Tens of Thousands of people descended upon the downtown city streets for the “Women’s March on San Diego” Saturday morning.
Estimates of the number of marchers are between 30,000 and 40,000 people.
This event was in conjunction with several marches across the country. The largest being in Washington D.C.
The march was not only a gathering of women in solidarity for the protection of women’s rights, but a call to action to strengthen and protect the rights of all people.
Community activist and the Mayor of Hillcrest Nicole Murray-Ramirez was there and he tells San Diego Gay and Lesbian News that this is a whole new movement, not for a specific cause, but several.
“Inclusion revolution,” he said. “These marches across the country are bringing the country together; immigrants, Muslims, LGBT.”
He says that in his decades as an activist, seeing the thousands of marchers in San Diego gave him so much hope, “The diversity of this march was incredible; women, trans, lesbians, Asian-Pacific, deaf women – it was the true diversity of women.”
Ramirez has been an activist for over 45 years and says the future of the community will have to rely on what he had to do in the 60’s and 70’s.
“We have to be in the streets and in the suites of political power,” he said. “We’ve got to wake up to that fact. We know what were we’re facing. We got to return to our roots.”
Ramirez was joined in the march by newly elected California Senator Toni Atkins and Assemblyman Todd Gloria.
Protestors held signs which read “Love Trumps Hate” and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before heading down the official route on North Harbor Drive, then up Broadway to the The County Administration Building.
Some crowds diverted from that route and swarmed side streets, flooding the Civic Theatre concourse at 4th and B Streets near the mayor’s office.
Murray-Ramirez was wearing his now famous American flag jacket, which to his surprise many people thought was in support of Trump.
“I always wear the American flag,” said Ramirez, “I had people come up and say, ‘I thought you were a Trump supporter.’ I have always worn this since the 60’s. Why do I wear it? Because it’s our country too.”
“The Right seems to think they own that flag,” he added.
Despite the event being about the rights of women, it was also about human rights, something Murray-Ramirez says has re-invigorated his charge for community spirit.
“I was never so proud to see the women come together to put the rally on,” he said. “They spoke about issues that affect not only women but the LGBT community. We have to come out of the closets and into the voting booths.”