Hundreds of women and their male supporters rallied and marched outside of San Diego City College to celebrate International Women’s day and to speak out against misogynist rhetoric by President Trump and his supporters.
Marches and protests broke out around the world as women spoke out against wage inequality, unfair hiring practice and other barriers women face when attempting to enter the workforce.
Bree Davis and Tegan Daniels joined forces to organize the march and focused on the struggles of women of color.
“I went in January to the big Women’s March here in Downtown San Diego,” Davis said. “I was really disappointed about the outcome of it. There (were 45,000) people, but it was really white-centered. White women, white feminism, white issues. Women of color were forgotten and left out.”
Daniels said her purpose was to educate San Diego County residents on issues such as police brutality, domestic violence and sexual harassment.
“Women are the heart of everything,” she said. “Women of color we have a lot of hardships put on us.”
Maria Cellerí, a member of San Diego Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) Colectivo, agreed.
“We are living in a time where people think they have the right to act violently against minorities,” she said. “The rhetoric of our president opened the door to these kind of actions.”
Men marched in solidarity, including SWC alumnus Ryan Stray, who said men should think of themselves as allies to women.
“Women are among the most oppressed in American society,” he said. “We need to realize how oppression happens and how it looks day to day.”
Lower income women of color are not only excluded from the economic structure, said Stray, they are the most frequent victims of violence. Police are often the perpetrators.
An Associated Press report said that in 2015, more than 1,000 police officers lost their badges after being found guilty of sexual assaults and rapes. Lower-income women were the most prevalent targets. (Three SWC police officials have been accused of sexual assault and have been named in a lawsuit.)
When the march reached the San Diego Police Department, Daniels spoke about the police brutality and sexual violence that women of color endure. She said the news media did not adequately cover this issue.
“It should not be tolerated,” She said. “A lot of women of color are too scared to speak up and I feel like it’s our job, as sisters, to give them a voice.”
Tensions ran high when the march moved toward Horton Plaza and some protesters had a brief verbal confrontation with the Police. Marches continued peacefully.
Protestors shouted anti-Trump chants throughout the march. Marsha Mann said she believes Trump is the karma set loose on the United States for its failure to treat women and minorities fairly. Americans are becoming more aware of social disparities, she said.
“Younger generations are becoming incredibly engaged. It takes more than standing and holding a sign, it takes learning how to use tools and using the media. It takes thinking outside the box.”