San Diego

Women March in San Diego for Protection of Rights Day After Inauguration

The marchers will walk in solidarity with the Woman's March on Washington Saturday -- one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump

Women, men and children united in San Diego Saturday for two marches for the protection of women's rights in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington and similar demonstrations spanning the globe.

Signs in hand, a large crowd marched through downtown San Diego Saturday morning, including local leaders and politicians like Toni Atkins, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Todd Gloria.

"Peace and love! Peace and love!" demonstrators chanted, as they made their way through downtown in the San Diego Women's March.

"We are all equal and we should be treated that way," the crowd continued.

"Women's rights are human rights, and human rights for all," others chanted.

As demonstrators marched, spectators lined the streets of downtown, cheering them on. Kids held on to their mothers' hands, some clapping for the cause.

Danielle Stewart marched alongside others and told NBC 7 she was participating in the event for many reasons.

"I’m marching because I have three boys and they need to be shown that women are equal. I’m marching because I’m a sexual assault survivor and it’s important that we not normalize the rhetoric that we’ve heard in the past," she said. "This is why I’m marching, for everybody here."

The chants continued, some in Spanish.

"Aqui estamos!" demonstrators said, which means, "We are here."

Marcher Megan Flaherty told NBC 7 she was taking part in the event because she disagrees with the direction of President Donald Trump's administration, including his stance on climate change.

“Climate change is real; you can’t delete the website and make it unreal,” she said. “It’s very real, it’s happening, we know that – we need to do something. I’m fighting for the rights of all future generations to live on a healthy planet."

The San Diego Women's March began in front of Civic Center Plaza on Third Avenue in downtown San Diego and then made its way down Broadway to Harbor Drive, ending in front of the County Administration Building.

It was one of two peaceful demonstrations in San Diego Saturday aimed to show unity with the Women’s March on Washington.

“We stand firm in agreement that women's rights are human rights,” organizers of the San Diego Women's March said. “Make your voice heard.”

In San Diego’s North County, a group gathered for the “Sister March” at the San Marcos Civic Center. At noon, marchers planned to make their way to Palomar Community College. A rally will follow with speakers, music, art and food trucks.

“We stand together in solidarity with our family, friends, and community for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are what makes our democracy great,” organizers of the Sister March said in a press release. “We march here in North County to show solidarity with the March on Washington and our sister marches happening all over the country.”

Earlier this week, NBC 7 spoke with locals planning to participate in the marches.

"People who are privileged need to speak up for those who aren't," said volunteer Wendy Wheatcroft, as she made signs ahead of the local marches planned for Saturday.

Wheatcroft and dozens others spent Thursday afternoon making signs at the Planned Parenthood in Mission Valley.

“We're part of a huge group of people marching for the protection of women's rights," said march organizer, Sarah Shaftel. “It's a beautiful thing."

The timing is purposeful too. This march is the day after inauguration of President Donald Trump.

"We're all kind of burned out on politics. but the reality is the reality. And we have a new administration," said Peter Bolland.

Bolland’s day job is college professor and this will be his first time participating in a march of any kind.

"We feel like the real America isn't being represented right now," he said, sharing the reason for his participation.

NBC 7’s Alex Presha spoke with participants in the march as they prepare for Saturday.

Shaftel said she hopes Saturday's action sparks something bigger.

"What I hope comes of this is that people get ignited and start taking action. It is not time to sit back and watch and see. We have done that for too long and I think it was a mistake," she said.

The organizers had been working closely with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and both sides expected a peaceful day Saturday.

SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman posted a message on Twitter saying police estimated that about 40,000 people had attended the San Diego Women's March in downtown San Diego.

To add yourself to the march count go to this website

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