They came with pussy hats and placards. Thousands of people turned out for marches in the San Francisco Bay area to remind President Donald Trump of the importance of women’s rights.
In solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., protesters held hundreds of marches in big cities around the world to celebrate women’s rights and protest Trump’s election. I attended the Women’s March in San Jose, Calif., and VentureBeat’s Khari Johnson was at a march in Oakland, Calif. We both took pictures of the events, as did my daughter, Danielle Takahashi.
As the press reported that the Women’s March and accompanying rallies drew much bigger crowds than the Inauguration, President Donald Trump accused the media of lying about inauguration crowds. Speaking at the Central Intelligence Agency, he wrongly said the crowd at his event reached the Washington monument.
Estimates say 500,000 attended the Women’s March in Washington. In San Jose, the estimate was 25,000, while 50,000 marched in San Francisco. In Oakland, the police estimated the crowd at 60,000. In Walnut Creek, in the East Bay, 10,000 marched. Many wore pink hats with cat ears, dubbed “pussy hats.”
Of course, technology can settle the debate over crowd sizes. CNN posted images from the EarthCam network that showed the crowd at the National Mall during Trump’s ceremony was demonstrably smaller than the crowd for the Women’s March. Not to mention the fact that there were hundreds of women’s marches. More satellite imagery will be able to further measure the size of the crowds.
While the march was ostensibly non-partisan, almost all of the signs that I saw at the Women’s March in San Jose were anti-Trump. They included the familiar “Love Trumps Hate,” “This Pussy Grabs Back,” “My Body, My Choice,” “March Like A Girl,” “We Will Not Be Silent,” “Make America Think Again,” “We Are A Nation Of Immigrants,” and even “Diverse Tech.”
Transportation to and from the event was jammed. I had to ride in a crowded Light Rail train into San Jose, where we were packed like sardines.
The march started at City Hall in San Jose and ended in Cesar Chavez Park. In San Jose, Mayor Sam Liccardo tweeted an overhead photo of “a beautiful crowd” around City Hall and added a hashtag that said, “This is what democracy looks like.”
My favorite sign said: “A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance,” with a picture of the late Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from Star Wars.
Updated: Added updated numbers for crowd sizes 10:21 a.m. Pacific 1/22/17