A sea of pink hats

Gwen Mahler, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Marching upon the steps of the State Capitol, captured by Katherine Haws of Davis Senior High School
Marching upon the steps of the State Capitol. Thank you to Katherine Haws of Davis Senior High School for this photo.

On Saturday, January 18th, an estimated ten to twelve thousand participants marched down the streets of downtown Sacramento demonstrating as an act of advocacy for the basic human rights of women. The march started with a gathering in Southside Park at 9:00 a.m., where there was a Women’s Civil Rights rally and resource fair. At 10:30 a.m. the march headed east on T Street, then to 9th street, and finally stormed the north side of Capitol Mall. On the steps of the California State Capitol there were several speakers and performers for marchers to listen to.

Despite this year’s crowd being less than the estimated 20,000 who attended in 2017, 36,000 in 2018, and 32,000 in 2019, the 2020 Sacramento Women’s March was among the state’s strongest representation of the four-year-old protest in influence as well as energy. What started on January 21st, 2017 as “a bold message to our new administration on their first day and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” as stated by National Co-Chair of Natomas Linda Sarsour, has evolved into the worldwide protest known as the Women’s March four years to the date. Angelique Ashby, Sacramento City Councilwoman, who represents the community of Natomas, spoke at the march and used her time to remind the crowd of the reason they rose up to fight four years ago,

“We started this fight four years ago because we were angry and disgusted,” Ashby began. “How could a man who treats women so vulgarly even be considered for the top office of the United States of America? Forget his politics, he’s not morally fit for the position.” 

Councilwoman Ashby went on to say that, “It’s been four years of insults and division and Twitter temper tantrums and we’re done. The people he has selected to oversee our most important offices in the nation, education, environment, and even the Supreme Court are not worthy of their posts. And yet we have survived.” During her speech, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and State Senator Dr. Richard Pan watched on from the sidelines.

“It’s energizing. And it’s reaffirming to have the shared goal of seeing women elected to office and supporting women.” shared Mikaila Walton, adding that while Trump’s election was the leading catalyst for the commencement of the Women’s March, the worldwide protest has helped unearth buildings feelings of oppression.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, even linked the movement to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment prohibiting the federal government from “…denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex.”as well as noted the increasing number of women in politics as evidence of the progress made since 2017.

Whereas the 2018 Women’s March fixated upon November’s election and the hope of removing President Donald Trump from office via Impeachment, the mission of the 2020 Women’s March now focused on the dismantling of gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system, LGBTQIA+ freedom, reproductive rights, immigration reform, and the protection of our environment.