednesday morning $22,570 from 387 people has been contributed. Next Gen is listed as a major contributor on another page at their web site.
  • They have a merchandise store at Zazzle. Items will not be available for sale at the march.

Why March?

Need a little motivation?

UPDATED LISTINGS: the information we have as of January 18, 2017 for all inaugural-related actions in San Diego is listed (click on this) here. There are now more than a dozen events in the works.


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