Peaceful demonstrators in support of women’s rights and empowering citizens to vote plan to gather in San Diego Saturday for the 2018 Women’s March – one of the hundreds of events of this kind happening around the globe this weekend.
Dubbed the “Women’s March San Diego: Hear Our Vote,” the 1.29-mile march will start at 10 a.m. on the west side of Waterfront Park and make its way down Harbor Drive. It’ll turn onto Pacific Highway and end at West Ash Street near Waterfront Park. The event goes on until 1 p.m.
According to the Women’s March website, the demonstration is “designed to engage and empower voters to support women’s rights, human rights, social and environmental justice, and to encourage participation in 2018 midterm elections.” Participants are urged to march for their “voices and votes to be heard.”
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The San Diego rally is expected to be attended by several local leaders including Senator Toni Atkins, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, Congresswoman Susan Davis, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber and councilmembers Barbara Bry and Georgette Gomez, to name a few of the familiar faces.
The San Diego Labor Council will also partake in the march, according to director of community engagement, Brissa Johnson.
Locals Unite for San Diego Women’s March
Locals Unite for San Diego Women’s March
“It’s women coming out, in solidarity, to stand up for women’s rights and women’s issues and not only fight for equality but for equity as well,” Johnson told NBC 7. “It’s important for us to express our concerns and our voice and really bring that power back to the people.”
She expects a large, diverse crowd at the event, including many DREAMers, as well as those who support DACA recipients.
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“This year has been so intense with everything that’s happening with the current administration and things that are happening locally. And San Diego is a border town, so we’ve been really impacted by the legislation affecting our DREAMers and our community,” Johnson said.
Anticipating a large turnout, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will boost its trolley service in the area. Attendees can park for free at SDCCU Stadium in Mission Valley and take the trolley’s Sycuan Green Line to the County Center/Little Italy Station, which is one block away from Waterfront Park. MTS will run trolleys every 7.5 minutes beginning at 8 a.m.
Edward Donaghy shared this video of the massive march in San Diego from the Star Princess cruise ship docked at the port. A total of 40,000 people marched in San Diego in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017)
MTS said it would also run trolley service every 15 minutes from Santee to downtown. Service on the Orange Line will be increased to every 15 minutes beginning at 8:15 a.m. from the El Cajon Transit Center to downtown San Diego.
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The UC San Diego Blue Line will run every 15 minutes from San Ysidro to downtown San Diego throughout the day, too. MTS said riders on the UC San Diego and Orange lines should transfer to the Sycuan Green Line at 12th and Imperial and exit at the County Center/Little Italy Station.
In San Diego’s North County, a concurrent Women’s March will take place at 10 a.m. at Palomar College. The 1.2-mile march will span the south side of West Mission Road to San Marcos Middle School and then walk back on the north side of West Mission Road to Palomar College. A post-march rally takes place at 12:45 p.m.
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Organizers say those attending the North County march can take the Sprinter to Palomar Station or, if driving, park in the indicated Palomar lots.
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“Join us this year as we call to action ALL North County women in Reclaiming our Power with Our Voice, Our Rights, Our Justice, Our Safety,” the event website reads.
NBC 7 reached out to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) Friday for information on security measures in place for the event.
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Lt. Scott Wahl said the department has been planning, preparing and working with the organizers of the local event to ensure safety, as well as with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, MTS and Harbor Police Department.
“This event last year was one of the nicest events all year,” Wahl said. “Everyone was very cooperative and even thankful for our assistance. We anticipate large crowds but realize this group is very respectful and law-bidding.”
Last year’s Women’s March in downtown San Diego and North County drew tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them carrying witty signs in support of the movement and resistance efforts.
Over the past year, the movement has shifted its focus from only resistance to bringing “power to the polls,” Bob Bland, co-chair of the Women’s March told NBC News.
“Moving into 2018, we need to look beyond just ‘resistance,'” Bland added.
The Women’s March takes place on the anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.